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!