We have arrived at the last chapter in the book “Hold On To Your Kids: Why Parents Need To Matter More Than Peers” by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate. The last chapter is entitled, “Re-Create The Attachment Village”. The authors paint the picture in the opening of this chapter that many of us grew up in places where neighbors knew one another, children could play within the neighborhood and be watched over by any number of parents….and how this has disappeared for many of us today.
The authors talk about creating attachment villages and the importance of children feeling at home with the adults we entrust them to. “In traditional attachment communities a child never had to leave home – he was at home wherever he went. Today’s children also shouldn’t have to leave home, or at least the sense of being at home with the caring adults, until they are mature enough to be at home with their true selves.”
The suggestions of the authors include:
- Valuing adult friends who have an interest in our children and foster our children’s relationships with these adults.
- Create traditions that connect our children to extended family.
- Have socializing that includes children, not separating them. “As much as possible, we should be participating with our children in villagelike activities that connect children to adults whether through religious or ethnic centers, sports activities, cultural events, or in the community at large.”
- Introduce our children to other trusted adults in a way that confers an “attachment blessing.”
- Work with blended families – “We need to turn what may seem to be either/or relationships into this-and-that relationships.”
- Making sure we connect with our children’s friends – insisting on greetings, introductions, keeping the children in a common area, and cultivating relationships with the parents of your children’s friends.
- I liked this quote: “Every parents needs a supporting cast, and the less one exists naturally, the more it needs to be cultivated by design.”
This book study has come to a close; the other books I have done chapter-by-chapter in the past include “Tapestries” by Betty Staley and “Discipline Without Distress” by Judy Arnall.
Our next chapter-by-chapter book will be “Love and Anger: The Parental Dilemma” by Nancy Samalin with Catherine Whitney. You can see the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Anger-Parental-Nancy-Samalin/dp/0140129928/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299692496&sr=1-1