Nearly at the end of this tough year, that’s for sure a year I don’t want to feel that way in the future. Lots of changes happened, questions about myself and many doubts. But everybody has their highs and lows, it’s the process of life. The real question is how you will manage them to evolve in the most positive way. I think positive thinking is one of many keys. You don’t need to have all answers right away, you need to process every moment that enters in your life, it always means something and it doesn’t matter if you discover it now or later because you need time to figure out. My tip : enjoy and live your life the way you want, not to impress someone or to live for others, you only have one and it’s precious. It can be ridiculous say that way but it’s the truth, never doubt about the fact that your time is priceless and you’re the only person to have the power to decide what you’ll do with it.
Little intro and not so in the theme about this new article but much needed for me, so anyway let’s begin. You may be intrigued by the title and the fact that I’m only 22 and not in the place to have children right now but let me explain the reason for these lines today. I recently had the opportunity to work with children full time for a year. At the beginning of this new chapter, there were some questions I asked myself. In every step or experience, I had done in the past, I always begin to ask myself about so many things and I need to find answers to my questions, so I mostly search for books to help me.
Since my early childhood I always loved babies and children in general, maybe the fact that I’m the eldest of a family of seven kids explained it. Today I can say that I’m fully blossomed and so happy about the place I’m at. I know why every morning I wake up, just simple as that and it feels so good for body, soul & mind. Just before this new path, I already search and asked my bestie, Mathilde, about what I could read to help me going through this new experience.
« MAKING THE DECISION TO HAVE A CHILD IS MOMENTOUS »
I’ve already read two books about children’s development and education written by the pediatrician, Catherine Gueguen, and I have to admit that’s two incredible books. Everyone should read these books even young people like me even if the question of having children is not around the corner for the moment. These books explain how affective and social neuroscience can change the way your child will grow. When you read these books there are so many things that you heard or that your dad told you, or just everybody told the same thing without questioning it even a bit. I think that’s the mistake today, it’s so much simpler to tell something because you heard somebody talk about and claim this thing to be exact without think really about it and to question with your judgment. Because this needs quite some time and thoughts and the human is so lazy these days and even more to educate himself. But in my opinion, I found it so much more interesting to educate yourself about what you’re interested in than just hear something and repeat it right after like a parrot.
These two books have shown me the importance of how you act with your child, I don’t use the verb « educate » because I don’t think that in the first place you have the right to educate someone besides yourself. Yes, you want to have a child, but this little baby who just born into the world is already a full person for my opinion. He’s not something you have the power to want to be the kind of way you want. He will grow with two people that made him in the first place and help his growing process. But he will be what he wants to be with his own character, physical appearance, and every little detail. The role of a mother and a father is to completely accept their child.
I write this because with these lectures that I made I learned how your parent’s reaction will impact your growing progression. It is proven by scientific research that your brain will develop in a certain way depending on these reactions, these behaviors of your two births people. That’s why I think that decides to create a human is so much more than just a decision or a desire. It’s a question that needs so much of thinking and questioning about yourself before wanting to bring someone new in your life. I think that is a long process and a very personal process to deal with all things and emotions going into your life. Everyone who thinks want a baby, should first ask « Am I emotionally prepared ? »
Because this baby that you’ll bring into your life will depend on you for the first like 18 years maybe more of your life. I’m talking about the fact that you’ll be his model or reference and every act or behavior you will have with, he’ll remember all his life. When you read about child’s development you will see that there is even a period when he will tries to do everything he’ll see you doing and that’s really important how you act every time but especially in this period of time. You are the adult with the brain fully mature, you can manage your emotions and feelings not the case for your children. So before punish him or be angry at him try to remind you that he can’t deal the way you do with these feelings and it doesn’t mean that he actually can, he can’t. I heard that children are like sponges and it’s so true, so please be careful how you act, what you say and what you think because it will affect him no matter what.
Now that I care all day with children, especially babies, I have another point of view of parents’ expectations and needs. Some of them are understandable and feasible. But when I heard « I want my baby to eat at 12 AM because this way I can eat in peace when I’m at the restaurant. » I was shocked !
