Thursday, March 4, 2010

can you teach love?

my brother's wife just sent me the most beautiful story from "this american life" (an npr show) on unconditional love.  it's a story that she heard and "almost fainted from crying."

it starts by reviewing how medicine has looked at love.  you will probably not be surprised that for the early part of 20th century, certain medical professionals delivered a message of anti-attachment parenting.  they advised parents to "never kiss a baby on the mouth. don't pick up or cuddle your child...there are serious rocks ahead for the over-kissed child," and then described "over-kissed" as a child who was kissed more than once a year.  that last part was actually said by the head of the american psychological association in the mid-1900's.

the main focus of the piece is on two incredible stories of parents of deeply troubled children.  they are amazing people who have gone to the ends of the earth to truly help their children.  one story is of teaching attachment to a spiraling 12-year-old adopted boy (who was adopted at age 7 from a romanian orphanage).  the other is about a family who faces putting their autistic son into a special needs home.

it is a 60 minute piece that is pretty evenly divided at the half way point---meaning, if you don't have the time, do it piece by piece (i think the first story is the best if you only have 35 minutes).  click here to listen.

photo courtesy of

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