Da Ladies #4 - Exploring Attachment Parenting and Unschooling: A Shift in Perspective
🗓️ Recorded October 13th, 2023. 📍Coma Ruga, Spain
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About this Episode
Join us on this exploration of attachment parenting, respectful parenting, and unschooling, where we examine the strong biological connections and implications in our parenting choices.
We unpack the misconceptions around attachment parenting and discuss how a values-based unschooling life can emerge from it. This episode helps you understand the nuances of attachment parenting and the importance of forming secure attachments for a child's growth and development.
Listen in as we tackle the challenges of mainstream parenting that often conflict with our natural instincts. The impact of societal expectations and norms, as well as our own childhood experiences, are discussed in depth.
We look at how rules set by experts can lead to a disconnect from our natural instincts and biology. We share our thoughts on the importance of providing a safe environment for children and how trust and respect are key elements in attachment parenting.
Finally, we explore the concept of unschooling and discuss the damaging effects of micromanagement in parenting. We stress the importance of open dialogue, understanding power dynamics in family conversations, and exploring reasons behind a ‘no’.
We shed light on the natural consequences of unschooling, and how it fosters exploration, growth, and a secure attachment between parent and child. Tune in for this insightful discussion, which is sure to help you reflect on your parenting choices and the potential impact on your child's life.
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Luna Maj Vestergaard:
Watch the full interview on YouTube
0:00:10 - Cecilie Conrad
Hello and welcome to the fourth episode of the Ladies Fixing the World. We will never give up. In the end we will actually fix the world. I have with me my amazing friends, the same as always Luna from Denmark, kali from Tenerife and Sarah from Australia. Let's just jump right into it. We decided we wanted to talk about attachment parenting and how that will sort of digress into unschooling in a natural path, but also about some of the nuances, the way that you're not fucking it up because you don't do attachment parenting from the second you think about having a child. So this theme is very interesting and how these things are all interconnected. So I want to give the talking stick to Sarah. She has an opening.
0:01:02 - Sarah Beale
Yes, some of our I guess our conversation starters within this forum are born out of the things that we talk about naturally amongst ourselves, the things that we talk about with parents who might ask us questions, and you know, ponderings and experience from our own lives.
So this issue of attachment comes up all the time in most I would say most unschooling families, even if we don't realise it, even if people aren't familiar with that language. And some of you might know that Luna and I have been living together this year and so we have a lot of conversations in the kitchen over coffee, and it just so happens that this one was coming up a lot recently and we were talking about attachment, wounds and things like that on our own social media profiles and having lots of really robust and sometimes challenging conversations with parents who maybe don't even know really what that means because the term's been popularised. So we're going to do a bit of like I don't know if it's going to be myth-busting, but some dialogue around what attachment, the significance of attachment, hopefully some comfort in terms of you know what to do if you didn't know about this stuff when you first had children which I did not 15, 16 years ago. And then how this naturally and quite organically can, for many families, lead into a values-based unschooling life. Yeah, sounds good.
0:02:35 - Cecilie Conrad
So where do we start? I mean, we should probably talk about this for about 30 hours to cover the whole field.
0:02:42 - Carla Martinez
But, maybe Can we make a question? Yeah, okay, because in Spanish, usually the word that we heard more now is not attachment, but respectful parenting. So maybe you can explain me the difference. If it is a different in this concept yes, like respectful parenting or attachment parenting, yes, it isn't the same thing exactly, or at least the starting point might be different.
0:03:17 - Sarah Beale
So attachment parenting has kind of come to be a very fashionable label for a particular style of parenting right, which could also cover respectful parenting, conscious parenting, natural parenting. People use all sorts of different, but really when I use that and I won't speak for anybody else when I talk about attachment, I'm really talking about biology. I'm not really talking about a style of parenting. I'm not talking about something that you've read about in a book. I'm talking about how we're wired biologically, particularly as mothers right, dads get a bit triggered when I talk about this stuff because there's a lot of like. What about me? I'm talking about the biology of a mother connecting with her newborn child from the moment they're born, actually before. But you know, I'm talking about how we're wired. I'm talking about the hormonal exchange. That's absolutely crucial.
I'm talking about how the blueprint for our parenting and our mother is handed down in our DNA and if we get it wrong and that doesn't mean we can't fix it, but if we do miss that stuff, that's a rite of passage. That hasn't been, hasn't happened. So it isn't just because this has been a very big journey for me, it isn't just I have to sleep with my child, I have to hold them 16 hours a day. Because when I was a new parent, I was looking up all these styles of parenting and what I came across was rules. So I'm like, oh, attachment, parenting is these rules. And I'm like I don't like rules so I can't follow this prescription. But years down the track and a lot of unraveling, because this stuff brings up our own shit. My view or my lens around attachment is all about biology and imprinting, and that then does naturally have a flow on effect, of course, to potentially respecting our children in a different way. But the portal is early attachment.
And that's how our bodies and our brains as mothers and infants work, and that's not airy fairy written in a book that's like biology. That's truth. Is that contradiction?
0:05:46 - Cecilie Conrad
I think it's also I mean, it's the same people probably talking about attachment, parenting and respectful parenting and I think if you have your attention on attachment and you get what that's all about, it's hard to treat your child disrespectfully. I mean it sort of walks hand in hand. But the attachment concept is a concept that stems from the field of psychology. It was first described in the 1950s and it's been misunderstood many times and it's been used backwards. And there it's about, in the short way, how a child who is met by his mother or her mother from the very beginning, who can express needs or just express discomfort, and be met by understanding and someone trying to do their best to meet the needs of the child, this will form a secure attachment. And there are only three kinds of attachments secure, insecure and disrupted, or I can't remember the exact term, but when it's chaotic that's really bad.
And so, with this, if you get the idea that you have to pay attention to your child's attachment, that you cannot ignore expressions of needs and you have to be there to understand what the child is saying and try to meet the needs as soon as possible the younger they are, the more urgent it is Then the risk of the child growing up without the respect of the parents is quite it's a weird idea to get. I mean, it would naturally be part of it, because the base of paying attention to a child's need and knowing that your job is to actually support the child's life so that these needs are met always and it's your job. You're not a servant. I hear many parents sort of whine about it, but that's the job you made. The child now to your problem, and your job is to be there to meet the needs of the child. If you get that, then respect doesn't even have to be mentioned, I think. I mean, obviously you respect the child.
