Love, Connection and Response-ability
Love, connection and response-ability form the basis for my recently launched book, Through My Eyes—A Mother’s Guide from Baby.
This wise little book written to help parents raise self-confident and resilient children is quirky in that it is told from baby’s perspective. It invites parents to explore what it’s like to be their baby — what baby needs and wants and how parents can helpfully respond.
With heart stirring photography by Julieanne Perara, the book is already making waves. Mayor of Bayside, Councillor Alex del Porto bought two books and in his speech, praised the presentation and the content. Joan Andrews, Bayside Council’s Community Services Manager said, “We want to put this book into all our childcare centres and libraries and encourage our neighbouring council to do the same.”
Dr Coral Brown, Fellow of the Australian Psychological Association and Executive Director of the Cairnmillar Institute; and who wrote the Foreword for the book, said, “This book is so creative and very thoughtful. It is easy to read. I don’t like to judge a book by its cover but the cover is as wonderful as what’s inside.”
With Love, Connection and Response-ability as the underpinning theme, the book is jam packed with short gems of vital information and strategies, some of which will likely be new and affirming to readers.
Following is a summary of these gems:
- Nature is on our side. Babies have an inherent drive to survive and will despite our parenting. At the sight of our baby, our brains are doused with chemicals that make us magically fall in love with our babies over and over again— a love like we’ve never experienced before.
- Our Hearts connect…forever. Only a parent knows how it is to look into their own child’s eyes. This heart connection has no words. It’s an overwhelming whole body experience.
- Mother is the bridge for baby from the womb to the big wide world. She’s baby’s most familiar comfort and safe haven. When she attends to baby readily, baby can be relaxed enough to get growing and developing healthily.
- Energy is contagious so for baby’s sake, we’d best learn to ride the waves of ups and downs, and attend to any upset and big feelings; and get help when we can’t.
- We’re all beginners and finding our way. Love, kindness, patience and respect go a long way all the time. It does take a village to raise a child so gather the troops to enlist the help you do need.
- Unconditional Love. Baby has unconditional love for his or her parents, no matter what we do. No need for perfection! Mistakes mean we’ve tried. Handle with care!
- Attention, affection, fun and stimulation. Baby relies on you to provide all these so he or she can become deliciously alive, responsive, and learning is expansive.
- Good habits start at the start. Settle baby with love and close comfort to be continued over the years. Make daily time for each other. Gather round the dinner table to promote listening, sharing, helping and supporting each other through life’s challenges and celebrate something each day. When this becomes your way the communication channel is more likely to stay open when children go through the bumps of adolescence.
- Baby record button is on. Programming for life is real. Treat people with care and baby will too. Make up after conflict. Start each day afresh. Each child is different so requires flexibility in response.
- Parent not friend. That’s our role. To be firm, fair, loving and provide structure for practicing good habits, makes for a good approach.
- Get out of their way. Our children do well when we keep adult worries and troubles out of their life. They deserve to fly free, fall and encouraged to get back up and achieve on their own merits.
- At the end of the day if you remember to LOVE and CONNECT and your RESPONSE-ABILITY is good enough—our babies and you will be just fine.