the Raising Parents Manifesto
The story of Raising Parents… who we serve, why we seek changes, and the changes we aim to make…
Who is it for? Our grandchildren
Who is it not for? Our grandparents
What is it? Leadership for raising a generation without childism, and ending child abuse in our lifetime
"Like the vast majority of people, I have spent the vast majority of my energy stopping other people from noticing that I am THIS messed up, hoping they believed the lie, ‘I am only this messed up.’
"Part of that lie is covering up the mess made in me from living in a childist culture, where casual child abuse and neglect is completely normalized –to fit in. To promote the lie, 'I am only this messed up,’ I have to act as if 'the way I was raised and the culture I was raised in was only this messed up' were true.
"If I notice, or comment on, how truly messed up the culture and how I was raised is, I uncover my darkest fear: that people will find out how messed up I truly am, and how deeply that messed up, childist, abusive and neglectful this culture really is." ~Linda Clement, ThriveParenting coach
When a huge part of everyone’s security and sanity seems to be tied up in ‘this culture is us, this is what we do and do not do, this is who we are,’ stepping out of that mainstream to see it objectively is hard. It means risking rejection, isolation, abandonment, loneliness and the shocking loss of longstanding relationships.
It helps to have support, the wise counsel of folks who went before, and a burgeoning community of people out here on dry land with us, seeing the stream for what it really is and portaging to a different way of living for ourselves, our children and, hopefully in time, our world… a way of living that spans:
- how people need groups of people to thrive
- how stress really doesn’t make children into better adults
- where the realities of modern life from the digital world to education and economics are recognized as available to be used as we choose, not necessarily only how they have been used to date or what the designers thought they were making them for.
We are creating a responsive population that can more readily adapt to change than people who were raised in the mainstream of This is How It MUST Be Done, who do not spend their lives struggling and stressing over the inevitable shifts in the real world, as if holding back the tide were ever possible.
We seek to raise children who will be the movers and shakers, the change agents who adapt to the changes made to meet real human needs, centering people (and their real needs) rather than the imaginary needs of systems, ideas or traditions.
Come join our community on dry land, outside the mainstream, where we stumble and strive to a world kinder and more respectful of children...
Perspective, Understanding & Information:
The Impact of a Parent Coach
A Parent Called Ari, A Parent Called Kai...
Born to the daughter of a war bride and a POW, and the son of an immigrant and a refugee, Ari got together with Kai when they were both 26.
Kai was born to a single mother who never declared the father and was raised first by an aunt, then in the foster system.
Ari is the 2nd oldest of 5, and Kai is technically an only child with many foster-siblings in the system.
Neither expected to marry or have kids, until they got together. They had been living together for about 11 years when they married and started talking about children.
While talking with their therapists, they decided they were emotionally capable of handling a child. Once Kin was born, they both realized that neither their own childhoods, nor the years of therapy and healing, had really prepared them for parenthood.
They read books and used apps and talked to their friends and therapists... and never seemed to find what they wanted -- a way of raising kids that gave children a voice and protected them from the stress and drama of their own histories.
On a ferry boat ride to vacation on an island, Kin is antsy and noisy, kicking seats and making random sounds, throwing toys and crackers. Ari and Kai take turns:
"Honey, we don't kick chairs."
"Stop throwing your crackers."
'Please stop making weird noises."
et cetera... with decreasing patience and increasing intensity and volume.
An older woman is seated nearby... she makes sympathetic eye contact with Ari and Kai in turn, then focuses on the toddler...
"Hi, sweetie... boat rides aren't much fun, hey?" The child reaches a hand toward the lady, offering a sweaty and slightly crushed cracker.
"Ew, hey, that's gross," says Ari
"You're offering to share your crackers..." the woman smiles at the parents... "That's generous. I will hold it for you if you'd like, but I'm not hungry." She stands up and takes the mucky cracker like it's golden trinket and holds it carefully on the palm of her hand.
"This age is a challenge, isn't it?" Ari and Kai nod, and Ari starts talking...
"After all my therapy, you'd think I'd know how to handle such intense frustration. I feel crazier now than I did at 20 when I realized how much I needed professional help." The lady played peek-a-boo with Kin.
"Me, too. I'm so impatient and my anger is frightening. I was this angry at the foster system when I left, and that took years to handle. I thought I was ready to parent. Now I feel like a fraud and a failure."
"I remember that --life isn't very kind to children and it can be surprising to find ourselves so filled with resentment we've long ago forgotten... just when we most need to live up to that childhood vow..."
Both Ari and Kai stared at her. One of them mumbled quietly, "how did you know?" The lady smiled knowingly and turned back to the child, "I saved your cracker for you..." and passed it reverently within reach.
"Oh, it's always easy to spot the adults who wer kids who promise to themselves... it's how hard they try and how much they care." Reaching into her bag, she pulled out a deck of playing cards...
