Don't Retract Pack

Parenting in Peace

By Daisy L. Hall
Contact Hall at: DaisyHall@choosepeace.com


I urge you to be at peace with your children. Many parents are at 'war' with their children - constantly fighting over homework, chores, curfew, etc. Such households are characterized by frustrated, yelling parents; and fearful, crying, unhappy children. If you find a need to chastise or punish your children on a daily basis, there is a need for change. Isn't it time to end the conflict? Make a commitment to peaceful parenting and a peaceful household by embracing the concepts outlined here.

To parent in peace:

1. Give some thought to your childhood. Think about what you liked and did not like about your growing up experience. Think about your childhood relationship with your parents.

Why is this important? Because parents will inevitably relive their childhoods through their children. And, whatever unresolved issues you have from childhood, will show up, one way or another, in your relationship with your children - often in very unhealthy ways.

What issues have you carried into adulthood? Do you have unresolved issues with your parents? Do you have issues around control, sexuality, school performance, anger , trust or intimacy? If so, think about how these issues may be affecting your ability to be a good parent. See my article, Do Your Own Therapy.


2. Think about the problems you are having with your children. For each problem, ask yourself, is this really important? Why does this bother me so much? If the child does not change this behavior, will there be serious consequences? Sometimes a problem becomes a power struggle that the parent is unnecessarily determined to win. But, what value is winning if you destroy your relationship with your child? Ongoing conflict carries with it the risk of seriously damaging the parent-child relationship. And with ongoing conflict, there can be no peace.

3. Accept your child as a separate, unique individual, who at times may think and behave very differently from you. Too often parents are threatened by, or uncomfortable with, differences. Conflicts arise when the parent tries to change the way a child thinks or behaves. Ask yourself, "Is this really a problem I should be concerned about?" Or, is it simply the child expressing his or her unique personality?

For example, you feel your child is much too outgoing and constantly warn him to be more cautious about people, not to be so friendly. After you have adequately expressed your concerns, it may be time to let go and accept the child for who he is. Recognizing that we all learn by experience.

4. Think about the expectations you have of your children. Are they realistic? Are they fair? Children are often held to higher expectations than adults - i.e. "You must always tell the truth," when lying by adults is often excepted or overlooked. Children are often punished for breaking a glass, spilling the milk, or losing his jacket; when adults are not. Children are frequently punished for getting a bad grade, but adults are not punished for getting a bad performance evaluation. In regards to school work, the issue should be, whether or not the child did the best he or she could.

5. Respect your children. Just as adults want and need respect, so do children. Respect your children by listening to them, accepting their individuality, accepting that they are not perfect, allowing them to make mistakes, and allowing them to make decisions and have input about things that affect them (as age appropriate). And remember, if you must demand a child's respect, you don't really have it.


6. Contemplate your concept of a "good child." Is a good child one that always does what he or she is told? Never disobeys? Always does the right thing? Always pleases his parents? Think about it. Would you really want a child like that? And how prepared would such a child be to function in our society? Sometimes "disobedience" can be a sign or strength or independence. If parenting was a simple as telling a child once, parents would not be needed. A child needs to be taught, and teaching and training takes time and repetition. If you have to correct your child many times for the same misbehavior, this does not necessarily mean the child is bad or disrespectful. A child is a work in progress, who will need support and guidance for many years.

And remember, there are no perfect children, as there are no perfect parents. You must forgive yourself for the mistakes you make as a parent, and you must forgive your children. A parent will often be required to forgive a child for not being born at the right time, for not being the child you wanted, for not living up to your expectations, for not fulfilling your dreams, and for making mistakes.

7. Have fun together, as a family. Create your own family traditions. Such as, pizza night or movie night once a week. Make cookies, popcorn, or other treats. Work a puzzle, play a board game, read stories together. Sit down with the children and come up with fun things you can do on your "fun night." Children need to have fun and so do you. I recognize that this can be difficult with our busy lives, however, investing time in your children reaps great rewards.

8. Be a loving parent and do the very best you can. This is the best advice anyone can give a parent. If you are doing the very best you can, there is never any reason for guilt. Most parents "love" their children, but "loving" is about how you treat your children. Be loving with your children. Praise them specifically, give them attention when they're doing things right, show them respect as human beings, and tell them you love them - often.

And, if you are getting it right, you will know. Within your household, there will be smiles, there will be laughter, and there will be peace.



Cry It Out: What is the 'It'?

What is the 'it' in cry-it-out?

