Is There a Correlation? I Mean, Between the Lack of Parental Bonding: Hugs, Kisses and Affection Vs. Mental Illness, Dysfunctional Family Units & Violence?
Reflect with me for just a moment: Have you ever hugged a dear friend who couldn’t hug you back? Their hugs seemed cold and lifeless, or perhaps they didn’t care to wrap their arms around you at all and you noticed their arms remained to their sides. Have you ever wondered why? I have. I’ve wondered what their childhood was like, or what caused them not to have the same warmth, touch and tenderness that I have. I realize that we are not all the same, but I love how even today the touch of my Mom is warm and soothing.
I am not a psychologist, just an educator and author; however I truly believe that as parents we must bond with our children from the womb to the cradle and then of course beyond. Giving our children lots of hugs, kisses and appropriate affection may allow us and others to keep our lives and have great rewarding interactions with our children for years to come.
The matter of mental illnesses in most cases is beyond most of our control. Parents will want to attend to and get immediate assistance for their children.
Who knows the real answer(s)? I certainly do not, but the power of bonding can be incredibly instrumental.
Bonding suggestions for both parents:
In the womb:
Rub the tummy and talk gently to your children.
Sing to your children as you attend to the tummy.
Read to your children – Use inflection in your voices and make it exciting.
Involve yourselves in calm surroundings and situations.
Say, “I love you” to your tummy over and over again.
Note: I used a stethoscope and placed it on my tummy whenever I spoke to my child while carrying her in my womb.
In the cradle:
Play Einstein and Classical music while your children slumber, or play in their bedrooms.
Have mobiles above your baby’s bed.
Remove your babies from their cradles/baby beds and have prescribed, well planned play time.
Hug, kiss and caress your babies often.
Read to your children at bedtime.
If your children attend Day Care Centers, find a Day Care that has a curriculum with allotted play time outside the cribs at least twice a day.
Think about enrolling your baby in a weekly baby program such as Baby Suzuki Music or other programs.
Note: When I owned a Day Care, the babies were removed no less than twice a day for pointed exercises, activities and lots of meaningful movement.
Tell your baby, “I love you so much!”
Beyond – All through life:
When you awaken your children in the morning for school, don’t go to their doorways and shout “Wake up! Or “It’s time to get up!” Instead, walk into their bedrooms, and gently nudge your children with a morning smile spread across your face, and give them a kiss on the forehead. Sing out, “Good Morning!”
Bid your children a great day as they depart for school. Hug them again.
When your children return from school, ask them about their day. Give them eye contact and your undivided attention.
At meal time, set the table and ask the entire family to join together for a moment of prayer and thanksgiving. Talk even further about your day. Each parent should talk about their day as well.
Take time to visit your child’s school: Attend your child’s school programs: Sports, Winter Programs, PTO, and perhaps become a room mother/dad.
Think about asking each family member to plan a weekly fun event for all to partake in. Each can use their creativity and it doesn’t have to be become costly or last too long.
Share in household chores and talk often about the importance of helping each other and being considerate of each other’s feelings.
Think of other ways to spend quality time with your children, and add to the list.
Ensure there are lots of HUGS, KISSES and appropriate Caressing (age appropriate) within your homes and interactions with your children. We have to start somewhere!
Tell your children, “I love you!”