Parenting from the Heart

by Howard Chilton MBBS. MCRP(UK). DCH. Consultant Neonatologist

As a neonatal paediatrician with forty years of experience, I write books to help parents deal with their babies.

My interest was sparked at a recent UniMed meeting, presided over by Serge Benhayon, when I met a couple of mothers who impressed me with their mothering skills. So I asked, via email, whether they and other mothers from UniMed, found something in what Serge teaches that helped them deal with this aspect of their lives.

The answer I received was a resounding yes.

There is a lot of scientifically valid information suggesting that the essence of good parenting is ‘attunement’ to your baby. Once achieved, it allows the parent to anticipate and meet the baby’s needs, and enhances the loving bond between them.

  • To start this process it is necessary to accept that your baby’s body has an innate rhythm that is independent of his or her ability to process mentally.
  •  To connect to this rhythm you must be relaxed, calm and merely observe the baby, without preconceptions of what the baby ‘should’ be doing.
  • Being familiar with your own body, its rhythms and specific sensitivities, allows you to be relaxed and calm.
  • Recognising that your thoughts are usually reactive or emotional, also allows you to just observe, without judgment..
  • Observing the baby in this state allows you to feel your baby’s cues and subtle signs and attune to his or her needs.

It is also evident that self-nurturing is an essential pre-requisite to good parenting. So many mothers lose themselves in their mothering, subsuming their needs, even their identity, into the process.

  • You need to set an example to your children. They are watching you, observing your every move. They need to see someone who respects and looks after herself. This is not selfishness; this is self-respect.
  • If you disregard yourself, why should your children treat you any better than you treat yourself?
  • And if you don’t look after yourself, when the babies grow up they will have learnt to not look after themselves.

Serge teaches all these points very clearly.

With what I have learnt from Serge and the mothers in Universal Medicine, along with my experience as a neonatologist and paediatrician, I now have the vocabulary to communicate this truth to parents. The reason many parents have difficulties with their babies is because they are not ‘with themselves’ in the first place.  They are generally unaware of how their own body could, or should, feel and as a consequence, they cannot interpret, nor interact with, their baby’s body rhythms. In the absence of feeling, they attempt to think their way through, and try to force the baby to conform to a set pattern from their past or from outside advice.

They are so busy worrying, they also miss the close connection possible with a new baby. And little round pegs are banged firmly into little square holes.

It is clear that Universal Medicine is achieving for its students what, long before I heard of it or of Serge, I also knew to be true about parenting.  Both the teaching and the process of parenting are powerful pathways to love and self-knowledge.  The combination of them occurring together, allows their full, and truly unconditional, expression.

How lucky are the children to be nurtured in this way! Such parental insight and attuned involvement allows children to grow to their absolute potential without carrying the weight of their parents’ upbringing, beliefs, and prejudices. A whole generation living in freedom and joy!

475 thoughts on “Parenting from the Heart

  1. I am continually inspired by the children who have grown up within the Universal Medicine Community. They show a steadiness and responsibility that is rare among other children of their age. They seem to have a presence and quality that is admirable and an aliveness that shines through in their movements and their eyes.

  2. How refreshing to hear such common sense wisdom from the medical profession, offering women (and men) the opportunity to connect to themselves, their own innate wisdom, and then through this, to their babies. This is a recipe for healthy life relationships really, with these formative early ones being pivotal for the generations to come.

  3. Being attuned to or in rhythm with the pulse of our essence is what allows us to be open to truly meet another and read the quality of vibration at any moment. This relationship with ourselves is our responsibility first and foremost. As such we then can truly meet another and understand what is needed in order to deepen our connection to love, confirming the essence of who we are. Children being raised and nurtured in this way will transform the world, bringing the blessing of who they already are to light up the world.

  4. There is something truly exciting and joyous about a way of parenting that trusts in our innate senses, and that we actually have all the answers within our bodies. It then only becomes the choice of whether we maintain and heighten our awareness through our lifestyles. There are many ways we can dull ourselves but when we consider what we have to offer as parents then it seems crazy we would want to miss out on what is there to be experienced.

