Spirited and inspired parenting for Happy Children
Magic happens when you know about the power of the word
Coming out of the dark ages when kids were kept in line with a good old flogging and parenting issues were dealt in much the same way you learn to fix cars with a manuel, I discovered I had everything to learn about raising kids. Children are not material things made of nuts and bolts. They are sensitive, spiritual beings who need emotionally balanced parents. Parents who know how to inspire to do the right thing. Parents who listen to grievances without defensiveness and give praise easily without fearing it might 'spoil' them. Parents who know who they are empowered by the notion that life is a process of creation. Parents who aren’t afraid to encourage their children to reach for the stars and fullfil their dreams.
My first-born was very much like a test run; a sacrificial lamb of sorts on whom all the mistakes are made. In hindsight one marvels at how resilient life is. Born with ADHD, he had chronic colds and diarrhee the doctor prescribed one course of antibiotics after another for. Total madness in hindsight. Then one day he came home from school covered in bruises. Tests revealed he had a serious blood disorder, Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), very likely after being immunized from MMR. This marked a pivotal moment in my life and the start of a big turnaround. The ‘specialist’ wanted to give him cortisone. I went to a homeopath instead and he recovered completely, his runny nose, and diarrhee included. Suddenly it was clear to me he had suffered from food allergies and the antibiotics had further compromised his immune system to a point when he receiced the immunization his body couldn’t handle it.
After that I never looked back and by the time Tommy was born, 5 years later, from a second marriage with an Australian meditation teacher, my understanding of life had shifted a great deal. The family moved to the desert of Western Australia on a small emerald mine, a crazy idea driven by an obscure desire to explore the unfathomable. We lived there practically alone and isolated from the outside world. Surrounded by that much available space I felt inspired to have two more children bringing the total to four: Jonathan, Tommy, Amber and Helena. Despite the reaction of Jonathan to the MMR vaccination, it wasn’t untill Helena was born that I finally had the courage not to immunize at all and I’m so glad I didn’t. Our immune system was perfectly designed and doesn’t need cocktails of ‘God knows what’. Suffice to have a balanced diet of live foods, cut out sugar and live happily which our new living circumstances naturally provided.
The mine camp was made up of transportables called 'dongas', a kitchen mess, a large watertower, a big shed, a little house, a pool and 2 artificial lakes. The water attracted a lot of birds, wildlife and multitudes of snakes. Regularly they paid us a visit and occasionally even in our bed. We had no television, no radio, no mobile phones and no real internet because those were the days of Compuserve. In the evening after we tugged the children in bed we turned off the generator. The silence was absolute (if you watch the video I posted of Tommy fixing his father’s car you’ll notice the palpable silence of an environment without cars or traffic) We could hear a car arriving 20 km away so stranger danger did not exist. Sugar and sweets were never an issue unless we had visitors. Then their car would be subjected to a search warrant. We ate organic and fresh vegetables from the veggie patch. No need to worry about pests, they had not discovered our oasis yet. The children grew up like little Moglis in the jungle book…totally free to roam the land, climbing trees and playing with nature. Tommy who accompanied his dad everywhere, could operate an excavator from the time he was six. We always had a nanny for extra eyes and a teacher for Jonathan. I did try to teach him myself but quickly realized that the job of teacher and mother weren’t compatible. We always sought one with a child so Jonathan would have a playmate.
Having extra eyes to watch the children could never be enough however. Young children are very mobile, very creative, very curious. Early on I realized I needed more help because of the dangers. Big machinery, a very high water-tower, dangerous tools, snakes, Redback spiders or simply wandering off were all potential killers. There was also a lot of water around. For the mining activity we needed water pumped up from the underground into two artificial lakes. Before the water overflowed into the lake, it poured into a buried watertank /swimming pool.
It only takes a split second for something to happen, so the safety of my children was always on my mind. To keep them out of harm's way I would also enlist the help of the angels. Considering they survived their childhood, it must have been an entire army of angels including Special Forces angels! Angels and Archangels are entirely devoted to service and they can help everyone everywhere all at the same time. No job is too small or too unworthy. You don't have to 'deserve' Angel help either and you don't have to turn it into a formal request. Angels have a great sense of humour and their protection is 100% fail proof but unless you call on them they cannot intervene because of the sacred law of free will. Much like human endeavours, sometimes the service they provide is a solo job such as when they will ensure your child won't be bitten by a snake. At other times it's a partnership that requires you to be fully present to pay attention to sudden thoughts or feelings that arise.
