Q. How, when and where did the Natural Child Project first get up and running and
what/who is the motivating/driving force?
My son Jason (then 19) and I joined the Internet community in the fall of 1996,
while we were living on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada; we currently live on Salt Spring
Island, BC. In December of that year, we started a very small web site with three of
my newspaper columns and a little information about my background.
In January 1997, Alice Miller kindly agreed to add some of her articles to the web
site. Dr. Miller and I had corresponded since 1990, when she added my article "Ten Reasons not to Hit Your Kids" as an appendix to
her book Breaking Down the
Wall of Silence. After adding the "Alice
Miller Library", we gradually added articles by other leading writers in the
field, as well as more of my own articles, and my "Parenting
In the summer of 1997, we realized that the web site was all about children, but
that we had nothing for them or by them, so Jason started the Global Children's Art Gallery. The gallery has become extremely
popular internationally, and has been featured on CNN Headline News, Canada AM TV, the
"Yahoo Daily Pick", and elsewhere. We currently have over 1,000 wonderful
pictures by children age 1 to 12 from many countries around the world.
Our motivating force is our conviction that the early years of childhood are
critical. We have posted this mission statement on our home page:
Our vision is a world in which all children are treated with dignity, respect,
understanding, and compassion. In such a world, every child can grow into adulthood
with a generous capacity for love and trust. Our society has no more urgent task.
While we have been inspired by many authors and thinkers in the field of attachment
parenting, the La Leche League
has been the primary inspiration for our work.
Q. What type of information can one expect to find at The Natural Child Project web
The site covers information and advice on all aspects of "attachment
parenting" (raising children with respect and trust), unschooling (trusting the
child to set the "curriculum"), and child advocacy (including documents from
children's advocacy organizations around the world). In the Table of Contents,
articles are listed by author as well as by topic. There is also a search engine for
finding specific subjects.
One of our most popular sections is the "Parenting Site of
the Month", which honors web sites that provide critical information and
encouragement to parents. We also have the chapter "Common Objections to Homeschooling" from John
Holt's book Teach Your Own.
We recently added a new section, "Attachment Parenting
Research", to report on current scientific studies that confirm the long-term
benefits of extended breastfeeding, family co-sleeping, responsiveness to crying, and
other aspects of attachment parenting.
Q. What are the main objectives of the project?
Our objective is to help parents understand the critical importance of the earliest
years of childhood, and to provide the kinds of information and encouraging support
they need to treat their children with unconditional love and respect.
Q. Tell us the general response from those who come in contact with your web site.
We have been overwhelmed with the enthusiastic response from the public. The site
currently receives over 250,000 page access per month [current figure], and has been given over 200 awards. But
what we have most appreciated are the many hundreds of profoundly moving letters from parents, telling us how helpful our site has been
Here are two such letters:
"This phenomenal web site contains, for me, the most treasured and valued
sharing of ideas and information that I have received on child raising ever."
"Your respect for children and their feelings really came through and was
just what I needed to hear after a difficult week." - L.C.
It is impossible to put into words how motivating and inspiring such exceptional
feedback has been for our continued work.