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for MotherSpirit

If you had to explain the meaning of love and hate to a child, how would you do it?

  • I would say that love is a feeling of warmth, happiness and joy. That sometimes love is just inexplicable and overwhelming and even can sometimes hurt but that with love comes understanding and acceptance, patience and great surges of feeling. I’d explain that hate are strong angry feelings but often when we really look at hate, we are hating because we are fearful of something or someone, we are hating because we don’t want to look at our own selves, we are hating because we haven’t found a way to let go of the judgment we might be feeling. I’d explain that hate is difficult to feel and difficult to not feel.
  • Love is when someone else’s happiness is more important to you than your own. Hate is when you see traits in others that you dislike and cannot reconcile the fact that those same traits also exist in you – hate is absence of empathy.
  • Love is that whole body feeling that allows you to be selfless – to put the needs of another before your own and the good feeling you have when you do so. Hate is a complete lack of empathy for another person or thing. I don’t see them as opposite sides of a coin. The opposite of love is selfish. The opposite of hate is compassion.
  • First I would share the love between my child and I. Depending on the age, I would use his/her own element in which they live to show examples of what they might love or hate themselves. Hate is a strong word in my vocabulary, and not used without any validity, so I would not introduce the word “hate” to easily.
  • Hmmm… they seem to know it already…I never defined it for them…I guess love would have to be your heart feeling very very full and hate would be your heart feeling very very empty.

If you had to make the case for both nature and nurture by using the personalities of your kids as examples, what would you say?

  • Mmmmm… I’d have to say that nature made my child a slow, methodical and selective – examples are that my child has to do things in steps each and every time he does them (red spoon goes with applesauce, green spoon goes with cereal), he doesn’t adapt well to changes in routine (booktime follows bathtime then comes bedtime), he needs to thoroughly watch and understand something before taking part in it (circling a backyard children’s pool for 20 minutes before entering it). Nurturing gave my child the confidence to cry when he’s hurt, scream when he’s angry or frustrated, jump or laugh when he’s happy – nurturing allows my child to express himself because he knows he’s loved and respected for all his feelings.
  • I can see that his curiosity and his degree of physical coordination are his nature. He rolled over at 2 weeks of age and has been strong and coordinated ever since, and I think it was inborn. He also holds back from trying something until he feels relatively assured of success, and I also think this is innate. An example of a nurtured trait is his empathy – he is extremely sensitive to the feelings of others, and I think that is because we were always sensitive to his. Also this trait has developed over time, leading me to believe it was not innate.
  • Nature – My son is intense with a hair trigger personality, all his feelings are explosive. Nurture – He models the compassion he sees around him and treats everyone with a deep respect. He believes everyone is worthy of his friendship until they prove otherwise. Nature – My daughter has been born with an easy going “observer” personality. Nurture – She has had unrestricted access to me and as a result only cries now if in pain, everything else is verbalized as specific types of whining, and she takes comfort in my breast because it has been offered enough times.
  • I believe the relation between nature and nuture shown through an example of my one year old. The association between how another person or child behaves, i.e., crying, and his need to reach out and help that person, is a way nature breeds us to nurture another.
  • This one is too hard. I really believe in nurture – that it can really turn around (or enhance) anything that nature throws at us. I believe that all children come with a “set” personality, but we can either help it along or hinder it. I also believe some kids are more resiliant than others so the harm effected by one will not be internalized the same.

If you believe that love is blind, what about your children do you think you are most blind to?

  • I think I’m most blind to …mhmm…I’m not sure… I want to say to his use of crying to change events but I’m okay with that – as the adult I set the boundaries for when “tantrums” work and when they don’t.. I recognize them, sometimes I just don’t deal with them appropriately. So, mhmm… I don’t know.. I’m going to have to come back to this.
  • I’m probably most blind to needs vs. wants. I have a very hard time knowing when I can say no to my child since I am so afraid of hurting his feelings and squashing his character! It’s a tricky line to walk – I don’t want to let him get away with murder by any means, but I am so worried about causing him to feel as powerless as I did as a child.
  • That he needs some guidance in safely expressing his more “socially unacceptable” emotions.
  • I don’t believe that the love I feel for my child is blind love. I think the term blind love has been associated with bad decisions and choices we’ve made in our love lives. The love I feel for my child is very much alive and unconditional.
  • Oh boy. This is a hard one lately. I’ve been at such odds with the boys (and even my daughter). I think that infatuation is blind, but I don’t think love is. Perhaps the only thing that love is blind about is physical apperance. I think my kids are the most beautiful creatures on Earth.

If you could move to another country to raise your kids, where would you want to go?

