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June 12, 2009


Polly Miriam

Ahhhhh, this is so good! I too read The Continuum Concept when I was a new mother, and though I liked it when I read it, something I couldn't express so clearly as you have, troubled me and I have found myself drawn to Waldorf. I'm still having trouble with the isolation part of being involved in Waldorf, so many families using the TV makes me feel uncomfortable hanging out with them! Anyway, thank you for this post! And thank you for all of your work, which I am just beginning to explore. I have a newly six year old, and an almost four year old, both boys.
Polly Miriam


This is also a topic very close to my heart - I read Liedloff just before I gave birth to my first child and cried and cried, it made me feel very, very sad for my own childhood and dug up issues I never thought I had, let alone could recall about my mother and her method of bringing me up.

I then went on to follow Liedloff's principles with my first child, and have to say now that it was very hard. You hit the nail on the head when you say that we live in the modern world with all its manic stimulation how easy can that be for a child? It must be so disruptive for the small babe in arms.

My first born grew up demanding, sensitive and needy compared to my second child who spent more time in her baby seat or on the play mat (because I had a problem with my back after her birth and could not stand with her for long periods) and is now totally calm, resourceful and centered.

I was under pressure to hold my first child constantly (and in fact, I hardly put her down) because I thought I needed to do what was right, and although it was great when the babe was small, a year later when I was still carrying her, I had to give up - she was just too heavy, but then I was making huge trips to the shops, trying to do everything a modern mother does with that added disadvantage of a babe slung round my hips! Impossible!!! She was totally involved in the hustle and bustle of modern society, cars, public transport, faces everywhere. I thought nothing of it.

So my second child was born in the country, in a small village, never really seeing a car for her first two years of life, running around in freedom from me all the time (she never ran away from me once, she didn't need to! - not like the eldest one who used to run away at every opportunity) and totally present.

I believe that child centered parents can be unbelievably clingy and self centered, thinking they know absolutely what is best for the child, and in turn they can make their own children feel as if they are the centre of the world in a very needy way. Looking back at myself I knew I was just that kind of parent, in addition I hated the idea of imposing a routine on my daughter, who never had one until I discovered Waldorf. In a way I was 'frightened' to do anything that I perceived as unnatural. Looking back on it, I see that she actually was raised in a very unnatural way altogether, with an overbearing parent who never allowed her child to find her own centre herself.


A quick note: we will not be creating a new website for the Madonna Cloak Project yet (August 2009). It will be part of the Christopherus website until it - the Madonna Cloak Project - is up and running.


I think something that is often overlooked in what Liedloff describes as the in-arms-phase in the Yequana tribe is that this phase ends when the child becomes mobile. So we are taking about maybe 6 months, maybe 8 - and then the child takes the lead in when to be with his/her parent or caregiver and when to crawl/toddle off on his/her own. Not that the child is not carried anymore at all, just not all the time - only when the child comes to request it. That is how I understood the book. My daughter is now 4 1/2 months old, and has been carried a lot, but also given ample "floor time" to play uninterrupted. 6 Months is not long at all! She is already starting to scoot and tries to get up on hands and knees. I do plan to carry her still rather than use a stroller, but I am committed to letting her crawl/walk on her own as much as possible. Moreover, I believe this is all within Liedloff's approach as well.. I'd be interested in your comments!

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