When we give babies no choice but to 'cry it out' we need to ask ourselves, what is the 'it'?

The 'it' is safety.
The 'it' is connection.
The 'it' is us - their parents.
They are crying for us.

-Tracy Gillett 

Sleep training: a review of research: http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/12/sleep-training-review-of-research.html 

Healthy baby sleep resources: http://www.DrMomma.org/2009/06/truth-about-co-sleeping-how-stats.html

Love Matters!

By Danelle Day © 2018


It is difficult to have an unbroken civilization when we begin breaking children at birth... when we lack compassion, empathy, and *involvement* in loving babies and children (responding readily to their cues and needs), supporting mothering (or gentle/conscious parenting in general). When we raise detached, isolated, anxious, lonely babies/children into detached, isolated, anxious, lonely adults, what do we expect to happen along the way?

Peacefully parenting all little ones (no matter their sex) from the very beginning can powerfully and positively break this destructive cycle that has become ubiquitous in the United States and is overflowing now with its disarray.

A gently parented child who has been loved intensely, and responded to without fail, who has been tuned-into, heard, and shown compassion, by a well-supported parent, from birth onward does not grow to kill.

#LoveMatters

Pick up your baby. Respond to their cues. Hold them. Wear them. Rock them. Keep them intact. Keep them close. Snuggle down at night safely beside them. Show them that they can trust you, and trust this world around them. Show them what love feels like, so they won’t need to doubt that it exists. This time is short and fleeting, but impacts a *lifetime* to come.

If there are just two books that would do the world good for everyone to read, and put into practice, it would be these:

[and the many reasons that genital cutting at birth, neglect, leaving a baby to cry alone, not responding to cues, and general lack of affection forever hurts a baby, child, and adult]

[how gentle, conscious parenting of babies and children can break cycles of destruction and lead to healthy, happy adults of tomorrow]

Related Reading: 

Where are all the happy babies?
DrMomma.org/2011/09/where-are-all-happy-babies.html

Dr. David Chamberlain on Smiling Babies and Civilization
DrMomma.org/2013/02/dr-david-chamberlain-on-smiling-babies.html

Babies Know More Than You Think:
http://ttfuture.org/files/2/members/int_chamberlain.pdf

Peaceful Parenting: Giving Babies the Best Start in Life
DrMomma.org/2011/06/primal-parenting-giving-babies-best.html

Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone
DrMomma.org/2009/10/cosleeping-and-biological-imperatives.html

Primal Love and Mothering
DrMomma.org/2009/12/primal-love-mothering.html

Loveness in the Brokenness
DrMomma.org/2018/01/loveness-in-brokenness.html

Windows to the Womb: Revealing the Conscious Baby from Conception to Birth
http://amzn.to/2EAdC2h

Primal Health: Understanding the Critical Period Between Conception and the First Birthday
http://amzn.to/2F9SnRO

The Scientification of Love
http://amzn.to/2Ez43Rc

Peaceful Parenting Group
FB.com/groups/ExplorePeacefulParenting

Gentle Parenting Discussion Groups by Topic
DrMomma.org/2007/12/discussion-groups.html

Dr. David Chamberlain on Smiling Babies





Cuddling Babies Positively Alters Genes

By David Neild for Science Alert
Published to Peaceful Parenting with permission


Cuddling Babies Positively Impacts Genetics

The amount of close and comforting contact that young infants receive doesn't just keep them warm, snug, and loved. A 2017 study says it can actually affect babies at the molecular level, and the effects can last for years. Based on the study, babies who get less physical contact and are more distressed at a young age, end up with changes in molecular processes that affect gene expression.

The team from the University of British Columbia in Canada emphasizes that it's still very early days for this research, and it's not clear exactly what's causing the change. But it could give scientists some useful insights into how touching affects the epigenome - the biochemical changes that influence gene expression in the body.

During the study, parents of 94 babies were asked to keep diaries of their touching and cuddling habits from five weeks after birth, as well as logging the behaviour of the infants – sleeping, crying, and so on. Four-and-a-half years later, DNA swabs were taken of the kids to analyse a biochemical modification called DNA methylation. It's an epigenetic mechanism in which some parts of the chromosome are tagged with small carbon and hydrogen molecules, often changing how genes function and affecting their expression.

The researchers found DNA methylation differences between "high-contact" children and "low-contact" children at five specific DNA sites, two of which were within genes: one related to the immune system, and one to the metabolic system. DNA methylation also acts as a marker for normal biological development and the processes that go along with it, and it can be influenced by external, environmental factors as well.