0:08:13 - Luna Maj Vestergaard
I think that's actually really the crux of the problem today is that Sarah talked about the biology and I think for a lot of parents the thing is that they hear, they know, they feel the biology, they want to respond to their child, the infant crying etc. But then they are sort of like trained out of it by all of the societal messages and cultural messages about, oh, you shouldn't respond immediately as they whine, because they'll just learn that you know you'll be at every whim and blah, blah, blah. All these messages. They are what come in and destroy the natural, like the intuition.
We know as mothers and I also think fathers know, like the mother's biology is different with relation to the child.
Of course, they were in a womb for nine months, so we're connected in a different way. That's what happens when your milk starts running before the child cries and stuff like that, because you're connected in a different way. But we are trained out of it by all sorts of I don't know weird ideas and things that come up, and so I think that's just really why it's so important to talk about it, because it's the same. That's also what you see then later on, later down the road. That's also what you see, in unschooling we know, we understand the natural way of learning because there's also some biology and some something about how humans are wired to learn and how learning takes place. We know it but then we second guess ourselves. Parents second guess themselves because they're told all sorts of stupid stuff from the school paradigm and it's also weird, I think. I think everyone knows it, we all know it from the beginning. We have the biology, we have the intuition with the instincts, all that, but it's just trained out of everyone.
0:10:22 - Cecilie Conrad
There is a huge mainstream thing going on trying to teach us how to parent. It's funny. You mentioned before, sarah, the rules when you looked up how to be a good parent, and then there were so many rules and maybe they were actually just expressions like well, that's another story, but there are within the mainstream parenting also a lot of rules and a lot of do's and don'ts that are really weird but are being repeated all the time, so many times, and they are being told and retold and people even write books about them. I'm not sure I want to go down the rabbit hole of the sleeping book, but it was horrible when it came out and I mean it was sold in millions of copies and it so much trauma derives from that single book. A common friend, luna, and I have actually once started buying them to make a big fire in her garden just to do something about it.
The less on the market, the better. It's hard because we are all probably all wounded by this. We have all attachment issues because we are the first generation where most of the generation was institutionalized from very young age. So, yes, we have natural instincts, but we also have pain and we also have confusion because we don't have the perfect problem. I don't know your all exact stories, but if we have been to nursery and kindergarten, good chances are that we have attachment problems in our own story. So, yes, when we have children we have a lot of good instinct going on, but there is also the retraumatization of our own childhood coming up. There is the chaos, there's the sleep deprivation, and then there's this choir of people telling us not to pick up the child. It's good for the lungs if they scream that they will become this, that and the other If we respond to their needs. And isn't it a little bit crazy to breastfeed them now that they are three and a half seconds old?
I mean, let's not talk about this as if it's easy, because it's natural and it could have been easy if it wasn't destroyed by the society that we live in and the personal stories that we have. If we had had sisters, if we four had lived together in just the same street, had someone to talk to, who sort of had their brains still, then it might have been easy. But doing it in the context of the modern society where one of the stories I was told all the time was how will you have a career, all the freedom rights your mother and grandmother and great-grandmother fought for. Are you just going down the rabbit hole of parenting and giving up all of that? Isn't that a little unfair to your ancestors? No, I don't think so, but it was pushed hard on me. I was at university when I became a mother and the whole academia was against the mothering. Basically, get rid of that child, put it in nursery and read your books.
0:13:54 - Carla Martinez
You know, I was doing my PhD when I got pregnant and it was like the worst moment in the world doing your PhD, and I'm like, yes, but I want to be, I don't want to be an old mother. So it was already. I mean, it was 29, I don't know if it's all or not, but it's like I don't want to be 40. And then I was thinking like it would be the same after PhD, if you are a researcher. That was my whole thing. So if I cannot do it now, I won't be able to do it later. I want it now, yeah. And then I asked I remember this particular teacher telling me my wife was like 40 or something and I was like, yeah, but I want to be younger. And then he was like, yes, the energy is not the same, like yeah.
0:14:51 - Cecilie Conrad
Well, I can sign that one. I had a child when I was 23 and it was easy peasy, and I had my last child when I was 37. That was different, and I'm not having anymore now. Grandchildren, please.
0:15:10 - Sarah Beale
Yeah, I mean you know that brings up the I mean we talk about this a lot social engineering, which is all part of breaking, breaking the attachment and separation, etc. You know the, the idea that it's better to have children in your 30s rather than the biologically normal age which is probably in your teens. You know, and that's people, that's like a horrifying idea for people nowadays, the idea that teenagers will be. In fact we're told that it's wrong. But biologically that's probably when we would be in our prime and the grandparents would be young enough still to actually be involved in a way that many of them are not now because many grandparents don't want to be involved because they're like, well, I'm retiring and I'm going around Australia and Macaraban now.
So, see ya, cause they're knackered cause they had children when they were in that age 20.
So it like it's so interesting how you know, on reflection, you can see all of the ways that, as Luna said, we've been not only trained out of our instinct, but that our social habits, our natural social habits, have been engineered to now look nothing like how they really should look if we were looking at our biology and our ancestry and also, you know, bringing in the school piece that we now believe that, as much as we have to train babies to go to sleep cause they couldn't possibly learn how to sleep on their own, or even that they need to learn that they also can't learn how to read on their own, they also can't learn how to take care of their hygiene needs on their own. You know that they need to be scheduled, and it's such a short period. This engineering, this interruption has happened in such a short period of time. Such a short period of time, yeah, which means I reckon that it's actually not fully embedded yet and we've still got time to like turn it around.
0:17:10 - Cecilie Conrad
It is also hard to really work against nature. Nature will still be there, no matter how much we try to destroy it. So, yes, we can, we can save it, just as I believe we can save the planet. We just pick up the fucking plastic and do something new. I mean it's just to do it.
And even in this context of growing up in institutions ourselves, we can become great parents and find ways that are outside that big mainstream matrix thing that we are being pushed. It's just a question of being conscious and being ready to work for it, also with our own emotions, when it's sometimes confronting, and we have to think about where we come from and what trauma in our own life maybe is interfering with the way that we compare it. I mean, we are talking about it. We have this podcast, but there are actually quite a lot of blogs and books and podcasts out there now, people talking about how can we live a life that is more fulfilling, that is more free, that is more alive, that is more biologically natural. It's a movement and it doesn't take the whole world to change the world. It takes some dedicated people. So, yeah, I have a lot of hope, obviously, otherwise, you know.
So, if the theme today is if you believe in attachment parenting and you start doing attachment parenting, you might become an unschooler 10 years later. Oh gosh, that's a risk there.
0:19:08 - Sarah Beale
It's such a risky move Because you can't. I just think it's impossible to be respectful of our children, listen to what they're saying and really feel into our role as their biggest supporters and facilitators, to then get to two and a half years and go oh, what's a good nursery around here? How do I go about socialising my child for two days a week? But those two ideas are so incongruent.
