I turn 50 this year; my daughter turns 2.
I really have been blessed with the most delightful child, at a time in my life that I can truly appreciate her. I also had the misfortune of being raised by a particularly dominating father. Beatings and other forms of corporal punishment (including canings at school, which was considered normal practice back then) were a regular occurrence and father was not a particularly loving man. When he passed away a few years ago, none of his 6 children mourned him.
When my daughter was born (one of those completely unplanned significant life events) I vowed to treat her the exact opposite of how I was treated. So, while it has been easy to reject the dominator model, I've not always known what to do instead. The chapter on intimate relationships was a godsend, at just the right time, since she's entering what most parents affectionately refer to as "the terrible twos."
I found this phrase particularly helpful:
How are children treated in your family? Are they supposed to be “seen and not heard”? Are they given total free rein? Or are they taught to respect and honor both their own needs and those of others?
The second key takeaway was hugely helpful in the work I am doing to help female entrepreneurs understand the rise and fall of patriarchal societies throughout Western civilisation, and specifically what they can expect in the next 5-50 years. I particularly found this concept useful:
...the evolution of love, empathy, and caring. In reality, empathy and caring also play a crucial role in determining survival or extinction for many species.
It's my belief (shared by millions) that we have reached a tipping point, and that what humanity does in the next 10-20 years will determine whether we survive or not. While it's easy to get caught up in the symptoms of our malady (climate change, poverty, etc.), it was a timely reminder that empathy plays a crucial role in deterring survival or extinction.
All in all, a timely and transformative course, and I am eternally grateful for the serendipitous events that led to me joining. Highly recommended.
Cape Town, South Africa