A Child Feels Your Feelings

Babies communicate through feelings instead of words. 
When you hold a baby, the baby feels love just like you do.  
When you are angry or crying, the baby starts to cry- he doesn't know what is wrong, he just feels the feeling.  
When you laugh, the baby laughs.  
If you are calm, the baby is calm, unless she has a problem.
If you are stressed and hassled, the baby is fussy.
You will have noticed that when you are very busy and life is hectic, when you especially need the child to behave well - he doesn't! 
He is responding to your feelings.
If you are annoyed, fed up, out of patience, he becomes even more annoying and clingy and demanding. 
When there is harmony between you, the child is cooperative.

 
I wrote the following shortly after the birth of my seventh child.  I won't edit it because I think it might help with what I am trying to explain:

I think babies even feel your feelings when they are in the womb. Because of this I have tried to be calm, happy and peaceful throughout the pregnancy.  The hormones do make you more emotional but also heighten the good emotions- love, gratitude, joy.  You just have more feelings of all kinds.  What to do with this?  I say work with it, as a positive thing.  See it as a time to increase your sensitivity, your love.
Since I am not as emotionally stable during the pregnancy and certainly not as able physically  (I think I run at about 1/4 capacity),  I do things to make sure I stay as calm and happy as I can.  I believe nurturing these feelings during pregnancy is as important in making a baby, as keeping your body healthy.  I work in short bursts - 1/2 an hour work, 1/2 an hour rest.  I cancel alot of the children's lessons and activities because I think it is more important to keep the home happy and me a nice mother. I teach the children to help, from the 4 year old who will "pick up the floor so you don't squish your baby, mum" to "big boys"   7years and up, making dinner so I don't throw up.  This also helps them appreciate and love me more - that service thing again.  I swim alot to keep in as good condition as possible and it's certainly worth the effort involved for how much better it makes me feel.  I admit to myself and others that I am pregnant and not well and turn down most assignments.  I rest alot and sleep alot. These things I have to change are worth it to me for a calm, happy home and a calm, happy baby...
When I was in hospital with this angel baby, I was raving in a besotted way about how wonderful she was to the nurses.  Me: "I've never SEEN such a calm baby!"  Nurse: "I've never seen such a calm mother- the two are directly related."
 

This feeling thing also applies to children as they grow, so that your mood sets the tone of the whole home. If a child feels your feelings - watch your interactions with this thought in mind and see-  you are the one who can make the change.   If there is a scene going on, we don't fix it by joining in.  We don't calm down anger by adding to it with our own yelling or stress.  
 
What I am trying to say is that to a larger degree than you think possible, you, the mother,  control the feeling in the home.
  
By the things you do to set the stage- preventative strategies such as keeping yourself stable and in a position to give,  
By noticing  and predicting recurring times of stress and taking steps to manage those better,
By the teaching you do and setting up a high standard,  
By watching the children-  knowing who is feeling fragile or cross or restless,
By diffusing a tense situation before it becomes one, rather than being busy and letting stuff go on in your home that should not,
By how you handle current problems that have already developed, such as 'rocking chair therapy' (more on that later),  
By using distraction and by adding humour to calm things down,  
By your presence-  "Everything's OK. Mum is here."
 
 
Try this with a small child: At a calm moment, hold her in your arms, shut your eyes and think about how much you love her.  
Say, "I am sending you a message- listen- what is it? What are your feelings telling you?" 
"You love me."
 
A child  gets it.  We just have to remember it.
 
Now that you know that a child feels your feelings, you can use this knowledge to help with what you are trying to achieve.  You won't feel guilty for spending time on yourself or resting because you know its all for the cause!  
You will understand the child's behaviour and how large an effect you have on them.  You will start to see HOW to handle the dramas.  
 
The vision you have of love at home will come true as it becomes your nature, the nature of your home, the nature of your family.

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-Lisa

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