0:19:49 - Luna Maj Vestergaard
And yet it's what happens. A lot, isn't it?
0:19:52 - Sarah Beale
Yeah, 100% actually, because I think actually the conversation that Luna and I were having the other day was because, like every day when I'm on social media in various groups that I'm involved in, I see that question oh, my child's two and a half, something about two and a half is like they get to two. So parents know what to do until their child's two, and I don't know whether this is a cultural thing, because I'm in England now and it seems very, very common to send a two year old to nursery. I don't know what it is about to. In Australia it tends to be more kindergarten that for. So maybe all countries are slightly varied, but parents know how to raise their child until two, and then they're like oh, now I'm not really sure what to do. I might need to consult an educational expert by way of a nursery or a preschool program. Literally, this is daily that I see this stuff.
0:20:45 - Cecilie Conrad
And also, do you see the question what is a good attachment kindergarten around here? I've seen that question. Yeah, Do you see it? Is it still? I'm not that much on social media at the moment, so they might call it in early learning circles they call it Montessori or Steiner.
0:21:10 - Sarah Beale
But what they make they are sort of that. They kind of like oh, we've just been playing at home for a couple of years and now we're not sure what to do next. We have a feeling that they still need to be playing, but we don't want to take care of that ourselves, so we'll put them in a Steiner kindergarten or a Steiner nursery. Yeah, I did that.
0:21:34 - Cecilie Conrad
Then I got smarter.
0:21:37 - Sarah Beale
I mean, we've all done stuff, we've all had the pancake child, the pancake child.
0:21:43 - Cecilie Conrad
Well, actually we had a great. So, as I had cancer, I'm actually grateful that I had my kids in a great place, because my husband had a severe personal crisis when I was about to die and it was very nice that there were other people around to look after my kids at that time in our life. So the real reality for us is that we don't regret it because it saved us in a very crucial moment in our life. But we had a. There was a great leader in the Steiner kindergarten where my two middle children spent some of their childhood, and she actually told us you know, when the kid is here for more than five hours a day, it's my child. It was such a provocative statement that I got pissed and then I got angry, and then I got more pissed and then I felt frustrated and then I felt sad and then I realized she was right and I started picking up the children after three hours every day because, yeah, that was as far as I could kind of push my mindset at the moment. At least she was honest about it and I'm thankful for that, because that was also the reason we took them out as soon as I had no more chemotherapy and blood transfusions. It helped me a lot that an honest person working with children could tell me that, and I think there is a lot of denial going on actually, that parents think that they are doing a good job when they send their kids to kindergarten.
They think it's a good thing that there are professionals around the children, that it's needed, that you need an education to be able to give them the right stimuli and this whole story that we need professionals and that will be. I mean, if I have God forbid it but if I ever had cancer again, I would like a professional doctor to help me. I get that. But with children the misconception is that we need professionals to help them grow, that if we put professionals around them it will be better. I'm totally sure that a professional doctor can help me with my disease if I have one, better than the next person down the street.
But because we're not aligned in our society with exactly the attachment concept, then there is this false idea of professionalism that we are making the world a better place by putting professionals around children, that they will learn more, that they will be better socialized, that they will have more age age perfect fun because they have the right toys in the kindergarten, whatever, but as the most important thing in childhood is the base, the rock that that development stands on, is attachment.
And if you break that attachment every morning and try to sort of mend it in the afternoon, while you also do the yoga and do the laundry and do the dishes and do the cooking and make sure you have a shower and have a fight with your husband or whatever is going on, those three, four, five hours of family time in the afternoon, then it's very, very broken after 10 years and you can add a lot of math into that brain, but you will have a broken person, and a broken person is not what we need. The person doesn't need it to live a life on the base of being broken, but also as a society, we don't need broken people to run around try to help other broken people. As with all the challenges that we could argue that we have as humankind, we need powerful people, and powerful people need to stand on a rock, not in the mud. So is there anything more important? Right now? I feel very. How do we get it out there that the importance of having strong personalities?
0:26:18 - Carla Martinez
I see, at least in the Hispanic community, a lot of contradictions. This is why I asked the first question between attachment and the respectful parenting, Because of I think it's also because of all this what you just mentioned, Cecil, about the experts, because they make rules like what is wrong and what is right and what you have to do. In my case, when I become a mother, I was quite like empowered and sure about my instincts and I read, I think, only one book, but yeah, but when they were little. But now it's like I only see people saying what is right and then it's like, if you have, if the kids have to play outside, because it's good for them, but then if they don't want, but it's like I always listen to this speech about the respect, but it's not actually about them, the kids. It's more about what it's good for I don't know your body, your mind or the planet, you know, and everything gets in there, but then no one is listening to the kids and the kids want to be inside drawing or watching a movie, I don't know, but then you just lost the attachment part.
You are, in this respect, something whatever. Is someone saying the kids have to go at this age. This is what I feel right now, what I heard or what I listen to people and I think it's not close to attachment, it's more ideas on the parents, because they are reading these books with these rules, that they are maybe far from their own connection or aligned with what they feel, their instinct, the biology way. Yeah, that's what I feel. So I actually cannot listen long to what I see on media because it's like hmm, Because it's very hard and this is why there is resistance to it.
0:28:51 - Sarah Beale
It's actually not easy. Well, I don't find it easy to be respectful when our children want to do something that we don't want them to do. So respectful parenting most of the time, most of the kind of modern popular work on what we might call respect, respectful parenting or aware parenting or natural parenting or conscious parenting, it's still. It still remains that the parents sets the agenda. They just use a sing song voice or a happy song or getting down to the child's level to coerce their child into doing what they want, and that's not respectful. That's not respectful.
And, of course, yes, someone will always say well, sometimes the kids have to listen to the parents, blah, blah, blah, whatever. Yes, that could be true if they're about to run across the road. But respect, respecting our children, really means honoring their desires and working with them and not coercing them to do what we want. So I guess that next level, where where attached, where the idea of attachment then becomes self directed learning or unschooling, is really about us digging more deeply into how we can work with our child, how we can facilitate their desires and their path, and not defaulting to our agenda, which is often based on a lot of programming and a lot of external ideas that have been given to us but are not from us, etc.
0:30:25 - Luna Maj Vestergaard
So I'm just thinking something that I want to say before I forget it, because and it's kind of combining what you two just said or springing from there I think that the thing about attachment and why it's biologically the sort of natural thing to do, is because it would be important for the infant and the small kids to be very securely attached to the grownups, who sort of know about the world, who can protect them, who can guide them. All that and so that if you're not securely attached to them, it becomes more dangerous for a child to be in the world, right? So the thing is, why is it important that there's a secure attachment? And this leads to the misunderstanding or the discrepancy, or whatever it's called, between authoritarian and authoritative. I think those are the two, it's like, because that's all about the respect. So I'm getting a bit muddy here. I hope it's going to be clear.
