Page Two: Ideas and Inspirations
|This is the beginning of an ongoing collection of inspirational ideas and perspectives on Creative Parenting. Please send in contributions. Your ideas and experiences are greatly appreciated. You will be given credit unless you request otherwise.
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1. Hold their naked bodies to your naked body. They need to feel your human warmth and skin with all their bodies. This creates open, energetic bonding that is essential for their sense of trust and peace.
2. Unless it is not possible for physical reasons, always nurse your baby as long as you can. The experience of resting against your warm body, feeling your energy presence, sucking your warm, soft breast, drinking your human milk is so important for their sense of security, of belonging, of acceptance, of human presence and Love. Plus: your milk is God designed for their little bodies. It is very, very healthy for their development. Supplement milk with food slowly, as they desire it. Chew it up for them into a mash. Give them pure foods, not processed ones.
3. Guard them from harsh, jarring noises. Sooth them. Lull them. Let them absorb beauty and peace. Play music that conveys Love, harmony and peace quietly for them as they rest.
4. Sing often to them. It doesn't matter how "good" your singing voice is, it is your voice, it is their own mother's voice. Your baby needs to hear your voice, to have it written on the blank slate of their heart, to feel your soul coming through it into their soul.
5. Do things slowly and quietly. They are not naturally afraid, so don't shock them and introduce fear into their systems by exposing them to new stimulations too quickly. Harsh loud noise, harsh light suddenly in their eyes, being put in bath water unexpectedly or too quickly should all be avoided. Do what you can to do everything slowly, lovingly and gently.
6. Crying is their way of self-expression. Let your response be, "What?" or "Why?" not "Stop!" Understand that a coo or a smile means yes and a cry means no. They are communicating. Don't frustrate their only way of communication because it bothers you. You will be creating deep conflicts within them. Talk to them. Explain things, even though you don't think they understand. You are giving their amazing little brains the building blocks it needs.
7. Take lots of time to ponder the miracle and beauty of their innocent being. Gaze into their eyes long enough to feel the pure Light of Life they are, and that you forever are too, deep below the layers of your accumulated experience. Allow their innocence to inspire you to face and undo the shadows of pain within yourself that cloud the Light of this innocent Light you are in God and God is in you.
Encourage them to explore. Lay things out for them that are baby-safe. Guide them in exploration by exploring things yourself. Pretend you are seeing, hearing and feeling everything for the first time. Feel and ask, what is this sensation really? Put things in your mouth like they do. Enter their world of wonderment. This will help you relate to their world, to their being, and to be patient with them when they get into things you didn't expect them to.
Of course you must set boundaries to protect them. They don't know the hot stove burns. They don't know a sharp knife can cut them. When they push against boundaries you have set, why not "outsmart them" by distracting their attention with something interesting, something new? Get used to flowing with their energy and guiding it creatively, simular to a Judo Master, instead of resisting them. It is so much more fun for you and them. Explain everything to them. This talking to them is creating intelligence in their little minds and a strong sense of connection with you.
Enter Their World:
Take them to the park. Again, see through their eyes and you will enjoy them and Life so much more. It will fill you with joy and energize you to see the world as if you have never seen it before. Don't get caught in energy draining ways such as always being the disciplinarian trying to make a "perfectly behaved" child. What is perfect is their natural curiosity, their joy in Life, their exercising of their awakened independant will. Don't resist their energy: flow with and turn it this way and that with the exhuberence of your awakened awareness and joy in the miracle of being alive.
Get down on the ground with them. See things from their perspective. Quiet your mind by taking deep breaths and feeling the sky moving in and out of your body. This opens your sensitivity. Feel things as you imagine them feeling things. Be fully present and watch how things flow, how ideas come. It is your state of awareness that is the key, more than what you do.
Why not decide to make a big mess and clean it up together? Get in the kitchen and cook. Let your child have fun with flour, eggs, milk and whatever other ingrediants you use. Make cookies with funny faces or in funny shapes. Remember, they learn by imitation and play is the strongest form of learning. It gives them a joyous approach to life. A joyous child makes a joyous parent. And, of course, the opposite is equally true. Let their curiosity lead them. Don't force things on them. Follow their lead and give creative guidance through your opening awareness of things.
Balls and Balloons:
Children love balls and balloons. Never underestimate the fascination of simple things. You can have so much fun just rolling a ball around with a small child or batting a balloon. If they are walking, teach them to kick it. If you have a dog, let them in on the fun too. Dogs and little children are such good playmates.
Ribbons create a festive atomosphere. You can decorate your hair or a whole room. What else can you get to bring color and joy into your home atmosphere? Colored paper, balloons, sparkles, face paint... Little things can make big differences. Cut pieces of bright colors from old magazines. Make collages that celebrate your family. Celebrate being alive, now, just how things are. Don't wait for more money or time: make time and use what you have: your awakening imagination, deepening Love, and a commitment to celebrate.
Create Things Together:
Create things with your child. Take what you have, a bit of paper and crayons, some tape, some string, and see how many things you can make. Let yourself be outrageous. Make flying cows and hang them up. Take your child's scribbles and frame them. Draw around your child's hands. Make lots of them. Cut them out and string them together. What about foot prints? See if your child can draw around your hands.
Remember, it isn't what you make that counts. It is that you are doing it together, having fun, getting your imagination linked to your intention to lovingly and creativly connect with your child and using what you have to create something expressive of your child and you. Who knows, you might even make something together you will hold onto and treasure for your whole life. Find the uncommon wonder of common things marked by your child and you playing together.
The Danger of Overstimulation:
Overstimulated children begin to lose their innate sensitivity. Poor third world children can play for hours with a stick. To refrain from over stimulating a child's senses allows their imagination and ingenuity to develop. Parking them in front of a television and bombarding their visual and audio sensations hypnotizes them and eventually dulls their sensibilities. Overloading them with toys can be the worst thing you can do. Overstimulated children loose their capacity for appreciation and being fully present to what is right in front of them. They become addicted to constantly needing new things to temporarily "wake them up," but then quickly tire of them. An imaginative child can entertain themselves all day with a pencil and a bit of paper, a shovel and sand, or a pile of wooden blocks while an overstimulated child will sit bored and unhappy in a room stuffed with thousands of dollars worth of the latest gagets and toys.
Communicate, communicate, communicate: explain things, describe things, ask your child questions... listen carefully. Let them communicate as they can, even if it is only squeals and cries... honor this communication. You will be amazed at how much they understand way before they actually begin talking. If you must take something from them because it is dangerous or belongs to someone else, do it slowly with explanation. Trust their understanding. If they cry, it is their way of saying I'm disappointed. It's ok. Remember, crying is a baby's displeasure. What would you do if you were punished every time you said, "I don't like that"?
If you want a truly beautiful child, give yourself totally to the job of raising them. A part time parent will not do. Free yourself from economic enslavement. Simplify your life. Sell things. Get rid of debts. Make room to co-create with God and your child a beautiful being. The results will bring joy to you for life and their open, creative, loving being will bless thousands of people as they continue their journey through the world.
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