Learning to listen to a child’s unspoken communication is much like connecting to God. You must forget everything you think you know, let go of arrogance and humbly and silently listen. Just like in contemplation, our hearts must to a little one’s heart and soul. It is God who will teach us how to connect spirit to spirit with His little children because babies are part of the Communion of Saints, one with us in the Body of Christ.
Children — especially babies — are little and vulnerable, vulnerable to the large, often clueless adults who care for them. Put yourself in a baby’s situation. Preverbal for years, it must be frustrating to be tired or in pain, only to have a bottle thrust into your mouth or have a tense, upset mother try to nurse you when your stomach is bloated with burps.
This disconnect does not end once children can communicate. Nope, our adult reasoning simply does not always compute in little brains. Why, I have been told that human beings do not get their adult brain till they are 25 years old! Apparently, the frontal lobe that makes sane, rational decisions is not fully developed till the mid-twenties.
That means for almost a quarter of a century, humans need a special kind of love and nurturing that will not only meet them and connect with them right where they are, but guide them gently without controlling them and stunting their own growth intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
The best mothers are willing to learn from their offspring, from books, from experience, from others but most all to the Father in Heaven.Good mothers need a wonderful sense of humour to laugh at their own blunders, to laugh at their kid’s blunders. Openness to trying new tactics helps, as does creativity, but most of all they need to be intuitive, listening to their little ones’ body language and tone of voice and their own gut feelings and instincts.
Our society really does not spend time preparing hapless adults to parent.