How our communication with our children look like? Are we able to answer there weired and straight questions?
As children, many of us asked our parents: “How did I come to this world?”
The answer was always wrapped in a cloud of words that made no sense. Most of us Iranian women learned how we were born when we ourselves gave birth to a child. Our beloved Iranian culture makes our families ashamed of getting in touch with the topics of body and mind. Both areas are taboo and are explained within the notion of religion and mystical forces.
Now how many of us gave a better answer to the same question when our children asked us: “How did I come to this world?”
Again, we may find ourselves repeating our parents’ vague answers.
Many of us were told: “These talks are not good for children, go and play.” “You will learn when you are adult.” “These are bad questions, you are being impolite.” “These questions are not your business,” and other confusing responses that are well known in our culture.
What happened to us when we did not hear any rational, clear, educated responses to our childhood questions? Some may say: “Nothing, we survived.” Yes, we survived; yet, wouldn’t that information about our bodies and about how we came into existence have been helpful down the road?
How many of us started to learn how our bodies work in our adulthood? How many of us are wondering, “Who are we as individuals stuck in a collective that does not let us be who we can be?” Wouldn’t it have been helpful to know our bodies, our minds, and ourselves at a time when we were most confused about who we are and what we do in this world?
I guess answering our children is the main point here. It is also important to know how our children grow into healthy persons. What is our role? Are we only the breadwinners? Is that all?
Today it is known that human development is influenced by a combination of biological, psychological, socio-cultural, and environmental factors.
All the recent researches about brain development show that the right side of the brain is a center for emotions, feelings, connections, empathy, humor, coping mechanisms, and the representation of the self. The child being born is not a blank paper but has already non-visible imprints that are being evolved in a personality and character growth process.
The truth here is that the level of communication and interaction with our children would help them to value the self more. The healthy evaluation of own body and mind would help children to move from a concrete way of thinking to an abstract way of thinking, which is the source of creation and art.
Some important aspects of healthy parenting are:
* Valuing the child for being an individual separate from us.
* Recognizing gender aspects; boys and girls have various needs, yet, they need to learn to respect certain boundaries.
* Gender sensitive care; both need equal care.
* Recognizing that babies have not only basic needs but also attachment/bonding needs.
* Recognizing that babies have their own connection with the caregivers; verbal and non verbal.
* As caregivers, providing healthy, positive, and caring attention as babies seek relationships with adults.
* Ensuring children don’t get mixed messages, which will make them only uncertain and confused.
* Paying attention to the cultural barrier/strength used in rising our children
… much more to think of….
May 11, 2007