“Hold On To Your Kids”–The Last Chapter

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

Many blessings,


6 thoughts on ““Hold On To Your Kids”–The Last Chapter

  1. Carrie.

    Thank you so much for reviewing this book. We also purchased Gordon Neufeld’s Power to Parent DVD series and LOVED it (worth every penny as a course to do at home in our own time) and have watched it over again. A great way for my husband to get on-board as he has less time to read all the parenting info and usually gets my synopses. The DVD has lots of concrete examples and advice which really brings his philosophies to life.

  2. I do like how you worded “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”

    This summer, I hope to tighten his circle of friends and encourage stronger relationships with the children and parents. I spoke to one mom about it already and she thinks it is a great idea especially since her husband will be deployed soon and her sons will need the security of good friends and good times 🙂

  3. I recently gave a talk at our school about media in our home. I framed a lot of it around this book discussion as I realized that many of our family media rules are based around how much we want (or don’t want) our children’s peers to be virtually in our home. In preparing the talk, I realized how we frame our media rules have moved from worries about over-exposure to young children’s brains to worries about over-exposure to teen media and social influences.

    We also had a big family meeting a few weeks ago and revised the media rules once again. Your book discussion was helpful for me as we entered negotiation 🙂 I can’t really blog about it as my teen would then realize how we actually got her on board with the media rules! Basically, we added some over-the-top rules so that when we had our discussion and compromise, those rules went while the ones the adults really cared about stayed.

  4. I’ve just read this book for the second time, and I think its a great book to return to, as your children mature.Thanks so much for introducing me to this book, Carrie.

    • Carla – You are so welcome! I wish those authors would write more! I think their perspective in combination with Waldorf Education is spot on developmentally.

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