Steven Kovacs wrote:By way of background, this forum came out this post - many thanks to Paul and Burra for setting it up!
My intent was to have a forum where people could reflect on how the principles and practice of permaculture do and don't shape how they raise their children. That's just my goal; others may well want to go in different directions. Paul and Burra set this up in the Cider Press area precisely because discussions of parenting can prove very contentious, but my hope is that it will be more wheat than chaff. We probably all have strong feelings about raising children, but please try to keep things civil, keeping in mind that what works for one family (or one child in a family!) may not work for another. How we raise children is also hugely dependent on culture, which suggests to me that there's not just one right way to do it - and that what is right will depend in part on the context. One book on the subject that I have yet to read but find intriguing is The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, Changelings. I'd be curious to know if anyone here has read it and if so what they thought of it.
To kick things off, it seems appropriate to share a few random thoughts of my own as the father of a not-quite-2-year-old. Three related permaculture principles stuck out to me in particular: observe and interact, accept feedback, and creatively use and respond to change. Toddlers change and learn at an incredible pace. By trying to pay mindful attention to my daughter, I've realized that she learns much faster than I initially realized. This means, in part, that I often only have to show her something once before she masters it and is ready to go on - and if I persist with something past the point where she's mastered it, she can get bored and frustrated. And seeing her clear desire to imitate her parents in everything (cooking, cleaning, etc.) really drives home the idea that "play" is mostly practice for being an adult.