Monthly Archives: March 2010

Keynote Speaker for Years of Wonder Conference!

It is such a great pleasure to let you know I will be the keynote speaker for The years of Wonder Conference April 23 -24, in Ann Arbor! Friday night’s talk will be Family Culture and The Role of Discipline. I like to say “Love’s other name is Discipline.” What greater way to offer Love to our children than to instill in them the discipline they will need to lead a successful and bountiful life?

Saturdays morning’s talk will be on Childhood Brain Development, and the Best Practices to foster this. The way I explain the brain development workshop is to say that behind every single recommendation in Heaven on Earth, there is solid research that supports the practices. Current research supports all of the good parenting practices that are tried and true: the physical and emotional well-being of the pregnant mother profoundly affects the baby’s in-utero brain development, each stage of development depends upon the strong functionality of the prior stage, so go slowly and don’t rush the child, nurse your baby, carry your baby on your body, the emotional balance of the mother (and the father)determine the emotional state of the child, make plenty of time for conversation, eat meals together, plenty of time to play, for art, for stories….all of these practices influence brain development.

If parents understand a very simplified version of the way the brain works, you can know how critical each of these “best practices” truly is. You also have a science-based reply to the extended family, or neighbors, or whom ever it might be that questions your parenting choices. When we choose to go a different route than the main stream it is helpful to defend one’s choices with hard science.

Saturday afternoon offers break-out sessions that augment the keynote addresses, with many hands-on experiences available to parents. This will be a great celebration of children and their families! For more info go to or google Rudolf Steiner School Ann Arbor.

Family Culture

Our family is the container, the safe space in which young souls are cultivated. They grow in this atmosphere, with the mixture of necessary elements. When they know themselves well enough, they step outside the family, into the strong wind of their own life.
I believe there is one central task that each parent is given with the birth of his or her child. This is to carry for the child, until he can carry for himself, the fundamental human question, “Who am I?” When we look into our beloved child’s face, we can look down the long corridor of his life, inquiring who the man will be. As parents, we certainly will see particular characteristics, tendencies, in our child. We will offer much love and effort in guiding these inclinations in the right direction. But this work must be done in secret, veiled from the child. Our goal is to have the young adult step into this “self-making” with freedom. We foster freedom by holding open the question, “Who are you?” The container of the family is the vessel in which we carry this question

Warm weather is coming

These last few warm days make us ache for the wide expanse of summer, when everything is done outdoors! The children are tumbling through their mornings like spring lambs, the bulbs we planted at our Harvest Festival are poking green heads up through the brown earth, and the first crocuses opened their golden crowns into the light!