Monday, March 1, 2010

‘Heart to Heart Parenting’

I am an avid reader, and becoming a parent just gave me an entire new topic of books to consume. I have just begun reading the book ‘Heart to Heart Parenting’ by Robin Grille1.
I originally read an article by the author Robin Grille in a back issue of Essence magazine (the magazine of the Australian Breastfeeding Association). The paragraph that appears at the top of my blog was the opening paragraph of the article. It was that paragraph that inspired me to finally do something about the isolation of mothers.
So far I have only read the first chapter of the book, but it is really hitting home. It talks about the same things that I am trying to address in this blog. The author uses the term ‘cooperative parenting’ to describe what I have been calling together parenting. I am posting some excerpts of the book below. I hope it sends you all out to buy the book.
“Kids don’t come with an instruction manual,’ we joke to each other and, as we shake our heads, we invoke the wise old lament: ‘It takes a village to raise a child'.’ But we carry on regardless, without the help of the village or extended family, and with precious little helpful information.

How can we benefit from the help of the village if we have to keep our need for help a secret?

There are many mothers and fathers who … feel deeply inadequate because they are at home with one, two or more children all day and feel at their wit’s end; … they are isolated, cut off from their vital support networks. Looking after children is supposed to be a communal, cooperative endeavour. Our species is simply not designed to nurture its young in separate, nuclear family units. No wonder parenting is so stressful for so many people.

Parenting is such a formidable task. Parents need nourishing social contact and practical help on a daily basis. Isolation is an established, major risk factor for depression in parents

in our culture a parent’s need for support has been very badly underestimated.
1Grille, R. (2008). Heart to Heart Parenting. Pymble: Harper Collins.

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