From the Author
The Natural Child is a collection of essays on parenting and education which I wrote between 1988 and the present. The essays were written to help parents and future parents understand the critical importance of treating their children with dignity, respect, understanding, and compassion from infancy into adulthood. I hope to inspire parents toward a new way of being with their children that allows for a mutually trusting and loving relationship based on respectful, gentle guidance and emotional support.
This approach has been called attachment parenting or empathic parenting. It is often considered to be New Age but it is in fact, age-old. Many of the practices that I recommend in this book were the norm for thousands of generations, and have only been questioned within the last 100 years or less.
Empathic parenting, to put it most simply, is believing what we know in our heart to be true. Children raised with love and compassion will be free to use their time as adults in meaningful and creative ways, rather than expressing their childhood hurts in ways that harm themselves or others. If adults have no need to deal with the past, they can live fully in the present.
It is my belief that through empathic parenting the world can become a more peaceful and a more humane place, where every child can grow to adulthood with a generous capacity for empathy and trust. Our society has no more urgent task.