The Aware
Parenting Institute
www.awareparenting.com

Transforming families around the world

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(805) 968-1868 (phone and fax)
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Comments to the Aware Parenting Institute

Comments received in 2008

(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 This is an archived page.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.

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May 2008

Comments from participants at Aletha Solter's workshops in Spain

Click on our page for Spain to read these comments in Spanish.

orange ball I was delighted!

orange ball It was very good. I believe it opens a window of hope in this job of being a parent.

orange ball It changed my understanding of tears and tantrums.

orange ball It helped me become a better human being in all the facets of my life as a therapist and mother.

orange ball Many thanks to Aletha Solter for everything she teaches us so that we can respect all of our children's needs.

orange ball With her books and words, she has placed in our hands the necessary information in order to improve our parenting.

orange ball It was wonderful. Aletha is an exceptional woman, and I am delighted with the philosophy that she teaches.


June 4, 2008

Dear Aletha Solter,

Today I am sick in bed with flu. I have just said goodbye to my four-year-old as I am sending him to nursery school for the whole day. I am too ill to take care of him today, so a full day at nursery school is the only option. I watch him walk down the corridor sighing and sulking, telling me that he does not like me, that I am not his friend, and that he will never love me again! I reply, " I am sorry you do not like me now, perhaps you will like me again...later on?" I close the door and burst into tears. I am feeling very low; it's a combination of feeling ill, not having had much sleep, but it is also about the sadness of feeling his sadness and not always being able to express to him that I do understand. Before returning to bed, I find your book (Helping Young Children Flourish) and in a feverish daze start reading the chapter on crying and raging in children. I experience a sense of calm and gratitude that someone has examined these difficult and confusing moments and offered a sense of clarity about the experience...

Tinka Gordon
London, UK


June 5, 2008

Dr. Solter,

I have, and keep close by, your book on Tears and Tantrums. (I have read your other books as well). I agree whole-heartedly with your philosophy, and hope to be able to attend a workshop in the near future. I have some questions that I do not feel were addressed in your books or articles, for me they are the pitfall that holds me back from being the parent I wish I could be, and others I have shared the book with always come back at me with these questions...

[Description of her situation with her three children]

I included my situation as a real-life example that portrays how frustrating it can be to know what you are supposed to do via your texts, but not HOW to actually apply that knowledge in a real-life situation. How can you effectively and realistically apply this philosophy when you have multiple children? Thank you for your consideration of this point.

A mother in Massachussetts, U.S.A.

Reply from Aletha Solter:

It sounds as if you are struggling with three children and no help, and that you are feeling frustrated because of a gap between the ideal way you want to act and the reality of daily life.

The Aware Parenting approach is difficult to implement when there is not enough support. In my books, I mention that the ideal would be to have at least the same number of adults as children in a home. This is not always possible, of course, because many parents live far away from their extended family. But we need to establish networks or "tribes" to enable us to be the kinds of parents we want to be. Without enough help it is practically impossible to give children the attention they need. So please don't blame yourself if you fail to live up to your own expectations, but try to find support and help with the very difficult job of raising three children who have been through some trauma.

I have addressed these issues in the section "How can I get help with the job of parenting?" on page 228 of my book, The Aware Baby, and also on p.139 of Tears and Tantrums. See also our Parent Support Page.


July 1, 2008

Dr. Solter,

Thank you for your beautiful research and your books. They have the power to change the world! If more parents are following such evolved, insightful, and compassionate parenting approaches, then we are raising what will be a whole generation influenced by these wonderful, loving and self-empowering techniques (and of course the generations to follow).

Monique Lewis
Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia


October 11, 2008

Dear Dr. Solter,

Thank you so much for your books! I am a mother of two children (one and three years old). After the birth of my eldest daughter, I was so destabilized, as my baby was crying all the time. I could not understand. I didn't know what was wrong, and I was so confused, losing completely my confidence as a new mum. Then I discovered your book, Tears and Tantrums, and it literally saved my life and opened up new perspectives, not only for my children, but also for me as an adult. What you are expressing in your book is in fact so logical, and makes so much sense. Living as "independent" individuals (versus in tribes), we tend to forget these essential aspects of respect.