In my opinion, when you decide to have a child you are aware that your life will change of perspective forever, you make a commitment to him, to be there as long as he needs, to give him all the love, affection and help he will need. That means that you will adjust your way of life to create a welcome place for him. Because that’s your decision to have a child, not his. So if you want him in the first place, that means that he will become your priority. This sentence is shocking for me because (and I’m not judging here, just making a statement) that means that this mom wants her kid to follow her rythm before following hers. How a baby or children can live like an adult, it’s technically not possible, he has some needs that need to be heard and cared for.
No child should have to deal and suffer because of the behaviors, the incoherent reactions or emotionally immature parents with the pretext that they can not question themselves and change the way they act. If they can’t face their own emotional problems and deal with them that’s their problem. But in no case, it is up to the children to live with this kind of behavior on a daily basis. Because these problems will impact the relationship that parents will have with their children. If there are not in the right place, they won’t have a healthy exchange with them. Then it will be so easy to tell that it is the children who have some problems to « fix » before asking « Is there a problem with my attitude that can explain why my children act that way ? » When adults are too stubborn and selfish they will bring their child to a specialist to solve a non-existent problem because there is the reason to the actual problematic.
I first started with her book, « Heureux d’apprendre à l’école », this is a must-read especially for all people who want to have a teaching career and everyone else too. In my opinion, I found it so interesting and really easy to read. It helps me to open my mind about so many things, that I was convinced that they were right because everyone told me so but no.
For example when you put a baby on the floor for him to play and he starts immediately to cry. Emotionally he is not capable to calm himself on his own. Because his brain is too immature for this kind of situation and when you let this baby cry and think that he’ll stop crying, the tears will create stress that his brain can’t handle. The stress will secrete cortisol and adrenalin and as an adult, you can handle and calm yourself with different methods but imagine these two hormones in a baby brain. It creates chaos and these two can destroy neurons.
There is something that everyone who has children or work in a children’s place should be aware of is that when a baby cries this is his own way to share his emotions, his needs or his physical pains. He hasn’t yet the capacity to talk, so he tries to be understood as he can. People and I too have the false impression to be played when you take the baby crying and he stops immediately because you hold him and after you put him down he starts again. It’s not like he plays a game, he wants to trick you because he hasn’t the ability to think like that, we’re talking about a baby who just got there. Something I learned with this book is that comforting a baby will not give him some bad habits, it’s his need to be comforted during his first months and years of his life and it’s a parent job to be able to do that no matter what, because we’re talking about his mental and physical grow.
Then I got really interested in how emotions and brain work because for a child it’s new and scary, he has never experienced this kind of emotions and he didn’t know how to react to them. It’s our job to help them with it not judge or punish them for feeling these emotions. Because if we let a baby cries or punish a child because he feels something he’ll interiorize the emotion and try to not feel anything and it’s not healthy to act like that. We can speak about these different emotions, show some books about that theme and help how to deal with them. Emotions are so important and to know how to react is having a healthy life in my opinion. That’s the reason I got interested in these and if you want to know more, read my last article « Heal your emotions to heal yourself ». Emotions involve so many different impacts on brain maturation and evolution. Every relational experience will have a huge impact on how the brain will grow and evolve.
The brain of a child needs affection, love, care and attention to grow healthy. These things are supposed to be given by the parents. The brain development depends on our social and emotional environment and no child has the power, the ability or the duty to change it, to grow in a healthy place. It’s the ability of the parents to adapt to the needs of the child. I want to be specific about this term « affection » in my opinion I see affection as pure signs of love and care not material affection. I’m not agree with the fact to use the easy way of giving the strict minimum to a child like a house, a bedroom, some food and call it affection/love. That’s not affection. In reality this attitude it’s just the easy part, it didn’t take much personal effort from the grown-ups to give.
Years ago I spoke with a therapist for children and he told my father and me that this affection my father was talking about, in fact for the therapist it’s only the parents’ job. It’s not affection or love. And for my personal progress, at that moment of my life, I was so relieved to hear this sentence from the most qualified person to talk about that.
I could continue with this subject for so many lines but it would be too long for just one article. I’m not claiming that I have the power of knowing anything but I want to educate myself and to know more about this because it’s so interesting and it’s matters. I will continue in this path, I have to finish the second book about this great writer and my next reading just arrived today in my mailbox, it’s a book called « Adult children of emotionally immature parents » and I can’t wait to start with him in the next few days. If you’re interested I will make a review as I made for these two books in another article on the blog.
SEE YOU SOON, XOXO.