Building a Foundation

The first few days of a baby's life can bring a deeply spiritual opening between parent and child. The sheer mystery of birth and the vulnerability of this tiny being you hold in your arms are truly awe-inspiring. Many mothers and fathers have told me that they had no way to predict the powerful emotions that poured forth during those first days of parenting. In some cultures, the time immediately following birth is sacred and protected for both mother and child.

Forward Into The Past

The interesting question is whether those of us who were successful students achieved this success by memorizing an enormous number of words without necessarily understanding them or caring about them. Might we have spent a good chunk of our childhoods doing stuff that was exactly as pointless as we suspected it was at the time?

Fathers Must Face Their Fears

It's pretty hard dealing with the idea of really being a father. Scary feelings come up about accepting it, getting involved, learning what to do and how to participate in family life. The commitment part is a heavy thing for me right now. The dramatic lifestyle changes that accompany the entry into fatherhood bring up fears of all sorts.

Fatherless Boys

Just because a father lives at home, does not mean he is available to his son or daughter. Fathers often overbusy themselves, so they don't have to deal with their own responsibility and subliminal pain from their childhood. A parent has to resolve his own issues before he can completely be present and mindful of his children.

Dissolving Power Struggles

We all know that it's best to avoid getting into control struggles with our kids -- battles over going to bed on time, cleaning up rooms, getting homework done, completing college applications when they're due. Yet power struggles are not so easy to avoid. What parent doesn't at times feel locked in a battle in which no one wins and no one surrenders?

Are You a Depressed Parent

The number of children on Ritalin is rising at a truly alarming rate. At the same time, the incidence of clinical depression among adults -- including parents -- is almost epidemic, and continues to rise. We need to understand the connection between...

Dating with Children: Feel the Guilt and Do It Anyway

Dating with Children: Feel the Guilt and Do It Anyway

Some of you might be thinking, "I'd love to start dating, but who would want to date someone with four children, a dog, and two parakeets?" Don't assume just because you have children, you're less desirable. There are plenty of people who like children and who want to date someone with children.

Cross My Heart

When I was little, my mom and I used to have a lot of fun turning old ideas around and changing the meaning into something we enjoyed more. When we heard someone say, "I'm going to kill two birds with one stone," we changed it to "I'm going to feed two birds with one seed!

Communicating With Your Unborn Child

Communicating With Your Unborn Child

In pregnancy and in some cases even before, quite a high proportion of mothers believe they have been in contact with their unborn children. Some of the women studied found their bodies picking up their unborn babies' feelings. "Every once in a while, I have a feeling but I don't know where it comes from. And then I realize that I am not the one having the feeling."

Children and Money

Every generation of parents dreams, works, and saves so that their children experience greater personal prosperity than they. Until the last few years, the steady advances in purchasing power of the average American has made this dream attainable by most. Nevertheless, financial instruction continues to be neglected in school systems and in most families. Perhaps for the first time in American history, better money attitudes and management skills will be required curriculum for the next generation.

Childbirth A Celebration of Life

Birth can be scary, and it can also be glorious. Fear of the unknown causes anxiety in many expectant parents. Empowering yourself with information, knowledge, and the support of experienced people can turn fear into joyful anticipation. It can mean the difference between being a passive recipient of health care services and becoming an active participant in the experience of welcoming your child into the world.

Child Care

How your young children spend their time out of your care will have an enormous impact on how well they perform, both socially and academically, in the future. The following are a few suggestions about choosing daycare and how to ensure your child is getting the most from a childcare situation.

Care and Upbringing of Children

A child will learn ethical philosophy by observing how you treat others around you. Severity is sometimes necessary, mercy is sometimes necessary, and mildness is sometimes necessary. Use your head. Think things out before overreacting to situations. Do not moralize with the child. Speak of actions and behaviors in terms of real consequences.

Broken Wings Can Learn to Fly

Parenting is the most difficult job there is because of the immense responsibility of shaping another human being. A child's character and inner structure are like putty in the hands of his parents. Parents hold the power to shape and mold a child's vulnerable constitution. With such big stakes...