But the thing is, why do we also want our kids to be attached to us? Because when a kid is securely attached to you, they naturally want to follow your advice. They naturally want to listen to you maybe not follow advice, but they naturally want to listen to you and follow you and learn from you, and that is and I think that's interesting with the on-schooling movement too is that it is actually our role as parents to kind of show away and be the guide, because we have been here longer and we happen to know that you shouldn't drink that because it's poison or you shouldn't go there because there's a big hole and you're going to fall in it. Like we can show our children the ins and outs, a bit of the world, and especially when they're really small, they do need us a lot to show them and tell them a lot of things. And then the problem then comes when they become bigger and we need to let go of that. And that's where the whole All of the difficulties start.
There. And I think you were saying before, sarah, about what is it with two and a half years old. Well, that's something about two years old. That's called the terrible twos, right, so something happens. So can I just say I've never had a kid that was terrible at two. I've had all of my kids who have been two years old, right, and they've been like you are when you're two years old. And I'm really getting like I can hear that it's going in all sorts of directions now, but is anyone getting where I'm sort of getting.
0:33:28 - Sarah Beale
Yeah, you're talking about the foundations, you're literally talking about those foundations.
0:33:32 - Luna Maj Vestergaard
I think it's just because the whole I see it a lot in my work with parents there's a lot of yeah, I want to respect them, I want to give them freedom. I know that's the right thing to do, but, geez, there has to be some limits, right, and I have to guide them and I have to this and I have to that. Yeah, that's what's. It's really quite simple but not easy. That's not the same thing. But when we get into the heart of it, parenting really is quite simple, honestly, but it's not easy. But that's because we complicated in a lot of ways. I think there's a lot of overthinking going on and I know someone who has a really great quote that she quite often will say one of her daughters often says it's not that deep mom, can you guess who that is? But it's like I do think that's a lot, because a lot of times and then I'll just pass the talking stick to someone but I feel like a lot of times people would be like, oh, but it seems like, oh, why aren't you worried about this? Or how can you be not doing it? Why do you seem like it's so easy or simple? And quite a lot of times it's not always easy, but it does get easier with time.
It really is quite simple in the heart of it and I think because I've learned over years to stop to fucking overthink so much sorry my French, but I used to overthink a lot and try to find that right way of doing things, doing the right thing, following the rules of this or that and like being because I wanted my kids to have all the things I didn't have and I wanted to be the mom that I didn't have and I wanted to be that good, perfect mom that I thought my kids needed and I should be.
And I've just sort of I really feel inside of myself that simplifying things and stopping to overthink so much, that actually helps a lot and that makes it a lot easier to be cool and chill and not turn so many things into conflicts, for instance. And when you don't turn things into conflicts, well then being respectful is quite easy because I don't need to impose my will on my child all the time. So, yeah, I've gone from like saying no 100 times to saying no 50 times, to saying no 10 times, to hardly ever saying no now, unless it's really really important or really really bothering for me or what it likes, but it's just and it's just all. That's just all connected and it all comes back, I think, to the attachment in the beginning. If that makes sense, it makes a lot of sense. I want to take the talking stick now and say something that's actually like coherent. Thank you.
0:36:23 - Cecilie Conrad
Luna, we like it when you talk, and I think we all. When we talk, we have something we want to say and then we sort of it sort of moves to the next thing and then it becomes a little blurry but then there's something great and it's just how it goes, it's all right. I think it's important stuff. And a very important thing is when we discuss attachment parenting is it sounds can sound very soft and psychology like and you know, if you're this kind of guy who gets up at five and do 100 push-ups and run to work to make $100,000 million day or whatever is important for you, this sounds like you know bullshit. But the thing is it's not just about feeling good, it's not just about some weird thing I can say about standing on a rock when you do your development as a human being. It's also basic safety and this thing with the respect and the trust that if you grow up in a context where your parents actually have your back and that's your baseline, that's your experience. Every time you felt some discomfort. When you were an infant, someone saw it and fixed it, and when you were three and you couldn't stand within, stay within yourself because everything was changing in your mind. Then someone had you and helped you through that phase of life. And maybe also when you were 15 and things got really weird, because now it's all crazy then someone also had you and got you and was there for you. Then you grow up with a deep trust that the people who are closest to you are worth listening to. Then you will stop.
I remember when my first child was a year and a half, maybe two we lived in the center of Copenhagen and we would walk in the streets, obviously, and she just ran in the street. I didn't hold her hand, she was not in a stroller, I obviously didn't have her on a lead. I've seen that in reality, in the real world. I thought I mean I almost fainted, but this exists and I was being sometimes shouted at by people. I was a young mother I don't think I was very young, but in the context of this world I was 23 at that point, maybe 25. And I was shouted at for being irresponsible and get hold of that child.
But she would always stop when there was a road, always If there was something she didn't see some danger, I would just say stop and she'd stop immediately and it was not about me controlling her. I mean, it's not. My mothering has never really been a project. This whole talking about it came from my shock when I realized what mainstream mothering is, because I think it's crazy and I had to explain myself all the time to people when they didn't understand the way we were living. So I started blogging and now I've progressed to this podcasting, because I totally don't understand why you would put a child in a dark room all by itself to cry itself to sleep. I mean, I find it local, I find it. I mean, who can even come up with that idea?
0:40:03 - Luna Maj Vestergaard
Can I just ask you something about what you just said? I'm just going to venture a guess, because you said oh, she just brand in the street and when I would say stop, she would stop. So can I just assume and you can tell me if I'm correct you probably weren't always stopping her from doing lots of things when she didn't need to be stopped. No, Right, no.
0:40:26 - Cecilie Conrad
Probably a two year old in a street in a big city where there are cars.
0:40:32 - Luna Maj Vestergaard
My point is if you don't do that all the time, if you're not stopping the child all the time for all sorts of weird reasons, because, oh, I don't know, there might be too many toys on the floor if I don't stop you from taking out anymore now, or there might be. I said whatever like all these things when we yeah, so yeah, that's kind of like. My point is that that's it ties into attachment, because you don't want to be attached to a person, and it ties into what you said about having children's backs. You don't want to be attached to a person who you feel is limiting you, who you feel is preventing you from living, learning, growing, exploring this world that you're in. So you, as the child, you want to have a parent that you feel, oh my God, they have my parents, my back, they're helping me explore the world, they're helping me grow and learn. So they might not process the thoughts in that way, but you also want to have a parent, and we've talked about that, Sarah, a lot.
