Rest Play Grow – Deborah Mac Namara, Ph. D.

Je termine la relecture d’un excellent livre, Rest Play Grow – Making sense of preschoolers or anyone who acts like one based on the relational developmental approach of Gordon Neufeld, par Deborah MacNamara, Ph. D..

Cet ouvrage a été traduit en français, « Jouer grandir s’épanouir: le rôle de l’attachement dans le développement de l’enfant ». 

Jouer grandir

Dr. Deborah MacNamara travaille avec Gordon Neufeld, de l’Institut du même nom,,

« Fondé sur les travaux du psychologue de renommée internationale Gordon Neufeld, Jouer, grandir, s’épanouir raconte l’histoire du développement des jeunes enfants. Ecrit avec une grande compassion et des anecdotes savoureuses (…).

Avec ce livre, Dr Deborah MacNamara, Ph. D., révèle que le secret pour élever un enfant ce n’est pas de connaître toutes les réponses, mais bien plutôt d’être la réponse de l’enfant. Avec l’attachement comme toile de fond, l’auteure explique très bien la très grande immaturité du cortex préfrontal du tout-petit.  Avec ces prémisses, il devient beaucoup plus facile de comprendre ce que nos tout-petits ont besoin pour s’épanouir et le rôle que leurs parents doivent jouer auprès d’eux – « It lays out how an adult must WORK so that children can REST, so they can PLAY and then GROW ».

J’ai particulièrement apprécié…

  • « In the developmental/relational approach, parents are like gardeners who seek to understand what conditions children grow best in » (…) « Children are like seeds: they need the right warmth, nourishment, and protection to grow. » (…) We need to work not at growing our children up but at cultivating the relational gardens in which they flourish” (pages 16-17)
  • “We believe we can control growth instead of focusing on how we influence the conditions that give rise to it.” P. 25
  • “Master gardeners use science and intuition to know what is needed for good growth and have faith that potential arises from cultivating deep roots to tether all life” (p. 27)
  • “(…) and there is nothing like the force of an immature child to test the maturity level in a parent.” (p. 30)
  • “Until the prefrontal cortex is sufficiently integrated, a young child will remain impulsive and untampered. Brain development continues into adolescence but changes significantly between 5 and 7 years of age.” (p. 31)
  • “Sensitive children have been called “orchid-like”, compared with kids who grow with ease like dandelions.” (p. 35)
  • “Young children don’t think: they react, are moved to attack, and are impulsive – this is the young child in action.” (p. 39).
  • “Young children are unable to operate out of two reference points at a time.” (p. 41)
  • “It is important to bear in mind that young children under the age of 3 have a minimal capacity to play on their own because of intense relational needs.” (p. 67)
  • “Attachment is defined as the drive or relationship characterized by the pursuit and preservation of proximity.” (p, 77).
  • “When they attribute being loved to what they do instead of who they are, they cannot rest.” (p. 89)
  • “With young children, we need to collect their attachment instincts before we direct them.” (p. 96)
  • RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ADULTS and children need to be hierarchical for a fulling attachment dance to unfold – the parent needs to lead, and the child needs to follow. This dance is an instinctive one that cannot be commanded.  It is activated when a parent assumes a caretaking stance and creates the conditions for a child to depend on them  The ultimate purpose of attachment is to foster dependence of the immature on those responsible for them.” (p. 103)
  • “We need to dance our way into right relationships with our children by a) ACCEPTING the WORK of the relationship is our responsibility, b) ASSUMING AN ALPHA role by seizing the lead and reading the child’s needs, and c) PROVIDING more than is pursued so that our provision of care more than satisfies their hunger for connection.” (p. 122)
  • “AS EMOTIONAL CREATURES, young children are predictably unpredictable.” (p. 124)
  • “Parents need to work at providing the conditions to grow children into emotional maturity instead of commanding them to act emotionally mature.” (p. 127)
  • “The antidote to thwarted expression is conveying to a child that all of their emotions are welcome and won’t lead to separation.” (p. 135)
  • “We need to help a child understand this powerful reservoir of emotional energy inside of them.” (p. 152)
  • “A child is moved to attack by the emotion of frustration; this is where a parent needs to focus.” (p. 171)
  • “When a parent conveys what doesn’t work, they need to convey that the relationship is still intact.” (p. 175)
  • “Attachment is the doorway through which separation opens up; attachment and separation are like opposite sides of the same coins. (…) In other words, if separation (ex. Bedtime, separation) is the problem, attachment is the solution.” (p. 179)
  • “Parents will need to cultivate attachment villages to raise their children in (…)” (p. 186)
  • “Bridging will work to reduce separation alarm only when the child has a right relationship with their adult.” (p. 189)
  • Chapter 9 – “You’re not the boss of me”, understanding resistance and opposition.
    • “The counterwill instinct preserves a parent’s rightful place in a child’s life as being the one to lead and take care of them.” (p. 204)
    • “When attachment is strong, counterwill is weak or nonexistent. When attachment is weak, counterwill reactions will be strong.” (p. 206)
  • “Maturity is the answer to immature behavior – discipline is what adults do to impose order on the disorder of immaturity.” (p. 223)
  • “Good discipline means not letting a child’s behavior be more important than the relationship.” (p. 237)
  • “From a child’s perspective, good discipline means an adult still believes in them and knows they will get it right one day.” (p. 237)
  • “Attachment is a child’s greatest need” (p. 230)
  • “Parents can be firm on behavior but easy on the relationship.” (p. 242)
  • “Being a parent is more than just a list of things we do; it is about who we are to our children and who we become because of loving them.” (p. 253)
  • “Children shouldn’t have to perform to be loved; they should be loved regardless how they perform.” (p. 256)
  • “Being a gracious parent is what it means to unconditionally love a child – it is how we become their place or rest so that they can play and grow. “ (p. 257)
  • “We cannot become our child’s answer through books, someone else’s mantras, or directions. This place must be born inside us from alpha instincts and vulnerable emotions. It is as much about caring as it is responsibility.” (p. 257)
  • “As adults, we face forward into aging and separation, but in holding on to our children, we are forced to look back to our beginnings. Nature ties the ends of our life cycle together, the old connected to the new, the endings fused to the beginnings, opposites entwined, the paradoxical rendered seamless, endless.  These invisible ties of relationships hold us together – the human cycle unfolding generation after generation.” (p. 258)

Bonne lecture!


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