Broken Parents Broken Children

When parents have a baby, they unwittingly have to deal with their own brittle past. At every new stage, memories sneak up. A parent recalls what happened when they were that age. Just as we cope with unfulfilled expectations, the most effective way to avoid recalling childhood memories is to keep moving. There is a syndrome of "running parents", always on the go. The neurosis of running becomes a family affliction, parents insist that their children remain busy as well.

Being Oneself

The most important decision faced by a modern household with children is how to harmonize the time and energy invested in satisfying financial needs, career ambitions, parental responsibilities, sexual urges, and intellectual and recreational cravings...

American Children

Each of us as parents must identify the values we have intentionally taught and displayed to our children. But, we must also ask ourselves another question: What values have we as a society taught our children? Every morning when we pick up our newspapers we see more and more of the consequences of this "education". We know that our kids are in deep trouble because of what we as a society have done.

Adolescents Have Needs Too

Parents of teenagers, take heart! There is affection after adolescence. Even friendship. For those of you who’d like to deep-freeze your teen till twenty-one — you’re not alone. It’s a toss-up whether puberty is tougher on the kids or the parents...

Fostering Courage, Strength, and Compassion in Adolescent Girls

Positive role models are critical to a child's development. Girls need adults in their lives who model assertiveness, strength, caring, and responsiveness. We need to empower them to make decisions and solve problems within the safety net of our love and guidance. Girls need to see us working to continually improve our ability to communicate our needs, hopes, and concerns so that we nurture others but don't lose ourselves.

Adoption in China

by Susan Winston.

Twenty-four of us sat nervously on unforgiving wooden benches. It was a day of mixed emotions. We all knew that behind our own personal happiness was a deeply disturbing practice here in China, a quiet genocide that yearly claims the lives of thousands of female babies and children. This was the day my husband, Jim, and I were to adopt our daughter, Nikki Kate Winston.

Community Service Schools

by John Taylor Gatto. For a while I think we need to make community service a required part of schooling. Besides the experience in acting unselfishly that it will teach, it is the quickest way to give young children real responsibility in the mainstream of life.

Great Expectations

by Johann Christoph Arnold.I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born. Vast numbers of children are endangered by a one-sided approach that sees them solely in terms of their ability to be fruitful -- that is, to achieve and succeed.

Children and Sex

by Morton & Barbara Kelsey

Let's look at some concrete examples of how parental attitudes tend to shape children's sexual identities. Certainly the lack of emotional affection and touch in many homes causes some youngsters to fail to relate sexuality and affection and such parental modeling can cause later sexual confusion. How parents treat the sexual interests and play of children can also have a profound effect upon the adult lives of those children.


follow InnerSelf on


 Get The Latest By Email



Why Donald Trump Could Be History's Biggest Loser
by Robert Jennings,
Updated July 2, 20020 - This whole coronavirus pandemic is costing a fortune, maybe 2 or 3 or 4 fortunes, all of unknown size. Oh yeah, and, hundreds of thousands, maybe a million, of people will die…
Blue-Eyes vs Brown Eyes: How Racism is Taught
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
In this 1992 Oprah Show episode, award-winning anti-racism activist and educator Jane Elliott taught the audience a tough lesson about racism by demonstrating just how easy it is to learn prejudice.
A Change Is Gonna Come...
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
(May 30, 2020) As I watch the news on the events in Philadephia and other cities in the country, my heart aches for what is transpiring. I know that this is part of the greater change that is taking…
A Song Can Uplift the Heart and Soul
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I have several ways that I use to clear the darkness from my mind when I find it has crept in. One is gardening, or spending time in nature. The other is silence. Another way is reading. And one that…
Mascot for the Pandemic and Theme Song for Social Distancing and Isolation
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I came across a song recently and as I listened to the lyrics, I thought it would be a perfect song as a "theme song" for these times of social isolation. (Lyrics below the video.)