That's the idea of attachment is you want to have a parent that you know she's right here. She's right here, I can come back anytime I want. I can run back, be held, be in the safe, you know arms, and then when I've had enough of that, I can go out again and I can go a little further and then a little further and come back, and that's the natural back and forth. And I think that's the attachment. But we in our society get some sort of mix up that we think that we think parenting is about controlling and micromanaging too and we've talked about that too before to ensure some kind of outcome in the end. But that's not attachment, that's I don't know well, that's a project management.
Yeah but anyway I didn't want to like like hijack your thing.
0:42:28 - Cecilie Conrad
No, no, no, I'm good. It's a super good point. It's relevant what you're saying.
0:42:32 - Sarah Beale
It's so super nuanced, because I have a story that about a child running up to the edge of the road and stopping and never, ever holding my hand that are similarly themed to yours, cecilia. But it's my fourth child and I, on the basis of my previous children, particularly my third, I started to develop this belief around attachment, that that meant that a good attachment naturally meant my children were going to want to do what I said, because sometimes when you read the books, that's what it makes you think. And then my fourth child was born. Well, you guys have all met my fourth child. I mean, she does not care, she does not, she does what she she's going to do what she's going to do, and I just have to trust that she gets to the edge of the road and stops right.
What would also happen often is that the traffic would stop because they wouldn't realize that she actually knew at two years old how to cross the road. Now I didn't say to my two year old oh, run up ahead and cross the road by yourself. Of course not, but I had three other children and two dogs and a pusher and I was carrying scooters and a picnic basket on my head. I didn't even have a hand free, let alone she did not hold my hand. She would never hold my hand. I don't think she held my hand until she was about seven and she but she had always been with us, always been with us. When she was a baby she was on me because I didn't have any extra hands free, and then when she was a toddler, she was next to us and she was with her siblings and then by the time she was walking on her own, she'd been watching everybody else cross the road and she knew that you got to the edge of the road and then he would stop. And then I can still see her little blonde wavy hair, messy blonde hair, and she got. She'd looked both ways super quick. I don't know what she saw, but enough to cross the road.
But sometimes people would stop and, like you said, cecil, I would have people shout at me. My kids would be scooting along the street ahead, obviously, because they were on a scooter. Arthur would have his no shoes on and his blonde hair flowing, and I had people slow down and shout out of their window at me because my children were like navigating the streets by them. I mean, I was, but I was with them. I was with them and they learned from being with me, I assume I mean, they would have seen me get to the edge of the road and check to see if there was any cars coming, and so they gradually learned.
And it didn't look how I thought, because, honestly, I did expect that, because I'd like slept with my children and held them for 26 hours a day and respite till they were 10, and gave them organic, homemade food that they would naturally go on to do exactly what I said, and that is not my experience, but what they, what they tell me sometimes actually tell me and I have asked my oldest about this is that they want to know what I think they might not do, what I think they should do. They might have a different idea, they might go oh yeah, no, I'm not going to do that, but they want to know what we think. They want to know what we think, so then they can sort out all the information, because they've got other influences, of course, but we are their biggest influence, even if they make their own independent choice, because I don't actually want little robots few, but they want to know what we think.
0:46:08 - Luna Maj Vestergaard
And I reckon and their attachment ties into unschooling. That's what the respectful part comes in. They value your advice, yes, they value it, yes, but you don't value advice Like I didn't value my mom's advice ever. I would never ask her. Not today, it's changed but when I was a kid, in a teen, because what did I get? I got told off. I got scoffs and poo. And who do I think I am? And what's in my little head of the little head of mine? And that's the kind of like oh, punishments or she would suddenly made. If I told her something I wanted to do, then she'd prevent me from doing it, probably for all the right reasons from her perspective.
But the point is just that that was not creating any attachment. That was just creating more division and I was just pulling more away and I couldn't care less. Whereas if my dad would say something because he never said anything, I mean, unless I asked him his opinion, he'd give it to me and he wouldn't always be like or like singy songy, that's not the thing. But the point is he wasn't trying to micromanage me. So I've always valued his opinion and his advice because I felt like it was being provided in a respectful way and yeah so. But it's just super important because that's the real. One of the main issues with all of this is that we that thing exactly, yeah, oh, but if I do this and if I'm just being respectful, then my kids will do what I say. Well, hang on. That's not the point of unschooling. That's not. That's the wrong paradigm. That's not what you want. You don't want them to do what you say, but that's the thing, sorry, I don't know.
0:47:58 - Cecilie Conrad
Go on. This is something wrong with that idea in general. That is the goal of having children to make them do what we say. There's something wrong with the whole idea of that, because what I mean everyone, if they back up a little bit and think about their life and think about okay, I found this great guy or girl and I'm going to make a family, but I will have some offspring and this will probably be a major part of my life. Why am I doing this? What do I want for these children that I'm making with this person I hopefully like? Is obedience the goal? Really, it probably isn't.
It's just the thing that everyone talks about that. Oh, it's so annoying. My kids never do what I say and my teens, oh my God, they're always messy and they never do what they're told, whatever. It's this humming of do what you're told thing going on in the whole conversation, the big conversation about children. So it becomes like, oh, that's the main theme. But I mean, back it up a little bit, think about it.
Is that what you want for your children? No, you want your children to feel good inside. You want your children to be motivated. You want them to jump out of bed in the morning, whatever time of day that is happy, beginning their day doing things they want to do. You want them to make friends, find love, be able to support themselves in life, maybe go traveling, maybe not. Find some joy and some meaningfulness in this life you don't want them to be.
Actually, I never talk to anyone who actually wants it. When I talk to them, it's just this, I don't know, weird, weird common sense box that we have to get rid of. It's not the point of parenting, it's not the point of having children, it's not the point of growing up. There is a lot of developmental things going on in childhood, a lot. There is a big difference between an infant and, let's say, 20 year old and all of that construction of the human being. It's our job to support it, to make sure there is a safe base, a cliff, where they can put their feet and stand while this amazing thing is going on.
Remember, remember when your kids took their first steps and they started walking. It's like a miracle and that's just one little tiny thing. I mean. Now they speak several languages and they can't even start. So do they do what I tell them? My kids do what I tell them. If I say this is about health and safety, this is our. We have this headline health and safety. If someone says health and safety, everybody pays attention. Okay, that is poisonous, that is dangerous, but I'm not ever telling them what to do. If it's not about health and safety, then we're having conversations about how complicated life is and what options we have and what makes us happy, and I'm just so grateful that I'm the one they're asking. I don't want them to do exactly what my first idea would be, but I'm very happy they play ball with me and my husband and each other, by the way.
