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Comments to the Aware Parenting Institute

Comments received in 1996 and 1997

(The most recent comments are at the bottom of the page)

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We welcome your comments about Aware Parenting and this web site. We reserve the right to post anything you write to us on our page of comments, and to edit it as needed. Please give us your name, city and country. This is an archived page. Please see our current comments page.

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Please note that this is not a personal advice column. If you are a parent in need of advice or support, please visit our Parent Support Page or schedule a telephone consultation with Dr. Solter. Click here for more information about her consultations.


September 6, 1996

Dear Dr. Solter,

This will just be a short, effusive note of praise and gratitude to you for your incredibly helpful and sensible (and sensitive) book, The Aware Baby. It transformed my relationships with children (a miracle) and it also helped me understand myself! (a revelation)....

Do you know of anywhere where they are implementing community programs for the healing of people, children, and parents perhaps? Also, I wonder if you are familiar with Alice Miller's works and the 4-step processing procedure recommended by her and developed by J.C. Stettbacher (in "Making Sense of Suffering"): all valuable contributions to the field. I recommend them to you if you are not already familiar.

Bonnie Dodson
Bradford, Vermont, U.S.A.

Reply from Aletha Solter:

Thank you for your lovely letter...I don't know of any community programs like you describe, although there are a lot of individual therapists doing excellent work. However, there are some organizations that are on the cutting edge, such as the Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health, that has a bi-yearly conference and a professional journal, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children, which is definitely headed in the right direction for educators.

Yes, I am familiar with Alice Miller's work and refer to it in my book, Helping Young Children Flourish. I have not read Stettbacher's work, and I will definitely add it to my list of things to read. I appreciate your letting me know about it.

October 9, 1996

Dear Dr. Solter,

...Thanks for your suggestions of organizations that are cutting edge...I was heartened to see your several references to Miller in your second book. (I actually sent her a copy of The Aware Baby a couple of years ago: my highest compliment to my most adored mentor.) She has withdrawn some support from Stettbacher (via the Internet). Thank you again for your kind response.


Bonnie Dodson
Bradford, Vermont, U.S.A.

December 3, 1996

Dear Dr. Solter,

I don't know if you ever check out the Primal Page on the Internet, but I've made my first contribution to the Letters section (regarding Alice Miller's now rejection of J. Conrad Stettbacher and his dark-room form of primal therapy), and in the course of it I mentioned your book, The Aware Baby positively and also gave your web-site address. It's a very active page, and the people seem lively and hungry for information.


Bonnie Dodson
Bradford, Vermont, U.S.A.

Reply from Aletha Solter:

Thanks so much for your e-mail. I checked out the Primal Page and found it very interesting. I saw your letter. Thanks for mentioning my book and web site.

February 1, 1997

Dear Dr. Solter,

What a treat to find you on the internet! I have been a reader & a fan of yours since I discovered The Doula magazine, and your many thought-provoking articles in many issues. I often feel so torn apart about the way people view my parenting..." I'm too protective" or "I need to force my children to do X" (anything from weaning, to sleeping alone to public school). Thank you for being a voice of reason in a world very critical of loving, attachment parenting styles.

Ellen Lavenson Stanclift
Camden, Maine U.S.A.

Reply from Aletha Solter:

Thank you for your message. I am pleased that you discovered my web site, and that you have found my articles to be helpful. I love The Doula, and enjoy contributing to it. I sympathize with you, because I know how hard it is to listen to criticism and unwanted advice.

March 13, 1997

It was very interesting to find your homepage on the net when I was searching on "holding therapy." I am myself working as a child psychiatrist at an open clinic in Borlänge, Sweden. I want to further develop my work with holding therapy and also spread the sometimes dramatically positive results it can bring about so that more children and their parents can benefit from it. Thank you for your example.

Bengt Gustavsson
Falun, Sweden

Reply from Aletha Solter:

Thanks for your comment. In addition to my own two books The Aware Baby and Helping Young Children Flourish, you might also be interested in Martha Welch's book, "Holding Time" and Jirina Prekop's books in German for more information on holding therapy. Perhaps you are already familiar with their work.

April 3, 1997

Dear Aletha Solter,

I was so pleased when a friend gave me your web address. We read The Aware Baby some years ago, but have not yet seen the sequel. I'll read it as soon as I can. I found out about your book when I worked with Holt Associates (Growing Without Schooling) in Boston. We have four daughters, ages 13, 11, 7, and 3.

We learned from you the importance of crying for children, and have applied it with great effectiveness. We respond immediately to distress and let them cry as long as they need to, while we hold them until they are ready to nurse or talk about it or go back to their play. We have a family bed, though the two oldest sleep in a bed together now. We are non-schoolers. My husband is at home as much as possible (jobs outside only when absolutely necessary).