Then there was the epigenetic age, the biological ageing of blood and tissue. This marker was lower than expected in the kids who hadn't had much contact as babies, and had experienced more distress in their early years, compared with their actual age. "In children, we think slower epigenetic aging could reflect less favorable developmental progress," said one of the team, Michael Kobor.

In fact, similar findings were spotted in a study from 2013 looking at how much care and attention young rats were given from a very early age. Gaps between epigenetic age and chronological age have been linked to health problems in the past, but again it's too soon to draw those kind of conclusions: the scientists readily admit they don't yet know how this will affect the kids later in life. We are also talking about less than 100 babies in the study, but it does seem that close contact and cuddles do somehow change the body at a genetic level.

Of course it's well accepted that human touch is good for us and our development in all kinds of ways, but this is the first study to look at how it might be changing the epigenetics of human babies. It will be the job of further studies to work out why, and to investigate whether any long-term changes in health might appear as a consequence. "We plan to follow up on whether the 'biological immaturity' we saw in these children carries broad implications for their health, especially their psychological development," said one of the researchers, Sarah Moore. "If further research confirms this initial finding, it will underscore the importance of providing physical contact, especially for distressed infants."

The research was published in Development and Psychopathology.



*******




Human Milk Changes with COVID Antibodies for Sake of Baby

Human milk is always changing - day to day, week to week, to match a baby's specific developmental and immunity needs at any given time. When mom or baby has a virus, milk is super charged with antibodies to support the immune system in doing its job. This is one of many reasons continuing to breastfeed through an illness is ideal. Nothing is more healing (or preventative) than mom's milk, and is irreplaceable for a baby facing sickness.

In fact, when a nursing mother pumps while her body is amping up antibodies, she can often literally see the difference in her milk. Because human milk is made from mother's blood, when she or her baby is ill, mom's body creates antibodies to fight the illness. These pass through her milk to help baby fight things -- causing a change in milk shade, color, or composition. 

One mother, Anna, shared this photo of how her milk changed in color within the days following a positive COVID test, when she and her baby were both ill. Her milk was packed with the goodness her baby needed to recover as rapidly as possible, and to not become as ill as may otherwise occur.



Related Reading:

If you nurse your baby (for any amount of time)

How natural weaning happens:

Human milk kick-starts baby's immune system

Human Milk Proteins Inhibit Bacteria M. Luteus - Breastfeeding Benefits for Toddlers, Too!

HAMLET Substance in Human Milk Kills Cancer Cells

Baby Matters: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Caring for Your Baby

Take Charge of Your Child's Health

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Physicians Urge Public Health Distribution of Vitamin D3

By Danelle Day, Healing Hubby

Unless you're supplementing with a quality D3 or spending the majority of your days sunbathing naked near the equator, your body is in need of D. 🌞