0:51:23 - Luna Maj Vestergaard
But we each all come down to the attachment again, because they are securely attached to you, just as you're probably securely attached to Yespah, I would suppose, and the other way around.
0:51:35 - Cecilie Conrad
He's not too annoying.
0:51:37 - Luna Maj Vestergaard
No, but I mean you trust him, he trusts you. I think attachment is also about trust. It's about trust and actually probably that.
0:51:47 - Cecilie Conrad
I think trust is a derivate of attachment. Actually, attachment is the establishment of a relation where, if I express a need, you're going to help me and I know that. Yeah, you can say that is trust.
0:52:02 - Luna Maj Vestergaard
Isn't it like the hen on the egg? Because when the infant is there and cries and you respond oh, you're just going to teach them that you'll always be there. Yeah, good, that's kind of the point. So they learn, oh, what you said before she's got my back, I can trust them, they're there. So the trust is building and the attachment is building and it's kind of inter-jainable and inter-like. It has an interaction. But I really think that's just so important and why it ties in together, because it's all about attachment really. It really is All human relations are. We wouldn't be sitting here today having this chat if we weren't kind of in some way attached to each other, because we kind of think that we'll all say reasonably coherent things and sometimes we won't, but I mean, we do have this idea of so every relationship is like that right.
0:53:11 - Sarah Beale
Yeah, so I think Cecil mentioned this before early on about, really, I think, attachment being about survival, like we are part of the animal world and when you observe I don't know, you guys may have seen chickens hatch underneath their mum, right, for example. It's absolutely amazing to watch a hen hatch her chicks right and initially you don't see those chicks. They are underneath their mum and you can hear them right and they talk to each other. The mum and the chicks are talking to each other all the time and she's sticking her head underneath, so the mother. Actually, if you've seen a hen sitting on eggs and then on her chicks, her body will flatten to spread over the eggs and then it adjusts a bit as and, by the way, they turn the eggs underneath them every day to keep the incubation even right For 21 days. Then they start to hatch and her body shifts a little bit and then, because they're alive under her and they've got to breathe and whatever, and then after like a day or so maybe the chicks will poke their heads out and then they start coming out, but they stay really close and then after a couple of days, you know, 24 hours or so, they're dry because they've stayed under their mum, so their feathers have dried and then after a week their feathers start to change. They start to get their like wind feathers and then the mum will be like pecking in the yard and the chicks will start copying the mum pecking and then she'll show them how to like dust bathe and then the chicks will dust bathe and that's how they're surviving. She's literally showing them how to be an adult chicken and they are staying close to her because there's crows flying over and so sometimes in the yard you would see her putting her wings up and the chicks are under the wings but they're still kind of walking around. She's like literally covering them from predators. And that is like a human baby, like making a noise, crying whatever to say to the mum oh, I need something.
And then we, you know, are, by our biology, like in constant contact with our baby, while they're gradually learning how to see properly and move and reach for things. And then they go on the floor for a bit and then they maybe have a cry because they want to come back, you know. And that goes on for years and years. But it's about surviving. Like this is how our children learn how to be thriving grownups by. You know that close physical connection in the early days. And then you know Luna was talking about that tether you know moving away, coming back, moving away coming back for like years probably, like maybe forever. You know knowing that you've got that solid base.
And I wanted to say too, because I remember, when I because I know this can be painful for people too when I realized that I'd made some mistakes with my first child, I definitely went through the stage of grieving, like, oh, I've stuffed up, I've stuffed up, and can I ever fix it? What have I done? And then, of course, it brings up our own attachment wounds and I was like, oh, what about what my mum did when I was a baby? Like, oh, my God, I've missed something, she missed something, her mum missed something, and so on.
And it's like such an overwhelmingly painful feeling and maybe for a bit you do think, oh, I can never, I can never fix that. How can I go back? How can I go back to a newborn baby and make sure she's with me all the time, not in a different room, not whatever? You know Many of us have these stories. I was like late to the party to understanding what instinctive mothering was all about. So, yeah, I had some work to do, and so I want to give comfort to mothers and fathers who listen to this and go, oh my God, what did like? Because I get messages from people all the time saying like I didn't know, I didn't know what can I do, and so you can fall into this whole of being so overwhelmed by that that you think you might never be able to repair that or fix that, and I can't remember what I started out saying.
0:57:45 - Cecilie Conrad
Then I'll say something yeah, stop me. We sometimes say in our family, it's never too late to have a good childhood, and I felt the pain as well. I was by no means a perfect mother with my first or second or third, and I'm not a perfect mother with my fourth child either. I'm just doing my best and it feels like running alongside a train that's going really fast, and at the moment it feels like running alongside four trains going in each direction really fast and I don't really know how to learn or the things I need to learn fast enough. So all I can do is to try to meditate two minutes a day and be honest about the situation. At least I can talk to the kids. It's never too late to have a good childhood.
And I think if you wake up to realizing you personally have attachment wounds and your kids probably have them too. It's just the question of talking to them if they're old enough to understand the concepts or and not or and do something about it. And this is actually a topic I would like to make sure we touch upon, because we've talked a lot about infants and it makes some sort of instinctive sense to most people that obviously babies shouldn't cry. And obviously you change the diaper the second you realize it needs to be changed in case you use diapers. Maybe you should learn not to, but that's another story. You give them food, you make sure they're not too hot and not too cold With the small ones seems reasonable, right.
But what about a 15 year old who's in a sort of grumpy mood and you see the mother cooking five different meals because the kid is not really eating, but really hungry, but also really nauseous, but also really annoyed and also really annoying. And then they, the mother, she will wash the clothes and open the window of the room, maybe organize the room If the kid has a room, and the mother might buy a book or give up her work for the afternoon and ask if the kid wants to go to watch a movie or whatever. And I think a lot of social judgment of this situation would be that mother is just being the servant. That mother. That's crazy.
1:00:14 - Luna Maj Vestergaard
Adoring to the every whim Exactly.
1:00:17 - Cecilie Conrad
And what was the word we use in Denmark? With that sport, with that stone thing, they push over the ice Curling, yeah, so Curling parents. But the thing is, in my observation, teenagers very much need sometimes just as much attention and just as much nursing as newborn babies. Not all the time. We do get our sleep at this moment, most of the days, and I mean it changes. But if you wake up to the music and your child, let's say 12, and you never did attachment parenting, and you realize you did a lot of mistakes and they've been to nursery and they've had babysitters and maybe they cry themselves to sleep because by accident you read that book and I mean you could have done a lot of mistakes.
