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mrosehughes 10-19-2010 12:07 PM

"Aware" parenting: UPDATE post 4
Anyone familiar with this parenting style? It's based on a book 'The Aware Baby' by Aletha Solter (a developmental psychologist) and is punishment/reward free. I am going to attend a workshop about it Saturday with DH, because it sounded like it might have some useful ideas, but thought I'd ask if any of you know anything about it or (even better) practice it! :thumbsup:

nakedbabytoes 10-19-2010 12:19 PM

Re: "Aware" parenting
I wonder how different it is from Unconditional Parenting? We practice that. We are punishment/reward free here. I treat my daycare kids the same way and it works beautifully, and they teach it to the younger ones almost like it's second nature.

nini02 10-19-2010 12:51 PM

Re: "Aware" parenting
I've heard of that book but haven't read it (yet). It sounds like something I would like!

I love Unconditional Parenting too. :)

mrosehughes 10-25-2010 04:26 PM

Re: "Aware" parenting: UPDATE post 4
So I went to the class last weekend and it was great! It sounds like in many ways 'aware parenting' is very similar to 'unconditional parenting'. She even mentioned Alfie Kohn and recommended his book.

If I understand it correctly (and I haven't read 'unconditional parenting', but will probably do so once I've finished with my 'aware parenting' books), the primary addition/contribution of Dr. Solter's is the recognition that babies (and, in general, humans) have a biological need to cry sometimes (it releases stress hormones and is an alternative to our natural 'flight or fight' tendencies). She does NOT advocate CIO: rather she argues that once you're sure your baby's needs are met, and he/she is still crying, you hold them and give them a safe place to express their emotions (ie, cry), and try to relax while they're crying a bit to just 'be there' for them. She suggests that it's better to allow your child to cry than offer/force other 'control devices' (pacifiers, security blankets, ...) because if they're crying then they have a need to express that emotion which is suppressed when 'control devices' are used.

Aside from allowing crying/tantrums, her parenting approach is 'democratic', which as I said before sounded very similar to 'unconditional parenting' (although I haven't read that yet).

I really liked the class/technique and have a few of the books to read, and while I'm not 100% sold on the complete lack of 'control devices' (which include rocking to sleep and nursing to sleep!) I am going to try relaxing more when DS cries and allowing him a bit more time to express himself rather than immediately trying to offer everything in my mom-deck-of-cards to stop him crying. The amazing thing is that I did this on Saturday (right after the class), and he cried for an hour, and has been pretty calm/happy since (which is exactly what she suggests happens: after the release of emotions through crying baby is back into balance and happy).

dandasmommy 10-25-2010 05:17 PM

Re: "Aware" parenting: UPDATE post 4
I'll have to look into that but my kids are older (2.5 and 5.5) so I'd like to see how no reward/punishment might work at their ages.

mrosehughes 10-25-2010 05:20 PM

Re: "Aware" parenting: UPDATE post 4
She has a book that's specifically geared for older kids (I have two that I bought: birth to 2.5 and 2.5 to 8 or 10). I'll look at the specific title when I get home and let you know which it is if you're interested :)

dandasmommy 10-25-2010 05:49 PM

Re: "Aware" parenting: UPDATE post 4
That would be great! Please send me a PM :)

mrosehughes 10-25-2010 09:14 PM

Re: "Aware" parenting: UPDATE post 4
Ok, I'll send a PM, but for the interest of others interested, here are the books, with their respective age ranges:

The Aware baby: conception to 2.5 (yes, she has a few tips for pre-birth...)
Helping Young Children Flourish: 2 to 8 years
Tears and Tantrums: birth to 8 years (this is basically a condensed version of the first two books with a focus more on her unique views on the importance of crying, I think; haven't read it yet, though)
Raising drug free kids: talking age to adulthood

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