Signed by numerous doctors - encouraging those in public health sectors to widely distribute and encourage the use of D3 supplementation - this letter (excerpt below) is worth reading: https://vitamindforall.org/letter.html The letter's focus is on COVID-19 prevention and treatment, but D3 is an important part of many aspects of human health and healing. When my husband was first diagnosed with stage 3 cancer, his blood D levels were at 8. When I began experiencing extreme consequences of autoimmune/adrenal/thyroid issues (Hashimoto's / PCOS / Cold Urticaria / allergic reactions / early onset arthritis, etc.) my blood D levels were at 18. Even living on the beach, outside all. the. time. in an area that doesn't ever get "real winters" and is sunny most days of the year, our eldest child was also D deficient when tested. We now all take 10-15,000 IU of a quality D3 most days of the week (and us adults have bloodwork done every 3-6 months). Better Way Health has the best we've found (this link will get you 15% off an order, or they are also discounted further if you purchase 12 at a time: https://prz.io/GQ9K32Sm). Prior to making a switch to this D3, we had tried others without much success in raising blood levels, including prescription D2 that was ordered by my husband's physician. We eat a lot of green leafy vegetables (abundant in K) but if those aren't part of your regular diet, taking a quality K2 is also a good idea to go along with D3. (Thorne is our favorite for this - https://amzn.to/2KZDbOg but there are many quality brands you can rotate between). The Better Way Health D3 (pictured above) is super small and easy for anyone to swallow; however our youngest child still takes D3 in drop form instead (Thorne's D3/K2 combo is our favorite for kids who can't do capsules of any size yet - https://amzn.to/3psT9iU). Regardless of what D3 you opt for, it is *inexpensive* and incredibly worth adding into your regimen. Getting a blood test to know where you are starting is a good idea also - it is very simple to ask your physician to add D onto your next bloodwork, OR you can get a quick D test done at almost any lab without a doctor's lab order. If you've never supplemented before, you are likely very low, and would benefit by starting with 10-20,000 IUs daily for a few months. However, even for those who aren't going to get bloodwork done, and are NOT deficient to begin with, 5,000IUs daily is a very good idea for your wellbeing. 🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞 LETTER QUOTE: To all governments, public health officials, doctors, and healthcare workers, Research shows low vitamin D levels almost certainly promote COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Given its safety, we call for immediate widespread increased vitamin D intakes. Vitamin D modulates thousands of genes and many aspects of immune function, both innate and adaptive. The scientific evidence1 shows that: Higher vitamin D blood levels are associated with lower rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Higher D levels are associated with lower risk of a severe case (hospitalization, ICU, or death). Intervention studies (including RCTs) indicate that vitamin D can be a very effective treatment. Many papers reveal several biological mechanisms by which vitamin D influences COVID-19. Causal inference modelling, Hill’s criteria, the intervention studies & the biological mechanisms indicate that vitamin D’s influence on COVID-19 is very likely causal, not just correlation. Vitamin D is well known to be essential, but most people do not get enough. Two common definitions of inadequacy are deficiency < 20ng/ml (50nmol/L), the target of most governmental organizations, and insufficiency < 30ng/ml (75nmol/L), the target of several medical societies & experts.2 Too many people have levels below these targets. Rates of vitamin D deficiency <20ng/ml exceed 33% of the population in most of the world, and most estimates of insufficiency <30ng/ml are well over 50% (but much higher in many countries).3 Rates are even higher in winter, and several groups have notably worse deficiency: the overweight, those with dark skin (especially far from the equator), and care home residents. These same groups face increased COVID-19 risk. It has been shown that 3875 IU (97mcg) daily is required for 97.5% of people to reach 20ng/ml, and 6200 IU (155mcg) for 30ng/ml,4 intakes far above all national guidelines. Unfortunately, the report that set the US RDA included an admitted statistical error in which required intake was calculated to be ~10x too low.4 Numerous calls in the academic literature to raise official recommended intakes had not yet resulted in increases by the time SARS-CoV-2 arrived. Now, many papers indicate that vitamin D affects COVID-19 more strongly than most other health conditions, with increased risk at levels < 30ng/ml (75nmol/L) and severely greater risk < 20ng/ml (50nmol/L).1 Evidence to date suggests the possibility that the COVID-19 pandemic sustains itself in large part through infection of those with low vitamin D, and that deaths are concentrated largely in those with deficiency. The mere possibility that this is so should compel urgent gathering of more vitamin D data. Even without more data, the preponderance of evidence indicates that increased vitamin D would help reduce infections, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, & deaths. Decades of safety data show that vitamin D has very low risk: Toxicity would be extremely rare with the recommendations here. The risk of insufficient levels far outweighs any risk from levels that seem to provide most of the protection against COVID-19, and this is notably different from drugs & vaccines. Vitamin D is much safer than steroids, such as dexamethasone, the most widely accepted treatment to have also demonstrated a large COVID-19 benefit. Vitamin D’s safety is more like that of face masks. There is no need to wait for further clinical trials to increase use of something so safe, especially when remedying high rates of deficiency/insufficiency should already be a priority. Therefore, we call on all governments, doctors, and healthcare workers worldwide to immediately recommend and implement efforts appropriate to their adult populations to increase vitamin D, at least until the end of the pandemic. Specifically to: Recommend amounts from all sources sufficient to achieve 25(OH)D serum levels over 30ng/ml (75nmol/L), a widely endorsed minimum with evidence of reduced COVID-19 risk. Recommend to adults vitamin D intake of 4000 IU (100mcg) daily (or at least 2000 IU) in the absence of testing. 4000 IU is widely regarded as safe.5 Recommend that adults at increased risk of deficiency due to excess weight, dark skin, or living in care homes may need higher intakes (eg, 2x). Testing can help to avoid levels too low or high. Recommend that adults not already receiving the above amounts get 10,000 IU (250mcg) daily for 2-3 weeks (or until achieving 30ng/ml if testing), followed by the daily amount above. This practice is widely regarded as safe. The body can synthesize more than this from sunlight under the right conditions (e.g., a summer day at the beach). Also, the NAM (US) and EFSA (Europe) both label this a “No Observed Adverse Effect Level” even as a daily maintenance intake. Measure 25(OH)D levels of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients & treat w/ calcifediol or D3, to at least remedy insufficiency <30ng/ml (75nmol/L), possibly with a protocol along the lines of Castillo et al ‘20 or Rastogi et al '20, until evidence supports a better protocol. Many factors are known to predispose individuals to higher risk from exposure to SARS-CoV-2, such as age, being male, comorbidities, etc., but inadequate vitamin D is by far the most easily and quickly modifiable risk factor with abundant evidence to support a large effect. Vitamin D is inexpensive and has negligible risk compared to the considerable risk of COVID-19. Please Act Immediately