  5. Howard, this is really interesting to read, ‘In the absence of feeling, they attempt to think their way through, and try to force the baby to conform to a set pattern from their past or from outside advice.’ I did this when I first had my son, I was disconnected from myself, not caring or looking after myself and I felt lost and overwhelmed and did not get to enjoy the early days of my son, but living with such anxiety and exhaustion was not working and so I found another way, I started to care for myself and trust myself more, I became more steady in myself and less exhausted and more calm, this meant that more and more I was able to enjoy the connection with my son and to find our way and so I started living less in my head and with less worry, this is a very different way of parenting and feels very lovely and natural and enjoyable.

  6. I am completely amazed with the children who are growing up around the Universal Medicine Community, these kids are so wise and connected, they have so much to share and know their purpose in life. It is beautiful to see these children unfold.

    1. Yes Amita, they are great inspiration for me too, as they show the potential of their essence untouched and lived. This is very empowering for them and everyone around.

  7. One line really caught my eye as I was reading your blog Howard ‘You need to set an example to your children. They are watching you, observing your every move. They need to see someone who respects and looks after herself. This is not selfishness; this is self-respect.’ I was very much brought up under the umbrella of ‘do what I say not as I do’ which is very confusing and builds a lack of trust and respect. I love watching parents who know how to look after themselves and firmly keep their children’s feet on the ground, with an immense amount of love and respect that goes both ways.

  8. Yes parenting today is steeped in ideals and beliefs, we are constantly bombarding children based on our own upbringing, hurts and protections, which doesn’t leave them to develop and grow unimposed upon.

  9. When a woman is connected to their inner-heart they are equally connected to everyone else around them – it’s a simple science that we completely underestimate amongst the pictures we have created that are based on ideals and beliefs on how we think parenting or life should be, but is not.

  10. I find it deeply inspiring that with the wisdom of parental self care, awareness, connection, insight and therefore attunement, fostered by Universal Medicine principles, children can grow free of the beliefs, prejudices and expectations tainted by their parent’s upbringing and live their true and absolute potential. So many of us have been harmed by the lack of these qualities so the promotion of these can only serve to better our development and the relationships that found it.

  11. Talking about parenting can be a touchy subject but I know from personal experience that in the past I didn’t like to be questioned about my quality of energy when it came to parenting. I think the reason many of us take the line “We are doing our best” is because we do not want to look deeper at how sensitive babies and children are to energy and we find it so challenging to change our behaviours and patterns around our them. If we take a closer look there are many things that may seem harmless to us but can be disruptive to them, even the way we move can be a disturbance to a baby or child.

    1. Thank you Sarah, that is an interesting comment, it shows how sensitivity is key for a true harmonious life. Babies do indeed communicate a lot, and I appreciate what you have shared here about the true quality of our choices and movements as reflected by the honesty of a baby’s sensitive body.

      1. I have no judgment of any mother, as it can be a very challenging role if we choose to take it on in this way, which I have and still do at times. The key is to be open to the fact that although our child’s behaviour and choices is not our sole responsibility, it is a constant reflection and it is communicating to us to make adjustments. If we choose to ignore this and hide behind the fact that it is hard being a Mum and that we are just tired or stressed, we are simply avoiding what is being offered to us by way of evolution and reflection. It is not always obvious but I had a great experience recently with parenting that reminded me that everything is energy. I have had a challenging relationship with a family friend that has been going on for years and although some might view it as me being “under attack” by this said person, I was reacting to this “attack” and there fore was not clear of it either. I recently became clear of it, as I did not react at all to an outburst directed at me, that in the past might have shaken me, my child did not witness this, nor did I tell him about it but when I returned home, my child had changed dramatically. This child had moved past something monumental in his own life and had managed to not react at all to one of his brothers that usually affected him every time. This does not mean I take the credit from him or even share my experience necessarily but it is fascinating and no coincidence that when we step to something within ourselves, our children feel it, whether they are babies or teens or in between, it doesn’t matter, energy, is everything.

  12. What is shared here is so powerful of what is often seen in parenting in our current climate – an emotional reaction to situations rather than observing and making decision based on the child’s cue. Very simple when we choose one over the other.

  13. “And if you don’t look after yourself, when the babies grow up they will have learnt to not look after themselves.”. Since developing a much richer relationship with self-care, I am beginning to see that it is often empty words when you tell others to take care of themselves, if you yourself are not really doing it (which I know from doing it myself). And this would be also with parenting where it can be more common that not, that the parents put the children first, and often at their own expense, when in turn is not truly showing the children how to truly take care of themselves.

    1. Yes Sarah, what are we role-modelling to children if we put others before ourselves all the time. The message they get is that we don’t value ourselves and therefore they grow up believing this is normal.