It has now been three years since my first child was born. I have read all four of your books and have been implementing your theories in my family as much as I could. I have to admit that it does not make life easier to be an "aware parent". My children are very active and curious, do no sleep much, and challenge me all the time. But, they have got that "sparkle" in their eyes, which tells me they are happy.

Our eldest daughter is very challenging, though. I feel I am going through a phase as difficult as the one I faced when she was born. We found out with a psychologist (recommended by one of your certified instructors), that she is most probably an intellectually gifted child, although she is a bit too young to formerly pass the relevant tests. Her behavior, thoughts, interests, etc., are demonstrating a high IQ. However, from an emotional standpoint, she is not the most advanced child. She is very emotional, and she always needs many crying sessions to vent her frustration. She does not tend to socialize with other children. I am a big fan yours and of your theories, and I wonder whether you have an insight regarding the "Solter education" applied to children with a high potential. Maybe you wrote an article or maybe you can recommend some books which you feel are aligned with your thoughts.

Thanks again for making this world a better place.

Laurence Krajewski
Montreal, Canada

Reply from Aletha Solter:

Thank you for your message. I am pleased to hear that my books have helped you.

I am not comfortable with the concept of "giftedness," because of the implication that some children are gifted while others are not. Intelligence tests measure only a small range of abilities, mostly verbal and mathematical. Both of my children were labeled "gifted" by the schools they attended. But all children have a high potential, and we may need to abandon the use of the term "gifted," when more children are raised with the principles of Aware Parenting.

Having said that, there is evidence that children do have different innate strengths. For example, some have a better ear for music, some find mathematics easier than others, and some are naturally more physically coordinated. Many of these talents are influenced and shaped by the environment in which the children are raised, but there is probably a genetic component as well.

In addition, there is evidence that children differ genetically in their sensitivity levels. Some children have highly sensitive nervous systems, and are more easily overwhelmed by stimulation. These children also tend to notice more details, and they are deep thinkers. They are able to learn, and carefully consider, all the aspects of a complex situation. These sensitive children are often shy and slow to warm up to new situations. They accomplish tasks very thoroughly, although not necessarily quickly. Many children labeled "gifted" by schools or psychologists are, in fact, highly sensitive. When parents have a child with a highly sensitive temperament (or one labeled "gifted"by schools), I generally recommend Elaine Aron's book, The Highly Sensitive Child, in addition to my own books.

Children who are not highly sensitive are no less gifted. They simply excel in different ways. These are the children who grow up to become leaders, who are quick thinkers, who can multi-task and make rapid decisions, and who see the "big picture" without getting lost in the details of a situation or problem. They can handle changes and challenges without becoming overwhelmed.

It is challenging to raise a highly sensitive child, but it is also challenging to raise a child who is not highly sensitive, for different reasons. Problems can arise in both cases when parents try to make their children conform to preconceived ideas of how children should behave. When parents can understand, and work with, their child's innate temperament and talents, things go more smoothly.

To conclude these comments, I don't like to categorize or label children because each child is a unique individual with many strengths. If we must categorize children, I find the concept of sensitivity a more useful way of describing children than the concept of giftedness. The principles of Aware Parenting, as described in my four books, apply to all children.

If you would like more support or advice about your daughter, we can schedule a telephone consultation. For more information about my consultations and fees, please see my website at www.awareparenting.com/consul.htm.


November 13, 2008

Thank you very much for your book, Tears and Tantrums. It's fantastic!!! Your approach resonates perfectly with what I was looking for. Now I feel my love increasing as I see my baby release tensions and emotions when he cries in my arms.

Agathe Mainguy
France


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