Parenting: Children are from Heaven (cont.)

Event_Moderator Were you involved in the creation of the site?

Dr_Gray Yes, I'm a part of that. I'm a consultant, on their board of directors. I've written about it in the back of my book. I have a column soon to appear on it. We should all be much more connected. When we make presentations of this to PTA's, we get standing ovations. This puts the power back into parent's hands.

Event_Moderator {question presented} What are the different challenges of parenting boys and girls?

Dr_Gray That's clearly in the book as well. There's many. In all that we've discussed, we've only touched the tip of the iceberg .. how do you implement this? Put this into practice? This book is filled with hundreds of easy things. There's a section of the book called 'Boys are from Mars, Girls are from Venus' and they are clearly from different planets when it comes to gender differences as well. We're not stereotyping them into roles, but acknowledging who they are. I've heard women tell me, I resisted your Mars/Venus ideas until I had children. I could bring in trucks, army soldiers, and guns and there was no reaction. But, women said, 'I have a little boy and giving him a doll to play with in the bathtub, and that's all he's seen. We don't watch TV, and he's dismembered the doll and he's ramming the leg up the faucet.' Boys want to take things apart, girls want to nurture. These are basic hormonal reactions to life. Certainly there are ways we culture boys and girls to be different. But, appropriately so, hopefully.

If a girl's crying, she needs to talk about it much more than a little boy. If a boy doesn't cry, he doesn't need his mother saying, 'you should cry.' If he's not crying, don't worry, there's nothing wrong. He's a little boy. They tend to bounce back faster from physical pain and emotional pain than little girls. But once he does have that, he might throw a bigger tantrum or cry longer than a little girl. Boys tend to feel loved when you give them more independence. So he can take credit for things he does, that makes him feel like you love him more cause you're trusting him to do it himself. Let him tie his shoes himself. The little girl might not want to do it herself, she wants you to do it for her. Don't make her do it. Tie them for her. What she feels is loved because you helped her. Boys can let love in when they did it themselves And, girls can feel more loved when she feels supported. Yet this doesn't mean that you ignore a boy and let him do everything himself. Be aware of the sensitivity. And, don't do everything for a girl, just be aware that she has a greater need for support.

Event_Moderator {question presented }Your approach emphasizes people's inherent common sense and wisdom. However, many people's religious beliefs are based on a hierarchical structure which places wisdom outside of themselves. Would you say that in some ways you are challenging religious beliefs which place wisdom in a deity outside of the human being?

Dr_Gray What a wonderfully framed question. I appreciate that enormously. You hit the nail right on the head in terms of the enormous transformation right now taking place in mankind. We can look at developmental changes in children. They are dependent upon the guidance of the parents because they don't have the capacity to know what's right for them. We have parents to lead us, who are wiser, who know what's right, and we follow them. Then, around adolescence, a change takes place in our brain. At 9 years old we begin to learn logic, at 13 we begin to form opinions. We have the power to know what we think is right, and that's a skill that through adolescence and teenage years, we hope to be developing. Many of us didn't have that skill because we didn't have conversations with our parents. Democracy says everyone has the right to their own opinion, their is free speech. Mankind became adolescents ... they had their own opinion and could follow the truth within themselves. We're forming a new relationship with religion in the same way that a teenager forms a relationship with their parents, they're not completely dependent on them, but they still need them for guidance. A parent cannot always be there.

What's happening in the world on a mass level, the whole world, right now, has developed a new capacity to say, 'Hey, I respect you as having your wisdom and truth and there are many ways of expressing the same thing. I will follow my heart. I know what is true within myself.' It doesn't mean people will throw away religion, though some have. More religions demand obedience as opposed to cooperation. If religions treat people like kids, they won't follow anymore. But they go to them when they need guidance. And, instead of dogma and what you should do, the focus will be on a community where people come to worship God together. Yet, going to the religious leaders and saying 'should I do this? that?' has become judgment. I believe the judgment day has come metaphorically. Mankind has the capacity to judge within themselves what is right and what is wrong. We don't have to depend on some outer source. I ask someone who I think knows, but when my heart is open and full of love, the answers come and I know what's right for me.

Event_Moderator Dr. Gray, you are a true inspiration and I am proud to have had the opportunity to speak with you today. Thank you for joining us.

Dr_Gray Thank you so much. As we raise our children using these 5 positive messages of parenting and using these skills, we awaken within them the capacity to know what is right and wrong, so that by the time they become teens, they can develop that ability strongly. If they are already teens, you can help them develop this capacity, and then you give them an enormous gift. Right now, our teens have more choices, more stimulation, more temptations, more opportunities to get into trouble than ever before. What's immoral and abnormal is on TV as normal. And, by having strong communication skills with parents, the values of the family can support the children who are learning to face the world on their own. If you improve communication, you give them an enormous gift. Never in previous generations did you take classes on parenting. I think it should be a requirement when you get a marriage license that you take a parenting class, too.

Event_Moderator Thank you.

Dr_Gray Thank you.

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