But there's no reason not to start today and just do the things. Do the things meet the needs of the child and maybe, if it's a 12 year old, talk to the child. It doesn't have to be therapy, but just talk about it. Like I think I've done some things wrong and I think we should try to work in a different way now. Yeah, I'll shut up, callie.
1:01:33 - Carla Martinez
Yeah, now that you say you speak about, talk to them. I was thinking about these things. Like there is something I also see in parents and in people, adults in general, that it's difficult to have or sustain conversations that you don't like. And I think this is very important in unschooling and in attachment to have this conversation Like okay, because we talk already about they don't do what I want them to do, so we talk about that. Because then I say, oh no, I don't want you to do this right now, I don't know whatever. And so they, why not?
And it's like, well, many times, sometimes I have to say I don't really know. It's like something doesn't, don't something move here? And it's like and I have this conversation maybe two times with my son like it's like I don't have really a reason I can explain, but I don't feel good. So then we talk about that. So it's like sometimes we don't, we don't really know, and so we have to, like you know, do this with the idea and and find what is it? What? What I'm saying, no, but then in, in this case, we talk and and he always because he has this secure space when he knows he can, can't express and ask things. So he always say, like what is what's going to happen to me? Why are you saying it's dangerous, for example, because it can? I don't know, I don't, I don't have a thing here, but but this conversation had happened. And now it's like and people is not.
I think it's something you have to work in your family and we to be to be able to have these conversations. When you think one thing and the other person think another thing, what are we going to do? And that's the. I always talk about my family as a team or community or whatever. If you have to live together, we need to find the point. If I don't like this and you want to do, or the other way around, and now I need this space, but I also need this space, or I don't know.
So I find that the Indian, the adult, the adult think they have, I don't know, the power or more importance in in your words to say what I say. It's have more, more value. So this is, I think, something, it's an idea I think everybody can see and understand, because it happened all the time. The kid wants something and I say no, and I was the this kid saying why not? Why not all the time, and my mother always answer like, see, she's not the one who give reasons is just because I say it, but my father always talk and talk and because of blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, so I think you have conversations. So it's where I see super important in the family and in attachment. It can be uncomfortable, yes, but I think it's the place you have to push to be there in this uncomfortable conversation. Maybe there are silly things like normal things in the house, but, yes, stop and talk about these things. Yes, that's what I have to say.
I don't have seen but they have a thing a pre thing and and yeah, whatever, yes.
1:05:41 - Cecilie Conrad
I think I'm so very beautiful about what you say is that and no is up for discussion in the family, with strong attachment and good, healthy attachment, and therefore respect that if you say no and someone asks you about that no, then it might be yes, I've been down many rabbit holes of my own nose. Why am I saying no to this really? And sometimes it at the end of the story is really I can't have it. I'm sorry. I'm doing my best, I'm stretching on every angle that can be stretched of my personality, my personal history, my value system, everything. But that is one step too far. I can't have it.
And then, as you say, we live together, we're family, we have to be in this space and because there is this basic respect for each other, we will also back off. If one person in our family says I can't have that, this is more than I can take. I might be able to work with it, but today it's a no. It could be one of my children saying I can't do that, or it could be my husband, could be me. But I like the way that a no can be up for discussion and that's actually another thing that is part of the mainstream parenting regime that you have to stick with your. If you said no, then it's no. If you said yes, then it's yes. If you made a rule, you have to make sure that that rule always applies, and that's just another bullshit thing. If your daughter always says it's not that deep mom, then my oldest son, he, always says it seems like it's complicated.
1:07:45 - Sarah Beale
And both are true.
1:07:46 - Cecilie Conrad
Yeah, Might not be deep, but there are many factors to, and sometimes it's just complicated. You can't say this is how the world works, it works with. And then there could be this element and rules never really apply.
1:08:06 - Carla Martinez
And you know, in my house, even if I think it's no, but my song thing is yes, the conversation won't be finished. You know, it's like because you said like, sometimes it's just not because I cannot stand it, no, it doesn't matter. Here I mean for myself it's yes, even if I cannot understand it. So it's like I always say, okay, maybe it's late or whatever. I say we have to continue the conversation tomorrow. I mean it's like, but it's not end, it's not ended the conversation till I don't know. Some of us give maybe or something in between. I don't know.
1:08:54 - Cecilie Conrad
Yeah, so that's also what's going on in my family, that when I say sometimes it stops with the no, I can't have it, it always stops with the no, I can't have it. I'm willing to work on it, I'm willing to find out why it is, but please don't do it today. Can we get, can you, we give me some space? And because they know that I'm doing my ultimate best to give them all the space that I can ever imagine giving them. They also respect, they don't want to violate me so that I am afraid or sad or or feel huge personal discomfort. Obviously I mean they, they like me, I think I know and they don't want me to suffer.
And I'm not saying this, I will suffer if you do it. If it's not the truth, I'm not using it as a tool to control them. It's just sometimes really the truth that this thing I can't have it. Give me two weeks, I'll work on it and and it's been very interesting journeys. I've worked on a lot of things I never even imagined would be a problem for me and and I've overcome weird things. It's been fun.
1:10:09 - Carla Martinez
And I think it's very beautiful this. And it's also come, of course, to attachment, like even if they is a yes for them or for my song, for example, and you say like I need to think more, they, they wait because in the end we all want to get on well and we want the other to be fine. So I think that is the important thing, so this is a real value in the family as an, and in the unschooling thing. Yeah, so conversations and they know maybe that yes, and they just maybe some know.
1:10:54 - Cecilie Conrad
And often we say in the unschooling community that unschooling is really just about talking, because that's what's going on. Yeah, the family we talk a lot Like, as in many hours every day we talk with the kids that we have and the spouse that we might have, and, and if we have multiple children, there are many constellations of conversations that could go on, and talking really is the backbone of of the unschooling life. I think, compared to the mainstream life, we have a lot of time talking to our children and it's the most important element.
1:11:38 - Carla Martinez
I think I find sorry, I find also here another contradiction because of the rules and the right way of doing things, because there is no right way. I mean, after we have say all these, maybe someone says your kid or you should act this way, but there is no, because you don't know how your kids is. Maybe your kid is completely different, so it won't work for you what this person is saying. So I think it's always like an aptitude to being open and listen and maybe you are going to do the completely opposite of what they are saying in this book.
1:12:26 - Cecilie Conrad
I mean, and you don't have to talk to your child for three hours a day to be a good on-school mom. It's not a rule. What I'm saying is just it comes up very often that it's the reality that that unschooling families do talk a lot, but maybe not all of them. It's not a rule.