For example one day while I was cooking in the kitchen, I felt a sudden impulse to check on Tommy who was playing by the pool with Hannah, our teacher's daughter. I could have just ignored it but I didn't because my personal radar was always on alert. The kitchen was about 100 meters away and from the doorway I could see the chlidren were playing with a ball. As I stood watching I witnessed Tommy lean over the water on his knees wanting to catch the ball that had fallen into the water. Leaning just a little too far he tipped over into the water. He was 2 years old and couldn’t swim. Bolting across at lightning speed I reached the pool in no-time and stopped for just a split second at the edge to assess the situation. Tommy was sitting happily at the bottom of the pool with a smile on his face, air bubbles slowly escaping his mouth. Thank God, he hadn’t sucked in water yet. You might wonder why our pool wasn’t fenced. A team of workers spent an entire week fencing areas to contain my children much to their bemusement. Within minutes of completion it was breached.
It is during that time that I discovered the Conversations With God books from Neale Donald Walsch. I learned in great detail how to create with the power of words, thoughts, feelings and decided to test my creative powers with the weather. Why not? If truly we are like the books explains, gods; beings created in the image of God, all things are possible. Did Jesus not say something like, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things "? And so it was I started to ask for rain and lo and behold, as soon as I asked, I could sense a change in the air. That's how it is when you live in a highly energized and clear place isolated and with no people or group consciousness to interfere with your thoughts. It usually took three days for the rains the arrive and for two years in a row we had the greatest rainfall on record. It was a lot of fun because rain meant the roads closed down and we were truly on our own. The whole atmosphere became charged with entrancing smells and bird songs piercing a universe of total silence. It felt like we were in the womb of Mother Nature. Manifesting rain was so easy, I taught the boys how to do it as well. One day I found them fighting, one accusing the other over the fact it was raining too much and to stop doing it!
After a few years living on the mine, we decided to spend summers in Denmark in WA where the climate is cooler and the children could get to know the world, go to school and have friends. I was to stay with the children, while their father travelled back and forth between the mine and Denmark. For the first time the children were confronted with the realities that tag along with living in a “civilized world” and in a way I felt like moving into chaos. The concept of living behind locked doors was totally alien. Everything was restrictive and imposing and for Tommy it was the fact he could not be his dad’s offsider anymore. The first trip into town, Tommy asked if he could accompany his dad as he always had done, but the answer was a firm ‘no’. My heart was hurting as I could feel Tommy's bewilderment.
Mark jumped into his car and drove off quickly yet on his way into town he noticed in his rear vision mirror, a woman at the wheel of a car gesturing madly with her finger pointing towards his car. No matter how hard he tried to find what was wrong with the car he couldn't see anything and kept driving but the woman didn’t give up and was clearly extremely agitated. In the end he decided to pull over and check what might be the problem. He found Tommy hanging unto the spare wheel. It didn’t take long before people knew about us....or the police who on more than one occasion picked up Tommy on his way into town on his little bike without a helmet.
Everything was new and not for the better. Shops and having to pay for things, strangers, roads and red lights, highways and traffic jams, sweets, chewing gum and chocolate bars in quantities never seen before and having to keep the clothes on. I had literally descended into hell. Their favourite game was running around naked on the roof of the house. The neighbors thought we were mad. Amber who could walk at nine months because of her unbounded enthusiasm to explore the world, felt extremely inspired in this new environment. So many places to discover especially down by the river preferably without clothes, so many sweets to grab, especially bubblegum in the pump station across the highway….needless to say I spent my entire time chasing after her whilst pushing the pram with Helena up the hill, down the hill. Ironically we lived in a cute white house with a picket fence surrounded by roses on top of the hill in plain view for all to see. One day we had a man at our door obviously shaken. He had missed Amber by a hair when she ran across the highway to get to the bubblegum. If ever I wanted to have a coffee in town with friends, the moment I opened the doors of the van, the 4 scattered in 4 different directions and my coffee break turned into a ‘catch me if you can’ game.