View research cited and physicians who have signed this letter at: https://vitamindforall.org/letter.html




Loveness in the Brokenness

By Kathleen Fleming, Majestic Unicorn



This was my hallway last Wednesday.

Broken. Sharp. Treacherous.

This was my hallway. It was my son who did this.

Sometimes, often really, things break - irreparably. And it takes your breath away...straight away. It took my breath away when my son stormed into the bathroom, frustrated, angry, fed-up for his very own, very significant to him, reasons. And when he chose to SLAM the bathroom door, causing the heavy mirror mounted to the front to slip out of the hardware holding it in place and crash onto the floor - a million, BROKEN pieces were left reflecting the afternoon light.

I was quiet.

I surveyed the damage and took a deep breath.

Put the dog outside so he wouldn't cut his feet, put the cat in the basement for the same reason.

I walked into the backyard and felt the hot tears streaming down my face. It's amazing how alone you can feel as a single parent in moments like these. I realized how scared and disappointed I felt. Did this really just happen? Yes. This was real. And as I stood and considered whether or not this was an indication of his developing character, I heard his tears through the window above me, coming from inside the bathroom. His soul hurt. This was not what he expected either. Hello, Anger - I don't remember inviting you into my house. Scary. Terrified. Ashamed. Worried. Scared.

Deep breath, #MamaWarrior. Deep breath.

That small, fragile soul needs you right now. He needs your very best. Your biggest compassion. Your most gentle and firm mama love and reassurance. More deep breaths. Go Mama. Go. Go now. Go open the front door, tiptoe through the broken glass, hear him hearing you coming, watch the bathroom door crack open, see the face you love most in the world red with worry and wet with tears, his voice is suddenly so small: "Mama, I'll never do it again, I am SO sorry." More tears. More weeping. Such uncertainty on his sweet face.

Go Mama. Get him. Go now. Scoop him into your lap. Yup, you're crying too. Damn this was big. Hold him tight. Watch how he curls into a ball in your arms so quickly. See how eager he is to be loved by you. To be reassured by you. See how small he still is. See how fragile that spirit is.

I love you.
You are safe.
I am right here.

The worst part is over now. I've got you. I'm here. I love you. Go Mama. Tell him about Anger. Tell him now. Anger is a really powerful feeling. You have a right to your Anger. Anger burns hot. It can purify. It can also destroy. He nods. He feels it. He's met Anger now. There's a better way to show your big feelings. We'll work on it together...tomorrow.

I'm here to help you. You are safe. You are never alone in your anger. You are never alone in your fears. I'm here. We're here together.

Now we will clean together.

And we cleaned up the broken pieces. We swept and we vacuumed. It was quiet work. It was careful work. It was thoughtful work.

Sometimes things break. Sometimes we break them. It's not the breaking that matters, the how or why. What matters is how we choose to respond to the broken-ness. Does it kill us? Does it throw us into a downward spiral of blame and punishment? OR does it help us remember how to love deepest? Does it push us towards compassion and over the hurdle of "rightness" and "wrongness" into LOVENESS? Yes. LOVENESS.

Go Mama. Go now. Get that baby of yours. Teach that. Show that. Live that. It's called LOVENESS. Go. Now.

Mother Love by Lulu, United Arab Emirates | Find more art by Lulu at Deviant Art


Related Reading: 

About the author.
Read more from Fleming at Majestic Unicorn and find her on Facebook here.

