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Babies Not Jails

To transform society - from violence to peace - we need to attachment parent, to practise conscious parenting.

Dr Thomas Verny, one author of The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, talks of building Babies Not Jails here (accessed 20 February 2014):

"Violence does not occur in a social or cultural vacuum. Violence is endemic to our society. Our institutions, values, beliefs and rituals are a function of who we are as human beings. And who are we? There is not one of us who has not felt anxious, helpless, dejected, rejected, angry, criticised or shamed by the time we were two years old. Most of us, in addition, have suffered some form of emotional, sexual or physical mistreatment. We are the walking wounded. Considering the hurts, the injuries to body and soul that we have all experienced in our own personal histories and the history of our species, it is a testimony to the strength of the human spirit and the power of human love that we are as civilized as we are. Our only hope for a better world lies in heightening and deepening this innate capacity to care, to nurture and to feel for others.

To achieve that, we urgently require government policies that will reduce poverty, eliminate income inequalities, eradicate homelessness, and ensure status enhancing work (if possible in paid employment) for all. Abolishing the sexual and economic exploitation of children should be a high priority on any governments' legislative agenda. Censoring videos and television programs featuring gratuitous violence, could be expected to have a small but measurable effect.

What is not needed is to fight street violence with state violence. We don't need more police, more courts and more jails. We need more conscious parenting. Conscious parenting leads to positive psychogenesis [mental and emotional development] and is based, I suggest, on understanding and practicing the following simple rules.

Guidelines for Conscious Parenting and Positive Psychogenesis

1. Preconception

  • Future parents must receive information about what physical and chemical toxins to avoid prior to conception and during pregnancy.
  • Their readiness for pregnancy and raising a child needs to be assessed.
  • If problems, be they psychological, financial or other surface, personal counseling or therapy should be available to them.

2. Conception

  • Every child, ideally, should be a wanted child.
  • Every child should be created as an expression of the love the parents feel for each other. 

3. Pregnancy
Mothers and fathers must explore their:

  • Births.
  • Relationships to their parents.
  • Relationships with their partner and be willing to engage in open and honest dialogue.

Mothers and fathers need to learn:

  • To appreciate the fundamental humanity of their unborn child, their need for love and communication and how to give it.
  • How to bond with their unborn child prenatally and postnatally through talking, singing, dancing, playing with and visualizing him.

The pregnant mother should make every effort:

  • To have a stress free pregnancy. If there is the threat of or actual violence, she must remove herself from it.
  • To attend prenatal classes, if possible, with her partner.
  • To obtain the services of a midwife.
  • To resist the unnecessary use of gyne-gadgetry (amniocentesis, ultrasound, chorionic villi sampling, etc.).
  • To totally abstain from alcohol, tobacco, soft or hard drugs.

4. Labor and Delivery

  • If at all possible, the mother's partner as well as a professional support person such as a midwife or doula should be present.
  • Unless there is a medical problem, the birth should be as natural as possible. That means no fetal heart monitors, no anesthetics or analgesics, no episiotomies and no forceps.
  • Only people that the parents know and trust should be present during labor and delivery.
  • Only professionals who love and respect babies should assist at birth.

5. After Birth

  • Say only complimentary things about your newborn.
  • Insist on holding your newborn and rooming in with her.
  • Resist the installation of silver nitrate eye drops and other unnecessary medicines and tests on your unborn.
  • Oppose circumcision or genital mutilation of any kind.
  • Leave the hospital as soon as possible.
  • Breast feed your baby if you can.

6. First Few Months

  • If you are isolated, vulnerable or depressed, ask for help. Visits by nurses or social workers have a demonstrable positive impact.
  • If the baby develops physical problems don't wait until tomorrow; take her to a doctor now.
  • Don't feel that it's your fault or that you are an incompetent mother if the baby develops colic or cries a lot or does not sleep much.
  • If you are a single mother and you are beginning to lose your patience with the baby, get help. Call a friend, family, women's support group, or social agency. Whatever you do, don't yell, shake, or hit the baby.
  • Babies need a lot of attention. They cannot take care of themselves but they are a source of great joy. Have fun with your baby.
  • Babies can teach us many important lessons. Be prepared to learn.

I hope you will agree with me that to transform the violent world of today into the peaceful world of tomorrow, we need to change the way we treat our children from the very beginning of their lives."  


Also see:-

Violence articles

The Origins of Violence by Ronald Goldman, Ph.D. [external link]


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