Making Space for Children: Creating a Sane Environment, by Virginia Hilliker is superb. This slim volume of 53 pages is gentle, profound and chock full of wisdom and humour, beautifully laid out and easily accessible to busy people.
The Chapter headings explain a lot.
The Child's View of the World: knowing the world through the senses, views change with growth, concepts, dreams and reality, fairytales, the power of words, cruelty, the teen years, the uniqueness of each child. These are delicate brush strokes conveying a depth of wisdom and compassion.
Understanding Ourselves as Parents: our beliefs, our beliefs as obstacles, 'they are out to get me', is a child a blank slate, parents needs, guilt, unfinished business, trusting ourselves, meditation. Virginia's lifetime observations are distilled and delineated succinctly.
The style of the whole book is simple, deceptively simple. There are pictures, poignant and meaningful, quotes from Chogyam Trungpa, Suzuki Roshi, Eric Berne and others. It gives a brilliant view of the parent child dichotomy. The book can be picked up at random as each page or paragraph gives enough to contemplate for a week, whether you are a parent, grandparent or not. It is all about how to create a sane environment - at any age.
If you don't know Virginia, through this book you will and if you do know her you will be amazed. There is a short bio in the front. Virginia is an excellent Buddhist, she does yidam practice almost daily, even at 91 years old. But because she has always believed in basic goodness the principles of Shambhala have been the way she has lived and taught, since before they were named. This book is a practical manual of how to be, rather than how to do, and to become a helpful person in this world.
The price is less than a lunch date. Get it and give it. It is soooo worth it.
Thanks for reading this far....Jan Watson