Tackling Distress Tantrums with Brain Research
DrMomma.org/2010/01/tackling-distress-tantrums-with-brain.html

When Things Get Physical: Hitting, Throwing, Kicking, Biting
DrMomma.org/2013/11/when-things-get-physical-hitting.html

Love Matters
DrMomma.org/2018/02/love-matters.html

Why Spanking is Never Okay
DrMomma.org/2010/09/why-spanking-is-never-okay.html

Peaceful Parenting Group
FB.com/groups/ExplorePeacefulParenting




The Role of Sound Healing in Postpartum Recovery

The postpartum experience is different for every mother. For some, recovery is relatively quick and simple. But for most, there are lingering physical and mental symptoms that must be addressed in order to continue moving forward. 


Could something called “sound healing” be the key to your recovery?


What is Sound Healing?


When it comes to our five senses, sound may be one of the more underrated of the bunch. While we’re acutely aware of sight (roughly 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual), smells, tastes, and even touch, sound isn’t always giving the same level of perceptivity that it deserves. But truth to be told, it’s an extremely important sense that many believe has the power to heal.


“Sound healing is an ancient meditative practice that uses different musical implements to create healing vibrations around the body in a meditative state,” Wellset explains. “Singing Bowl Therapists, for example, use Quartz crystal bowls and Gongs tuned at strategic frequencies for healing different parts of the body and mind.”


Sound healing can be traced all the way back to ancient cultures. In ancient Greece, for example, music was regularly used in an attempt to cure people from mental disorders and illnesses. In 12th century Tibet, sound therapy was used as part of meditation and rituals to calm people and establish a sense of mindfulness. And throughout much of history, music and other sounds have been utilized to boost morale in military companies, ward off evil spirits, and even increase productivity in businesses.


Different people have their own opinions on why and how sound therapy works. One theory is that sounds shift frequencies from low energy feelings and experiences (like fear and guilt) to much higher vibrations of joy, love, and peace. In doing so, it releases “energetic blockages,” which induces harmony in the body.


Regardless of the specifics, all sound therapists agree that the power of sound to heal lies in its vibrations. Since the adult body is roughly 75 percent water – which is a great conductor for sound vibrations – sound is able to produce some pretty profound effects. As these vibrations move throughout different areas of the body, they encourage energy flow and facilitate circulation. This experience activates “destress” responses in the body, which melt tension and promote a sense of balance.


While every person responds differently, sound healing is known to yield benefits like lower stress, lower blood pressure, and improved sleep. As such, it’s the perfect option for women going through postpartum recovery.


When used as part of a postpartum recovery plan, sound therapy can help stimulate the mind and body in ways that are difficult to reach with other therapeutic techniques like acupuncture. It dissolves worry and fear, while helping exhausted mothers get the restorative sleep they need. In other words, it gives new mothers the energy and balance they need to be there for their newborns.


Common Sound Healing Techniques


Sound healing comes in all different methods and packages. Some mothers resonate with one technique more than another. Having said that, here are a few to consider:


  • Tuning Fork Therapy. This form of therapy utilizes carefully calibrated metal tuning forks that can be used in the energetic field around the body, on either side of the head, on the chakras, or even on reflex points on the bottom of the feet. These tuning forks emit feeling frequencies that naturally encourage the body to entrain and develop resonance with that vibration. Because nature is very efficient, all it takes is very small frequency vibrations to specific areas of the body and it can be effortlessly eased from one state to the other.


  • Binaural Beats. This method uses two tones played in each ear. The tones are slightly different, yet so similar that the listener perceives them as being the same. Varying hertz levels can be utilized for different purposes. Lower binaural beats are used for the purposes of relaxation, sleep, and meditation. Higher-level beats are ideal for increasing attention and focus. The best part is, binaural beats can be played in the comfort of your own home. Just grab a pair of headphones and try a quick 30-minute session.


  • Music therapy. For women suffering from postpartum depression (or even for those who feel they may be prone to postpartum depression), music therapy can promote healing and provide opportunities to enhance awareness, develop coping skills, support healthy feelings and thoughts, and cultivate a sense of control over life.


Give Your Body What it Needs


In a world that’s reliant on prescription medication, painkillers, and invasive procedures, sometimes the key to healing is much simpler. By stripping away the toxicity and focusing on our core bodily responses, we can promote faster and more efficient healing as part of a larger postpartum recovery regimen. Sound healing can and should play a role in this process!


Conspiracy Thinking: Understanding Attachment And Its Consequences

 


Adult Anxious Attachment Correlates with Belief in Conspiracies 

In the first months of life, infants organize their neurobiological and psychosocial functioning around their experiences. Reliable, affectionate responsive caregiving (represented in Kindred's evolved nest series) fosters well-functioning psychosocial and neurobiological systems (e.g., attachment, stress response, oxytocin system) that facilitate health, intelligence and secure attachment (Narvaez, Panksepp, Schore & Gleason, 2013).

