Willow Magazine CREATING LIFE - Page 22

My, what a blessing children are to our lives!

Remember all those hours spent in pure contentment, staring at your newborn as she gently stirs and gives her gummy mouthed smiles?

And though these days of bliss never truly expire, our babies inevitably grow and our parenting focus expands beyond the physical care and into the realm of emotional nurturing.

From the very first instant we lock eyes on them, newborns have a way of capturing our hearts. Their cries and cues for cuddles, warmth and food is their hardwiring for bonding with their caregivers. Raising an empathetic child begins from this very moment.

What do I mean by an 'empathetic child'? It's a bigger picture vision: creating a world in which humanity is loving, kind, compassionate, responsive and actively engaged. Of course, the relationship between mother and child is different for everyone, as is the parenting style. Diversity is a wonderful thing. My intention is to share some strategies on how to cultivate a learning environment for our children in a way that promotes the qualities of awareness, kindness and empathy, which are naturally inherent in each and every one of us.

I invite you to choose what resonates with you and add them to your parenting tool box.

As with most things, there are no clear cut ‘right’s’ and ‘wrongs’. No magic formula that returns the same result every time. Parenting is more like an unfolding creation of art. It requires open-mindedness, flexibility, and the ability to pivot.

If we parent from the heart, our children will grow up knowing they are love, and in turn learn how to reciprocate love. Each of us have different desires, wants and needs in how we receive, feel and express love. If we can learn to recognise our own and our loved ones ‘love language’, we can fill our cup, and other’s, more effectively. (A very helpful book on this topic is ‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman).

1. Start with love

IMAGE CREDIT: Kelly Jordan