    2. Parents so often pour all their love and attention onto the child, but in also subjugating their own needs we effectively teach each generation to eventually do the same. Role modelling and reflection is deeply felt even if words are forgotten.

  14. “You need to set an example to your children. They are watching you, observing your every move. They need to see someone who respects and looks after herself. This is not selfishness; this is self-respect.” This goes above the board to all types of education. Having recently worked with teenagers I see this as fundamental we can not help teach by reflection.

  15. The children I see of parents in the Universal Medicine student body are absolutely amazing. On the whole they are so confident being themselves that it’s so deeply inspiring for me.

  16. Thank you, Howard. It’s great to read a conventional medicine doctor agreeing with the teachings of Universal Medicine. But actually, what Serge Benhayon teaches is ageless wisdom, literally so – something that has been lived and practiced and known to be true for eons. No matter what the media or some handful of detractors may want to say, what Serge Benhayon presents is not an idea or a theory, it is a simple common sense.

  17. “Parents are not with themselves first” is what we are seeing in our current climate. There are so many distractions that keep us from feeling ourselves that leads to not being about to read the signs that are offered by our children.

  18. What you and Serge Benhayon present makes so much sense it is a wonder that it is not the absolute normal and basic standard below which we do not drop.

  19. It is true that we cannot truly support another if we have not first taken care of ourselves. This applies to all situations not just with children but any elderly people we look after as well as our relationships with partners, friends and colleagues.

  20. I find it very sad when I see a parent ignoring their child in favour of looking at a phone, this does seem to happen a lot. What is talked of in this blog seems very empowering and uplifting, the simple premise that the more aware we are of life around us, and the more committed we are to looking after ourselves, the more enriching the experience is having children. That all makes perfect sense to me.

  21. When we think about parenting my feeling is that parenting our children begins with parenting ourselves. Looking at our behaviours and steadily adjusting any that are harmful. My feeling is that if we live our life with this impress, it is simply an extension of the same when it comes to parenting our children. Living the qualities is the greatest way for our children to also live by them, as they are their natural, as they are our own.

  22. I love what you’ve shared here Howard, that in order to teach our children self-respect we start with ourselves, that in order to attune to the bodies of our children we need to attune to our own. After all children are the most massive mirrors for us to learn and grow with.

  23. Awesome blog Howard, I love what you’ve shared. When my children were young, I tried to think my way through parenting instead of connecting and trusting what I felt. Now, I have changed the way I parent inspired by Serge Benhayon and that is to parent from my heart, to connect to my children, listen and allow them to guide me as well as the wisdom that is within.

  24. “If you disregard yourself, why should your children treat you any better than you treat yourself?” So true. And this can be extended to include all others.

  25. Thank you Dr Chilton, it makes so much sense that a parent unaware of their own body and it’s signals and cues will find it much more challenging to read their own babies body and needs. Great common sense from yourself and Serge on parenting, thank you. The fact you both understood the basics of this style of parenting confirms there is something universal about wisdom – it’s there for us all to connect to.

  26. “…Being familiar with your own body, its rhythms and specific sensitivities, allows you to be relaxed and calm…” Having awareness of your own body, its rhythms and responses enables you to feel connected with yourself. Being in connection with your body naturally brings a settlement within, that enables you to see far beyond the ‘tunnel vision’ of a reaction. Body connection is definitely the ‘101’ of parenting tools to have.

  27. From reading your blog I noticed my body started to feel more at east with me and I started to let go of any tension I was holding onto and what came to me was gosh you are in the perfect role and bring so much to all you work with. Especially the babies … you just allow them to be.

  28. The body has an innate rhythm that is independent of mental process. This part really brought me to a halt. Parentings ideals and beliefs stem from and further foster mental processing over following the lead of the bodies rhythm but from experience I’d say one of the biggest public health concerns/threats should be ‘living from our thoughts’. The body is far wiser.

  29. The body has an innate rhythm that is independent of mental process. Such a great point here for me right now, one that I truly appreciate.

  30. Beautiful to break many myths over parenting and bring it back to common sense, children learn through observing others and the more we look after ourselves lovingly the easier it is for children to learn self care from an early age.

  31. There is no doubt that Serge Benhayon presentations supports us in all areas of our life, for myself I have felt the way I parent shift considerably when I began to address and let go of the many beliefs and ideals that were getting in the way and were actually imposing on my child.

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