  • I would have to say a country that is more child friendly and less self absorbed .. .perhaps New Zealand or Sweden or Finland or Australia. Of course, I could probably never survive the weather anywhere but Australia. If I could pick up the language first perhaps somewhere like Costa Rica or somewhere more rural, by the beach with a nice climate.
  • Probably Sweden – one of my close friends moved to the US from there a couple years ago, and she can vouch for most of what we hear about the progressiveness of Swedish society. However, the language barrier would be considerable! More realistically, I’d consider moving to Canada – it’s maybe not ideal, but there would be relatively little culture shock and it would at least be better than the US.
  • Hmmmm I feel blessed to be Canadian and would love to simply move to Haida Gwaii. Another country would have to be Norway or Denmark – both are incredibly child friendly countries that respect *parenting* and offer social security nets to help families foster attachment. Norwegian men are great daddies…and they are healthy countries.
  • Oh dear. That all depends. I’ve only been to a handful of other countries, Japan, Cuba, Germany, France, Turkey and South America. None, of which I would “choose” to raise my child in, so if I had to choose by experience, than I would choose the U.S., however, I do not know enough about the rest of the world to make a concise decision.
  • Well, to surround myself with other (IC) mommies, either Canada or Australia – if we were going to be on our own, a Latin country; say Argentina or Chile.

If someone evil were trying to torment you by making you give up one thing for the sake of your children, what would be the worst thing they could choose?

  • my children
  • Other than my children themselves? If I had to give up one thing, the worst thing I could give up is my literacy. I would not be the same person if I could not read, and giving that up now would probably destroy me.
  • My children themselves.
  • As long as it’s not my child, my right as his mother. I could not imagine my life without my son.

If you were to name the one ingredient that is most critical for your child’s education, what would you say?

  • self motivation
  • Freedom to satisfy curiosity! As I’ve been planning our homeschooling future, I’ve come to realize how essential it is to preserve a child’s love of learning. Freedom to satisfy curiosity preserves that love of learning for its own sake, and conversely, squashing that freedom is the death of education.
  • Support
  • Lack of restriction and guidance. Let their hunger and curiosity be their guide.

If you could be 7 years old again for one whole day, knowing what you know now, how would you spend it?

  • I would wake up and eat lots of fresh fruit and whole grain breads and make a picnic basket of fresh foods and some water. I’d go outside for the whole day and play in the grass, in the leaves, do summersaults and cartwheels, I’d lay looking up into the sky and see what cloud shapes I could find. I’d ride a bike or skates and let the wind flow through my hair (which would be long because I’d know that I didn’t want to let my mom cut it off and that I could protest) (and, no, I wouldn’t wear a helmet – come on, its ONE DAY). I’d find lots of little bugs and talk to them. I’d eat my lunch underneath a nice green tree and feel grounded and free and a spirit of the earth. I’d lay down and nap after lunch (but just a short one ’cause I only have one day) under the tree and the sky and breathe fresh air… I’d do a rain dance and when the summer rain came (I can pick the season, right?) I’d run around and jump in puddles and get really wet and watch how different life comes alive when it rains (when the waterbugs wander and the ants shuffle)… I’d run, I’d run and I’d run some more.. I’d pick some flowers and make a bouquet and I’d imagine all the things I’d do when I grow up and how I’d do it. Mhmm…I’m tired now.
  • I would sneak out of the house without fear (to say I was sheltered would be an understatement!), walk to the park and make some friends. I would get to participate in the world of real childhood – I can’t say what those things are though since I never experienced them. I wish I understood that I really would be an adult someday with real freedoms, and that things would be better.
  • I’d be up at dawn and out of the house with freshly baked bread loaded up with honey and a bottle of water. I’d wear my happy face sweatshirt, well worn jeans, and my red canvas sneakers and no socks. I’d bring Boots our collie/wolf dog with me. I’d play pirates down by the creek with twig boats and catch frogs and find watercress and water mint. I’d climb the pine tree without anyone yelling that I’ve gone up to far and survey my domain from there. I’d climb the mountain looking for fairy caves and eating blueberries and wonder if I might be lucky enough to see a bear. I’d scare myself silly when we startled a grouse out from the underbrush. When the day got hot beating down on me I’d go skinny dipping in the lake, until my teeth were chattering. I’d hike into the woods again with the feeling of wet sand in my sneakers and the smell of wet dog comforting me and wonder what it would be like to have to survive alone in the woods. I’d find my cousin’s tree fort and climb up and play inside without fear that the older kids would tell me to go away. I’d eat a lunch of wild greens and garlic – lambsquarters, cress, mustard greens, and sour grasses and I’d lean over the creek and drink like Boots did and wish I could be a dog for a day. I’d pick berries that made lots of purple juice and draw designs on my arms with them, I’d give Boots a streak of purple too on one paw, knowing we would be stained for a week. I’d find pinecones and name each one and have them act out scenes with me. When the sun started to set I’d find a giant puffball and bring it home and have mummy slice it and fry it up in butter and serve me that and a big pile of mashed potatoes and lots of raw things from the garden. I’d tell them all about my adventures and then daddy and I would take milk and bread crusts outside to feed the brownies and Boots and I would stare at the moon and listen to the poplars whispering in the night air until I was really tired and then we’d climb into a clean bed without taking a bath and daddy would tell me a scary salad story before tucking me in with Boots at my feet. I’d have my glasses off and before drifting off to sleep I’d unfocus my eye further until I could see the fairies going about their day in my dollhouse.
  • Loving myself more. Not letting other’s affect me.
  • Hmmmm…that’s 2nd grade…That’s really hard to say. I’ve never really wanted to go back in time – even before I had kids. It just doesn’t appeal to me. I think it would be harder to go back as a kid, because of the childhood I had, it seems like the Adult knowledge would be too painful. I can’t answer this question, except to say I wouldn’t want to go back.
Categories: Parenting