Understanding Attachment

“Attachment” refers to the neurobiological assumptions and psychological associations about relationships that the infant builds in their psychosocial neurobiological memory. This “internal working model” is measured in infancy with the “strange situation” task (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters & Wall, 1978) but also with questionnaires in later years.

In the “strange situation,” the infant is in an experimental room with the mother; mother leaves for a bit and then returns. The infant’s response to the mother’s return gives an indication of the child’s “internal working model” for intimate relationships. Three basic types of attachment have been identified through this method or through adult questionnaires about their relational habits and preferences.

When primary caregivers are consistently warmly responsive to infant needs, conveying truthfully, matching emotions and words, the child tends to develop secure attachment—an embodied belief in the goodness of relationships and a friendly social world. Secure attachment is correlated with all sorts of positive outcomes like cooperation, social skills, likability (Sroufe et al., 2005).

When primary caregivers are inconsistent in care, unreliable or untruthful, the child tends to develop insecure attachment—an embodied belief that the social world is unreliable and unsafe (Crittenden, 1998). Unlike secure attachment, insecure attachment correlates with social deficits of one kind or another and to various psychological challenges such as general distrust (Sroufe et al, 2005).

The two major types of insecure attachment studied by Western scientists are Avoidant and Anxious.  Crittenden (1998) describes these as “dealing but not feeling” and “feeling but not dealing,” respectively, in contrast to holistic “feeling and dealing” of secure attachment.

Those who develop avoidant attachment experienced emotional rejection from the primary caregiver(s) and so learned to inhibit emotion and dissociate from the body. Thus, generally speaking they have underdeveloped socioemotional intelligence, as their early environments gave little opportunity for growing it. The individual minimizes emotional needs and even turns away from the caregiver psychologically. They learn to “go into their heads” to survive successfully in their family environment. As adults, they come off as dismissive of others and of the importance of relationships generally. They have limited access to their emotions and tend to deny their needs. When stressed, they don’t activate attachment feelings and seek comfort from others, which is what a securely attached individual would do, but instead are irritable and short tempered with others.

Anxious attachment develops when caregivers are inconsistently responsive—sometimes they attend to the child and sometimes they don’t. When caregivers only respond to extreme signals (e.g., tantrums), the child learns to use emotion to control others. Those with anxious attachment consistently try to keep people tied to them, never feeling secure that their relationships are stable. The individual learns to use emotion to get attention and to distrust cognition—what people say. Just because emotions are used to get needs met doesn’t mean their socioemotional intelligence is optimally developed though, like those of the more securely attached. It just means they learn to use emotion to coerce others and even to defend themselves against thinking. Their logical capacities are underdeveloped. They are generally in a continuous state of alarm.

Abused and neglected children, with no appropriately responsive caregiver but one who scares the child, often develop a third type of attachment, disorganized (“neither feeling nor dealing”). This style is linked to clinical psychiatric disorders.  

Although non-traumatized people carry implicitly a cloak of invulnerability, the traumatized do not.  Traumatized children carry a view of the world as basically unsafe (Burstow, 2005). They are attuned to threat. When trauma occurs early in life, basic personality tendencies like paranoia and distrust become integrated in a person’s psyche.

In all insecure attachment styles, the right hemisphere is underdeveloped because it is scheduled to grow more rapidly than the left hemisphere in the first two years of life—with responsive care (Schore, 2019).

Is Insecure Attachment Typical for Our Species?

It is not normal across the mammalian kingdom to raise offspring in an impairing manner, because they are less likely to survive, thrive and reproduce successful offspring. We can conclude from the perspective of our species that the basic needs of those who develop insecure attachment were not met in early life. Insecure attachment is an impairment in social cooperation capacities, key adaptations of our species (Hrdy, 2009).  

Anxious Attachment Correlates with Conspiracy Theory Beliefs

A study by Douglas, Sutton, and Cichocka (2017) examined attachment style and its relation to belief in conspiracy theories. They found that adults with anxious attachment were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories whereas those with secure or avoidant attachment were not.

