Dr. Gabor Maté is a Vancouver physician, author and public speaker who specializes in the study and treatment of addiction and mind/body health. He was honoured as a member of the Order of Canada in 2018 for his compassion, work with trauma and addiction, and recognition of the mind-body connection in health and illness.
When I discovered Dr. Gabor Maté on YouTube, I couldn’t stop listening to his keynote speeches, interviews, and presentations for about 3 months, almost obsessively. This past summer, I completed his Compassionate Inquiry course, which I recommend to anyone interested in learning about trauma and its impact on brain development. I then read his book on parenting, Hold On To Your Kids: Why Parents Need To Matter More Than Peers, co-authored with Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D.
Almost everything he says is pure wisdom; but one thing struck me the most: that all human babies (yes, including YOU!) are born with two fundamental needs: a need for attachment and a need for authenticity. Why is this important for conscious parenting? Because it forces us to prioritize the ENVIRONMENT in which we are raising our children. A child will ALWAYS give up his/her authenticity for the sake of attachment, for obvious survival reasons and biological wiring. However, that child, in the absence of a safe emotional environment, will choose to “forget” (deny) who they are, so they can be loved and accepted by mom and dad (or primary caretakers, whomever they may be).
This happened to most of us, the now-parents. Therefore, we are parenting from a place of inauthenticity, simply because we had to adapt to our environment. Conscious parenting helps us un-cover our own forgotten authenticity so we can allow our children not to forget theirs. This is the only way we can stop generational trauma, and truly change the world.
Send me a DM @mihaelapl if this resonates with you.