Despite all this I rarely shouted. Instinctively I knew the moment you shout the situation escalates. Shouting is a pushover tactic ending up with defeated parents whose last resort is threatening physical abuse which is rarely delivered. My kids were way too smart to fall for that one in any case. Ever so patiently, I tried to remain calm when confronted with their naughtiness. If they had been spirited little beings before, now I was trying to contain a hurricane in a teacup. I needed a miracle and fast.
One day it all came to a head. I had moved and was now living in a teepee on my friend’s block. The naked children running around on the rooftop of the village had not impressed the owner of the house. It didn’t help his father used to eye us with a lot of disapproval from across the road where he happened to have a shed. My husband was away at the mine and it had been a particularly difficult few days. I felt alone, helpless and powerless and I almost wished for them to die. There were stories making the news about desperate mothers drowning themselves with their kids and I could empathize with them. Whilst entertaining those dark thoughts in the dark of the night, in tears and feeling very sorry for myself, I was jolted back to reality with the piercing screams of Helena, my youngest daughter. When I ran into the teepee I found her crying in pain and vomiting but almost as suddenly it stopped and she fell back asleep much to my relief. Shaken by what just happened, I recognized a very strong message. Never again was I going to indulge in harmful thoughts.
The next day I saw she had been bitten on her eyelid by either a spider or a scorpion. It wasn’t swollen but the fangs were clearly visible. I took her to the hospital to have her checked but they sent me to the homeopath. “Unless you know what creature bit your daughter we can’t help you” they told me. The homeopath who I knew well proceeded to freak me out even more by telling me that if the bite was from a flesh eating white-tailed spider, homeopathy was helpless. I left feeling worse for wear.
Back in the car and wondering what to do next, I suddenly remembered a friend also a mother of 5 children who had struck me as having things well under control. I decided to pay her a visit. Luckily she was home and invited me in. I shared my nightmare around a cup of tea and asked how she managed to have such well behaved kids. She said she had a book I might want to read that had really helped her. The book was called ‘The Secret of Happy Children’ from Steve Biddulph. Until then I wasn't too impressed with the self-help books on parenting but now I felt so utterly defeated I would have read the Bible backwards twice if that had done the trick.
As it turned out, I needn’t worry because the book was so much fun it made me laugh from the first page. It also totally completely and absolutely turned things around from that moment onwards. It was a total miracle.
What I learned is as simple as it is effective yet to some degree I found the experience comparable with having to learn to write with my other hand.
Steve Biddulph explains that you have to tell your children what to do instead of what not to do. If you tell them; ‘’Don’t go there!” what they actually hear is “Go there!” 'Don't' being weaker isn't registered by the brain.
When you say: "Don't go there", what they heard is: "Go there". So while I thought they were being disobedient little brats, they were actually listening.
What I needed to say instead was; “Stay here!”. Speaking slowly and deliberately whilst making eye contact reinforces the instructions. Don’t be fooled if it sounds simple because it does require a complete overhaul of learned speech patterns. I was really surprised when I realized I was speaking to my children in much the same way my mum and dad did; 'Don't dos' totally dominated everything.
After I finished the book, I took the kids into town and turned it into a mission. I repeated clearly over and over again, just to be sure they really got what I expected of them: “You stay close to me and close to the car. When we get into town until I’m ready to go, you stay together!”
To my utter delight that is exactly what happened and for the first time since arriving in Denmark I was able to have a coffee. Since then I never looked back. In the beginning I had to really think on my feet to stop myself from speaking the old way. The way my parents spoke and the way everyone speaks. I can hear it all around me. Parents getting frustrated with the kids and raising their voice, not realizing they are doing exactly what they are asked to do.
I hope sharing my story has been of help to you as well. Children are precious and need to be spoken to lovingly and respectfully because the life they will manifest depends on it. Self- respect, self-belief, self-acceptance and self-love are all qualities that are imparted by caring and aware parents. If in the past humanity was ignorant abou the power of the spoken word but today is another reality. Today humanity is becoming more conscious and leaving behind the dark ages of power over others. These old paradigms have caused enough havoc. Now is the time to resurrect from the slumber of ignorance and walk into the light awakened and in joy.
My gratitude to Steve Biddulph is beyond words and to those who feel inspired by my story, I seriously recommend reading
‘The Secret of Happy Children”.