Blaming

So it’s your fault. And you know it. Everyone around you blames you. You feel terrible. You put it right, as far as you can. The damage is never permanent. The ‘victim’ [your child] learns from it. So do you. And so do those who prefer learning to condemnation. You let go, you move on. The only people who want you to spend the rest of your life feeling guilty are doing the same to themselves. There is nothing of value in continuously beating yourself up. When did any creative solution ever emerge from doom & gloom? Look around. What are the kids like whose parents are always beating themslves up?  Good role models? Shut down the scapegoat factory, forgive yourself. Set the best example. Jack Stewart

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[That’s Just] The Way It Is

Is the title of a brilliant 1986 song by US group Bruce Hornsby & The Range. It is about race discrimination, about black people being denied jobs and rights. That’s Just the Way It Is Some things will never change That’s Just the Way It Is But don’t you believe them…. When I was young, long before 1986, my parents let me have a lot of freedom compared to today’s kids. Like every other kid, I made mistakes, got into scrapes, broke the odd bone, and acquired the odd trauma and beliefs I would need in later life to release. Did you know that the number of passengers using UK airport terminals rose to 241 million in 2007. This compares to 7 million in 1957. Have you ever had an X-Ray? Doesn’t the radiologist stand behind a screen to protect themselves from the rays? What does that suggest to you? My local airport has introduced ‘scanners’. They use X-rays. The operator stands behind a screen. To protect your privacy? To protect themselves from the X-rays perhaps? Not everyone has to go through them. But if you are spotted travelling whilst Asian, look a bit shifty, or are anxious at airports, you might have to be ‘screened.’ It’s your choice of course, but if you refuse, you won’t be able to fly. Our generation, and our children’s generation, are on the brink of leaving an irreversible legacy for the next generation. We are a nation of suspects. Does your child, or grandchild, need a tag or chip to protect them from the invisible army of ‘bogey men’? Why bother with a cumbersome tag, why not have your baby ‘chipped’ from birth. S/he won’t need the X-rays, can avoid the long queues and be continuously monitored by ‘the authorities’ if they fit the profile. Remember Tony Blair? Whether you agree with him or not, he told lies. Don’t all governments tell lies? Some things will never change. That’s Just the Way It Is. Will you let your child believe them? Jack Stewart

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Cultural Universals

My wife and I have just spent a working weekend in Athens, giving a talk and demonstration about healing to a wonderful group of people, who no doubt are mostly parents. After the talk, our hosts took us to a Greek restaurant, and we listened to a couple of Greeks singing traditional songs and playing [wonderfully] guitar and bouzouki. Our hosts, and most of the diners, got up and did their versions of Greek dances. Fabulous. Elsewhere in the city, we saw the creeping, toxic effect of a universal culture. Teenagers eating fast ‘food’, clothed like American college students, and adopting ‘cool’ [arrogant, zombied, brain-dead] expressions. Every culture has its good points. For reasons too long to go into, Greek culture is one I adore. There are many aspects of British culture I like. Ditto Russian, Asian, Native American and Irish culture. Contemporary, commercial US culture, that which saturates the media and every aspect of our waking lives, has no tradition, no roots, no substance. It is manufactured, corrosive and has a dangerous agenda. As a parent, what can you do? Ban or sensor fast food, [c] rap, gum, violence, ‘celebrity’, vacant expressions and Hannah Montana? We all know this is the quickest route to turn kids on to it. How about embracing what’s good about all cultures? Multi-culturalism has become a cliché, a mantra. The best of it can inspire and educate, the worst of it, divide. You cannot escape the creeping paralysis induced by all this by switching off the television, or not reading papers. It is in your supermarket, in your trolley, on the street, in your kid’s heads, and on most people’s lips. I no more want a Billy Burger ‘joint’ at the Taj Mahal, the Parthenon, the Arc de Triomphe, Stonehenge or the Giant’s Causeway than I do the aspartame, MSG, fat, sugar and salt in our kids’ bodies. Or the images of ultra-violence, or lyrics of some phobic song in their heads. How is reality created in your child’s mind? I think you know. What will you do about it? Because they are worth it. Jack Stewart

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The first post

Hi! I was just thinking about our original book The Coaching Parent. I don’t really know what I expected in terms of where the book might be bought. What has astounded me is that sales have occurred in Sweden, Turkey, Germany, Japan (why not?) and North America. Guess it’s sort of reassuring that the work invested can be discovered! It’s all more important given the imminence of our follow-up work – almost gave the title away then, but then our publisher might kill me… David Miskimin

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