"Here... these are more fun than you'd expect. Don't worry about them getting wrecked, I have more," and passed the box to the child, opening the lid slowly to demonstrate how, and closing it again slowly, then letting go. She walked away to amble around the deck outside.
Kai and Ari watched, amazed, as the box of cards fascinated Kin for half an hour...
The ferry had docked and Ari and Kai gathered up all their stuff to leave and started walking. Kin stood frozen and started to cry. They kept calling back,
"Come on, we have to go," and,
"I know you want to stay and play but we have to leave," and,
"Just come on!" Again, their patience ravelled and tempers grew.
The woman came through the lounge area as they were just starting to shout at Kin, and Kin's face turned to panic. She walked up beside Kin and said, "Can I help you get to them?" holding out a hand. Kin sighed a sob of relief and took the lady's hand and walked with her to her parents.
"Can I help you carry anything?"
"No, it's okay, we just can't carry Kin, too."
"Oh, is your name Kin? Hi, I'm Linda," she said to Kin, then said, "I can walk Kin with you if you'd like... You know that they don't learn to follow a moving target at the same time they learned to walk, right?"
Ari and Kai stared at her again, and looked at each other, sheepishly, "no... no, we didn't know that..."
Kai looked into space... "I remember being little, getting yelled at and unable to move at all --I wanted to go with them but I couldn't make my body move. I remember I got spanked and called stubborn." Face pale and eyes wide, Kai continued, "They told me I was bad."
Linda watched Kai's face for a moment, then said, "Yes, it's amazing how litttle most people know about child development, considering that we've all been children. You have a long memory."
"I wish I didn't."
"It will make you a better parent, if you let it... Oh! Is this your ride?" Linda bend down to Kin's level and said, "It's been very nice meeting you. I will remember you. Enjoy your cards." She stood up and waved at them as they drove away, then walked across the parking lot.
Later that day...
About a decade later...
Ari, Kai, and Kin are in a restaurant. Kin is staring at a phone, poking the screen from time to time. Ari is complaining to Kai about 'kids these days' not having any appreciation for what they have, and is getting louder as the list of what Kin does or doesn't do that should or shouldn't be done.
Kin very quietly says, "I'm playing a game, I'm not deaf." Ari blushes and becomes visibly angrier as Kai says, "You need to learn some respect," and leans over to pull Kin's phone away, when Kai sees an older woman come up behind Kin's chair. Kai freezes in recognition...
"Kin?" she says, and Kin looks around as she moves beside the table and into view... "Hi, what are you playing?"
"Just a dumb game..." Linda peeps over the phone to see, and says, "Oh, hey, I play that! My team is Canada Maple, are you on a team?"
"Well, if you join, I'll give you life every time I play..."
"Cool... Canada Maple..."
Linda looked at Ari and Kai and said, "It is hard to remember what it was like to be that age, hey?" Kai looked sheepishly at the table, Ari looked at Linda in amazement.
"I heard you say respect.. was that what you would mean to say?"
Kai blushed and mumbled at the table, "no, I guess not."
"What were you into at that age that was 'dumb kids'? It was roller skates, for me..."
"Ha! Inline skates!" Kai looked relieved and nostalgic.
"It was pokemon cards, for me... and Tamagochi!"
"Oh, wow! Tamagochi... somehow nothing like real pet poop. Did you kill yours?"
"So many times!!"
They all laughed, except Kin who just looked confused. Linda said, "an old cheap electronic toy you had to babysit all day every day or it would die of starvation or too much poop in its cage... very silly."
"Wow, you guys were weirdos," Kin said, looking at the parents in a new light.
"Yeah, I guess we really were. I never fit in, even when I had all the fads," Ari mused.
'I never had any of the fads, except my rollerblades that some brat in a foster home sold to someone for money to buy beer. I didn't even get any of the beer."
"Dark memories, hey? It's hard being a young teen without anyone who understands what you're going through, isn't it?" Linda looked up and added, "oh, there's my dinner date... enjoy your meals!"
"I think it will taste a lot better than we expected..." Ari said as Linda walked to greet her companion...
What Our Readers and Clients Say
In Our Store
Raising Parents Inc.
private parent coaching packages
online courses and webinars
books, blogs & more
Are you struggling as a parent?
Raising Parents can help
With 20 years of experience in ThriveParenttm coaching
(and over 30 years of helping parents and families thrive)
We can help you:
- Imagine understanding your child's developmental stage
- Imagine understanding how kids think (differently from adults)
- Discover how to work with your kids for everyone to succeed
- and discover a perspective that sees your child (and their behaviour) in a more compassionate and helpful way
- What kind of perspective? Read the story of Ari, Kai & Kin, below 'In Our Store' to understand more about what kind of
- complete impact a parent coach can have on your family
Why do we help parents?
For world peace.
Better parenting magically makes healthier children, and healthier children magically make healthier adults, and healthier adults make a more peaceful world --for everyone... so we help parents get better at nurturing their children so we can all have world peace.
See Raising Parents' manifesto, below our booking calendar