Babies come with their brains ‘hard-wired’ by biology to learn about their environment and connect with others. This is especially the case with people closest to them who are invested in protecting them and helping them thrive. Eye-contact, holding your baby close, reading to them, and smiling all stimulate your baby’s biological and lifelong predisposition for attachment and love.
A baby is born with a need to be loved—and never outgrows it.
Loving a baby is a circular business, a kind of feedback loop. The more you give, the more you get and the more you get, the more you feel like giving.
Give a little love to a child, and you get a great deal back.
Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind.
Children are like a book which we should write in and which we should read.
Asking questions is what brains were born to do, at least when we are young children. For young children, quite literally, seeking explanations is as deeply rooted a drive as seeking food or water.
LET’S DANCE—NEURONS & SYNAPSES
1 billion neurons (brain cells) are present at birth. The synapses that transmit information between neurons form at lightning speed in the early years—several hundred per second! This is more than needed because only connections that get used will stay. If experiences are positive, this is what leaves an imprint and if negative, this is what stays.
THE RIGHT START MATTERS
For both emotional and cognitive skills, more advanced ones build upon basic ones. This means the basic skills built on attachment and positive stimulation must be strong. ‘Getting it right the first time’ has been shown by research to be more effective than later intervention. Babies aren’t blank slates at all. They are sophisticated little beings!
We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.
Just like a plant needs light and space to grow, a child needs love and freedom to unfold.
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
A new baby is like the beginning of all things – wonder, hope, a dream of
A happy baby has shining eyes. It walks open hearted into the world and spreads magic.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Accept the children the way we accept trees—with gratitude, because they are a blessing—but do not have expectations or desires. You don’t expect trees to change, you love them as they are.
THE SECRET SAUCE—ATTACHMENT
Attachment is needed for a sense of security, trust, and self-worth. This lets babies, toddlers, and preschoolers feel they can count on you and are worthy of being loved and protected as they are. This is incredibly powerful! Young children use a secure attachment to have the confidence to successfully explore the wider world and all the
people in it.
READING IS FUNDAMENTAL
Sophisticated communication through language is uniquely human. Babies and young children are highly motivated and skilled to master language. The importance of reading starting at birth is one of the most robust research findings in child development. Hearing complex language is very important for young children as it stimulates vocabulary, language development, communication, and logical thinking.
Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.
Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift.
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.
A book is a gift you can open again and again.
The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.
Every word, facial expression, gesture, or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about self-worth. It is sad that so many parents don’t realize what messages they are sending.
Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory of our children.
A new baby is like the beginning of all things – wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.
SOWING THE SEEDS OF ACCEPTANCE
Reading promotes physical and emotional closeness between you and your child, and this in turn promotes secure attachment. Sending positive messages your child is loved and safe through language helps them feel closer to you and better about themselves.
KNOWING OUR OWN EMOTIONAL LANDSCAPE
To be emotionally healthy as children and then as adults, parents must encourage and support their child to thrive in their own self. To do so, we need to aware of how we feel about ourselves and about life, and then do some healing of our own emotional landscape. One extremely important area is our own inner child.
I think a spiritual journey is not so much a journey of discovery. It’s a journey of recovery. It’s a journey of uncovering your own inner nature. It’s already there.
So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us.
Those helpless bundles of power and promise that come into our world show us our true selves—who we are, who we are not, who we wish we could be.
They say that abandonment is a wound that never heals. I say only that an abandoned child never forgets.
To abandon the child ‘within’ means that the adult ‘without’ will be an adult in name only. And frankly, I can only name a handful of things that are that tragic.
You are truly free from anyone’s petty opinions about you when you are able to recognize your worth. You are in charge of freeing yourself from all negativity. You deserve this liberation.
Unconditional love is the greatest gift of all.
If it seems a childish thing to do, do it in remembrance that you are a child.
WHO IS MY
The inner child is our earliest emotional and cognitive wiring that occurred during our child development in our formative years. All of us have a part of our self—a core self, a natural self—that came into this world who wanted to be loved and to bring out our gifts. Attachment is the mechanism that starts our inner child.
GOOD PARENT MESSAGES
Healing our inner child is supported with ‘good parent messages’. Affirmations like “You are special. I believe in you. You don’t have to be afraid.”, that are about love, acceptance, worthiness, and safety let us heal negative belief systems and that wound of not getting the full love we needed as a child. How amazing is that?!
Caring for your inner child has a powerful and surprisingly quick result. Do it and the child heals.
It sounds corny, but I’ve promised my inner child that never again will I ever abandon myself for anything or anyone else again.
Even though we have found the light in ourselves today, we sometimes forget to heal old wounds of our past. Your inner child still needs to be loved in order to heal the complete self.
There is in every child at every stage a new miracle of vigorous unfolding, which constitutes a new hope and a new responsibility for all.
At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.
Childhood is a short season.
NO TIME LIKE
Being the parent we want to be does take commitment, and the window for certain important opportunities is quite narrow. Attachment is laid down in the first year and 90% of brain development occurs in the first three. We have the opportunity to re- parent our self or risk passing feelings of not being loved on to our kids.