What happens to us as children has a huge impact on the rest of our lives. How we learn to treat ourselves and our body is closely connected to how we learn to relate to other people.
Childhood is where we first learn to respect the rights of others -- or where we first learn violence, cruelty, oppression, and discrimination. Research shows that our minds -- their patterns of emotion and thought -- are largely molded during our early years. Therefore, partnership parenting plays an important role in determining not only the present but also the future emotional stability and mental health of our children.
Changing to partnership parenting can be difficult since it involves habits we unconsciously learned in our own childhoods. Fortunately, there are many wonderful resources to help:
- CPS's Caring and Connected Parenting Guide
- Resources for parents in the SAIV SourceBook
- William and Martha Sears' The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two
- Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs by Ellen Galinsky (Harper, 2010)
- Penelope Leach's Your Baby and Child
- Child magazine (1986 - 2007)
- Parenting magazine
- Organizations such as National Association of Mothers' Centers (NAMC), whose purpose is to create support for women who are caregivers by creating community and advocating for public policy. Read the NAMC blog for daily stories and experiences.
For those who want more, there are parenting classes and counselors. CPS is also working to bring partnership to our educational system through Partnership Education.
Adapted from The Power of Partnership: Seven Relationships That Will Change Your Life (2002), by Riane Eisler, New World Library