I still am learning about the problems I have due to a rather violent childhood. We have just recently discovered the book Radical Honesty by Brad Blanton. Do you know it? I recommend it highly. It has been very healing for us. My hope is that our children will never need to learn about Radical Honesty as adults because they will have been allowed to grow up expressing themselves freely.

I would also like to recommend the web site that a friend of mine in Canada does. Her name is Jan Hunt and she does the Natural Child Project. It's a very well-done site and I think you will agree with her material. I am recommending yours to her as well. Thanks so much for your good work. I hope everybody who needs it (i.e. nearly everybody!) will come across it and pass the word.

Mary E. Van Doren
New Marshfield, Ohio, U.S.A.

Reply from Aletha Solter:

Thanks so much for your message. I remember your name from the "Growing Without Schooling" magazine. I am pleased that you like The Aware Baby and I hope that you find Helping Young Children Flourish just as useful. I have not heard of Radical Honesty, but I am familiar with Jan Hunt's Natural Child Project web site. I have corresponded with her, and I like her non-punitive approach.

May 1, 1997

Dear Aletha Solter,

What a wonderful pleasure to find your Home Page on the Internet. I first read The Aware Baby in 1988 when my son was four months old. The first time I tried holding him while he cried (after being manic with ways to "comfort," i.e. stop his crying, for four months), I instantly realized this was the greatest gift I could give to my child. Thank you for your work and research! I now have two children, have read both your books, and have had great success in raising "such happy, mellow and focused children," as so many people tell me. My only problem, if you want to call it one, is sharing this information with other parents. There has been quite a mixed response, and I have grown somewhat cautious to say anything to anyone, although I still do try different approaches with a very small selection of people. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you, again.


Reply from Aletha Solter:

Thanks for your comments. I am very pleased that my books have been helpful to you. I know what you mean about the difficulty of communicating information on crying, because many people become very upset when children are crying. This is probably because it reminds them of their own painful childhood emotions, and their own repressed need to cry. So I have found that the best time to talk about crying is when children are not crying! One of the things I always do in my workshops on this topic is to invite the participants to share childhood memories of their own parents' response to their crying. This is usually effective in helping people realize that their own crying was often repressed. You could try this as part of a conversation with another person during a discussion about crying. People are generally more receptive to new ideas about child-rearing after having had an opportunity to talk about their own childhood. You can then present the information casually, saying that this is an approach that has worked well for you and your children (without criticizing other approaches). This should help reduce defensiveness in other parents. You can also refer people to my books and online articles, if they are open to more information. There are other sources as well. I am not the only one who has written about the importance of crying. Good luck!

May 5, 1997

Have you developed any parenting curriculum for fathers? Please advise. Thanks.

Dr. Amelia Rose
West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

Reply from Aletha Solter:

Thank you for your message and interest in Aware Parenting. I have not developed a parenting curriculum specifically for fathers. Both of my books, as well as my workbooks, are appropriate for mothers and fathers. Aware Parenting is not really a curriculum, but rather a way of being with children, based on awareness of their feelings and needs, as well as awareness of the source of one's own feelings.

May 12, 1997

Hello! I am a Marriage and Family Therapist and will recommend your site to my clients. I also plan to link to you from my new web page, which is still under construction.

Donna Reilly Williams
Woodinville, Washington, U.S.A.

Reply from Aletha Solter:

Thanks for your comments and for spreading the word about our site.

September 9, 1997

I think this page is great. Keep up the good work!


November 13, 1997

Dear Dr. Solter,

A few months ago I consulted you by letter about my son. I have followed your advice and I am happy to say that my son is his normal, happy self again. I want to thank you for your letter and advice because it helped greatly. I am convinced that Aware Parenting (together maybe with PET training) is the best way of helping children develop and grow. Thanks.

Hedwig Alijk
Vlaardingen, The Netherlands>

December 15, 1997

Dear Dr. Solter,

I am a new mother of an 8-week-old little girl and I am constantly looking for information on Aware Parenting, although, until I found your website, I didn't know that's what it was called! My goal as a mother is to make the next generation better than my own, and I am so thrilled to have found you. I am anxious to read your books and educate myself further. I was pleased to see reference to Alice Miller in some of the other letters written to you, as I am a fan of her work as well as the work of Mr. John Bradshaw (my idol thus far!). Thank you for giving parents alternatives to mindlessly continuing abusive, destructive patterns!

Jennifer Hogenkamp
Portland, Oregon


This page was last updated on June 6, 2013. Copyright © 1996 to 2013 by the Aware Parenting Institute. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical (including copying to other web sites, and including translations), without written permission from Aletha Solter.