Douglas, Sutton, and Cichocka (2017) identified three ego needs: social needs (need to maintain esteem for self and/or group), epistemic needs (need to make sense of the world, including with certainty) and existential needs (need to feel safe and in control). Each of these are correlated with belief in conspiracy theories. Douglas and Green (2018) note:

“Recent theorizing in social psychology suggests that individuals use conspiracy theories as an attempted defensive mechanism to address psychological needs, including the existential need for security and control (Douglas et al., 2017). Individuals with anxious attachment are preoccupied with their security, tend to hold a negative view of outgroups, are more sensitive to threats, and tend to exaggerate the seriousness of such threats. Secure and avoidant attachment styles, on the other hand, are less sensitive to threats and do not exaggerate such threats. Anxious attachment—compared to secure and avoidant attachment— could therefore potentially be a key predictor of conspiracy belief.” (p. 31)

Those with anxious attachment are not oriented to logical argument or factual statements, a common complaint about right-wingers for decades, though anyone can be resistant to evidence that goes against their beliefs.

Implications for Society

In the USA generally, it is not a surprise that insecure attachment is becoming more prevalent (Konrath et al., 2014). To develop secure attachment, the infant needs a warmly responsive primary caregiver 24/7 in the first year of life (Schore, 2019). Without paid parental leave in the USA, many working parents send their babies to daycare when a few weeks old. Daycare workers are often unable to care for infants in the reliable, responsive way needed for the child to develop secure attachment.

The prevalence of insecure attachment may be a danger to maintaining a democracy. Insecure attachment undermines intelligence in the ways described, making it harder to get along with others. And citizens need to share perception of facts in order to solve the nation’s problems.

With increasing insecure attachment, we should not be surprised at an increasing number of people believing false stories that reassure them, including conspiracy theories which can lead to radicalization, especially through the algorithms of online neighborhoods like YouTube and Facebook. If anxiously attached people are more likely to throw a big fuss, having learned that pattern for getting needs met early on, perhaps we should not be surprised that conspiracy theorizing or radicalization may lead some to carry out rioting. These kinds of effects suggest the society might want to revamp policies and institutions towards supporting child wellbeing.

References

Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum.

Burstow, B. (2005). A critique of posttraumatic stress disorder and the DSM. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 45, 429-445

Crittenden, P.M. (1992). Quality of attachment in the preschool years. Developmental Psychopathology, 4, 209-241.

Crittenden, P.M. (1994). Peering into the black box: An exploratory treatise on the development of self in young children. In D. Cicchetti & S. Toth (Eds.) Rochester Symposium on Developmental Psychopathology, Vol. 5 (pp. 79-148). Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.

Crittenden, P.M. (1998). The developmental consequences of childhood sexual abuse. In P. Trickett & C. Schellenback (Eds.), Violence against children in the family and the community (pp. 11-38). Washington, D.C: American Psychological Association.

Douglas, K. M., Sutton, R. M., & Cichocka, A. (2017). The psychology of conspiracy theories. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26(6), 538–542. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963721417718261.

Green, R., & Douglas, K. M. (2018). Anxious attachment and belief in conspiracy theories. Personality and Individual Differences, 125, 30–37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2017.12.023

Jolley, D., Douglas, K. M., & Sutton, R. M. (2017). Blaming a few bad apples to save a threatened barrel: The system-justifying function of conspiracy theories. Political Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/pops.12404

Konrath, S. H., Chopik, W., Hsing, C., & O’Brien, E. H. (2014). Changes in adult attachment styles in american college students over time: A meta-analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 18(4), 326-348. doi: 10.1177/1088868314530516

Marchlewska, M., Cichocka, A., & Kossowska, M. (2017). Addicted to answers: Need for cognitive closure and the endorsement of conspiracy beliefs. European Journal of Social Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1002/ejsp.2308

Narvaez, D., Panksepp, J., Schore, A., & Gleason, T. (2013). Evolution, early experience and human development: From research to practice and policy. New York: Oxford.

Schore, A.N. (2019). The development of the unconscious mind. New York: W.W. Norton.

Sroufe, L.A., Egeland, B, Carlson, E.A., & Collins, W.A. (2005). The development of the person: The Minnesota study of risk and adaptation from birth to adulthood. New York: Guilford.


Related Reading by Dr. Narvaez at Peaceful Parenting: 

An 'On Demand' Life and the Basic Needs of Babies

Where Are All the Happy Babies?

The Dangers of Crying It Out

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Babies

5 Things NOT to Do to Babies

Are you treating your child like a prisoner?

Are you or your child on a touch starvation diet?

Conspiracy Thinking: Understanding Attachment and Its Consequences

Psychology Today: Circumcision Series

Learn More from Narvaez:

The Evolved Nest Institute

Kindred Media

Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom

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