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This weekend I heard a quote attributed to Arnaud Desjardins:

"The unmet needs of the child become the desires of the adult."

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A balanced view on vaccines is generally missing from the available information/literature. It seems to me that what matters most is what you as a parent can get behind with regard to vaccination. It is said that vaccination can impair the development of the immune system in an infant or young child. There are the scary stories about adverse reactions to inoculations. These do occur. The other side of the argument says that childhood illnesses that formerly caused injury or death have virtually disappeared due to vaccines. This would seem to be true, yet I wonder if that means we should continue to administer them to all children forever? Modern medicine tends to turn a blind eye to long-term effects of allopathic treatments, but practitioners of alternative medicine can be as myopic and rigid in their own way. As the caretakers of our children, we are called upon to make decisions which will have life-long effects on them. Our individual parenting decisions also have impact in the larger community. It's no wonder we feel pressured!

With my first child, instead of starting immunizations at two months of age, my husband and I chose to wait until he was six months old to give his immune system more time to develop. We did the the first year's worth of vaccinations with him and no more. I recall that after at least one of these inoculations, he did have high fever and discomfort lasting many hours. By the time our daughter was born, we were considerably more relaxed and the inoculation question was a non-issue. We did not vaccinate her at all. When our daughter was under six, she and I—who was fully inoculated as a child!!—both caught a mild case of whooping cough from an un-inoculated playmate. We experienced many, many weeks of a lingering, gagging cough. My daughter would cough so hard she would throw up whatever food she had most recently eaten. I became quite expert at catching these up-chucks in many settings—playground, car, dinner table. Both our kids traveled with us on a five-week trip to India, before which they received homeopathic inoculations. I don't recall either one of them getting sick at all. And today they are both quite healthy and strong young adults. However, it is said that getting a childhood illness as an adult is much worse than getting it when young, so I may yet have cause to regret not fully immunizing them. 

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My husband and I love road trips. When we took off in the car before our daughter was born, we would buy our favorite two food groups (sugar and salt) at gas stations and be on our merry way. Once we had a child, wanting to be responsible parents, we decided we would buy healthy car food before leaving and not purchase snacks from gas stations. For two years we would buy healthy food (apples, grapes, nuts, seeds, rice crackers and like that) to eat in the car.

But the habit of snacking from gas stations was strong. We would still buy sugar and salty as we traveled and gobble those up. When we got home we would throw out the healthy stuff out because it had gone hard or soft or bad and was uneatable.

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Jean Liedloff Video: Touch the Future

This interview with Jean Liedloff, author of The Continuum Concept, by Michael Mendizza (Touch the Future) is the best summary of her views regarding innate intelligence-capacity and how we routinely interfere with this at great harm to children, adults and society.

Joseph Chilton Pierce: Play is Learning

The state of authentic PLAY is nature's design for optimum learning and performance, at any age, in any activity. We substitute conditioning and call it learning, which is a big reason why retention is so low and dropout rates are so high. Five Stars!!! A must see for parents, educators and early childhood providers. With Michael Mendizza.

Joseph Chilton Pierce: Mother-Infant Bonding & The Intelligence of the Heart

"This brief nine minute program may be the most important you, as a mother, father or caregiver, will ever see. Bonding is much more than what we 'think.' It is a coherent harmonic resonance of one heart to another. The nature and quality of the mother's emotional state broadcast via her heart-energy has a profound influence on every stage of her unborn and newborn babies' development, physical, emotional and intellectual."

Dr. Gabor Mate: Attachment and Conscious Parenting

Gabor Mate, MD, co-author of Hold On to Your Kids, is interviewed by Lisa Reagan for Pathways to Family Wellness at his Kids, Culture and Chaos talk in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the spring of 2011. The event was hosted by Belvedere Integrated Healing Arts.

Gordon Neufeld: Raising Children in a Digital World

Developmental psychologist Gordon Neufeld (co-author of "Hold On To Your Kids") discusses how parents can prepare children to live and thrive in the digital world at the KMT Child Development and Community Conference in Toronto.