1:12:46 - Luna Maj Vestergaard
And I think the thing about rules is that, no, it's not rules, but it's more like natural consequences or things that just outcomes that happens. It's something that just comes with the thing, just as, on, the unschooling way of life is a natural sort of extension, like we started out by saying, to the attachment parenting way of doing things. But then, because it's so natural, it ends up being that way in most unschooling families. It ends up being that way, so it comes to look like a rule. I mean it looks like, oh, that's some. No, it's not because you have to do it, but it's probably what you're going to do because it's going to naturally evolve that way.
Because also, like, there's a lot of people who come to unschooling from homeschooling. They'll start by pulling their kids out of school or not putting them there in the first place, but they'll start out with, like, doing more structured homeschooling and stuff and then gradually they sort of move towards a more free approach and more unschooling. Because they realize, I guess a lot of times with the being at home and not having that very rigid scaffolding that you have in the school system, because you don't have it, you sort of realize a lot of things that, maybe by accident, oh, we didn't get to do our mats at nine o'clock this morning. And then you discover that, oh, it wasn't actually a problem because whatever. And then, oh, maybe it doesn't matter if we can just jump it tomorrow too or do it at five o'clock instead. And then you gradually just move towards oh geez, we haven't actually done math for like a week. Oh well, we're still alive and well.
I don't know this. I don't know because I haven't done that. I didn't, I came directly into unschooling, so I don't exactly know how it happens, but I hear people say a lot oh, we started out more structured, we started out like this, and then we, now we just full blown unschoolers. I guess this like yeah, I don't know.
1:14:56 - Sarah Beale
That's a pressure, but so just to like, I feel. I feel like that's pretty close to to like tying it up in some way, luna, because you were actually starting to talk about self-directed living, self-directed education and trusting self, because to direct your own life, to direct your own learning, you essentially are motivated by that connection to self and the very early stages, or where that's like planted is, in those early days of attachment, and it's just such a. It's just such a. It's not coming full circle. How's the like, like what, what?
We are showing a newborn by listening to them and tending to their needs through instinct, right, let's just pretend that we all got that right from the word. Go for a second. So we are validating their communication and their needs and their desire for connection with that close contact and being responsive, and then we are actually, you know, imprinting on them and vice versa, and they are gradually as they, they, they move away because they said something and were responded to that they can listen to themselves and trust themselves and then actually can, can take agency over their own education and over, over time and years, their own life. So to me it seems like, if we're talking about our purpose as humans and how we should best thrive. This is a beautiful like, organic, like. It's not that, it's probably more like that, but you know there's that, that thread from birth or something.
1:16:57 - Cecilie Conrad
There is also this bum that we might we haven't talked a lot about but if the attachment goes wrong we all did our mistakes and we all lived through mistakes done by our parents what happens is you express a need or discomfort it's not being met. There's case scenario is the kindergarten. There is no one to meet the need because they're too busy and they're, by the way, not your parents. So you're expressing a need to know one, or it's not being met. And then the next step is not to come back to a feeling of feeling good in life because the need has not even been heard, maybe, and that creates a lot of base emotion of fear, of insecurity, of anger, maybe of well, you just list all the negative emotions and you start living your life in them. And also the sense of self, which happens, it grows from well, from inside the womb and throughout life. But first year is more crucial than later the sense of being here on the planet, the sense of having a person, being someone here in this life. It becomes associated with discomfort and these negative emotions. So later on it becomes harder to go there to find out, go into. This is me, this is my being, this is where I am, how I am and therefore also what I want and what makes me happy and what is maybe my past mission, what I want to do, what I can be excited, passionate and emotional about doing. It's a hard place to go if it's a hurt place. And then you come to a point where it's actually nice that someone gives you a math book and tells you the answers in the back, but don't look and fill it out within three months and then you're good because you don't know what good is.
This is the downside of not doing the attachment. This is the hard part, and this is probably also the reason that parents want rules. They read books with rules. They want to know what to do. Because they don't know what to do, because knowing what to do it claims the rock of knowing who you are, and knowing who you are, well then you'd need to go inside and that's not nice and I've actually never been in there. Did anyone ever open that door? It's complicated and it's painful and I respect that.
I understand that, even those who turn the blind eye to these things. They do it because they want to do their best and their best is to try to find a good system and stick to it, because that's what's been working. It's been working throughout school and high school and university and now we have a job and I do what my boss tells me and I'm getting the salary. It's working. I understand that this whole controlled way of living comes from attachment wounds and they are hard to heal when you're an adult, especially if you don't work on it. So where did I even come from? I don't know where you came from.
1:20:35 - Luna Maj Vestergaard
But it makes me want to go somewhere just quickly, because what you said before about it's never too late to have a good childhood and I feel like I'm having a good childhood now. I actually appreciate going to my parents. I want to go there, I like to go there. I actually have a loving, harmonious relationship. I like my mom. I've always loved her, but I also like her.
I did not like my mom as a kid and especially a teen, because there was a lot of it. I don't want to talk too much about it because I don't want to be no, no, she's her own person and I also don't have the need to really do anything and tell a lot and blah, blah, blah, but suffice it to say that there was a lot of things and I did not like my mom as a kid. Now I do. But the point is, what has been tremendously healing for me has been precisely to parents, in the way that I was in parents, to give my children what I didn't get and to be the mom that I needed and wanted and longed for and all the things that I like, all the needs when I wasn't met in my needs and heard and seen and understood and all that, but to give that and I've messed up a lot, and every time my kids would trigger me, that is because that sent me back to the little kid that I was, of course.
And so by working on that and giving them, that healed you, it healed me and that's what healed you parenting your kids in that way and also healing that. It healed me and it sort of healed the childhood, and I'm now in a place where I don't think my mom's ever going to see these things or understand them or do anything particularly. I think she probably knows some things, but it's not like I don't think we're ever going to sit down and talk about it or anything. But I also don't need that anymore. That's gone. I don't need that because I have moved past that via my own parenting and I think that's just super important because then, yeah, it's never too late and if you think that, well, then just get going, do it, start, go create the attachment. That wasn't it.
1:23:16 - Cecilie Conrad
I'm a trained psychologist and I'm just shooting my own business right down the foot when I say that I really believe that the best way to heal trauma is to go live a meaningful life and to not sit there and talk to your therapist and look at your own belly button, but rather do what's right and do the inner work. There's so much more to talk about with these things, but maybe it's beautiful to just land it with. It's never too late to have a good childhood, but find it by being a good parent.
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