When did you last hear
the happy voices of children playing? How did it make you feel? Joyful or
disgusted. When last did you feel the soft, cuddly hands of a new born infant?
Did you feel overwhelm with joy or were you jealous and angry? Do you realize
that many of our little darlings are not being raised in homes where they are
totally accepted? Unfortunately, too many parents treat their children as if
they had gotten in the way of their lives. At best they tolerate them. At worst
they are unreasonably punished, physically and emotionally abused and maimed.
Please donít turn your head and think that not many parents of guilty of these
atrocities. The truth is that far too many Bahamian and West Indian families are
guilty of all sorts of illegal and morally degrading acts against their children
. Research by Life Innovations, who surveyed more than one million couples in
most major countries indicates that about 83 percent of married couples state
that their marriage relationships are seriously affected when they start having
children. In other words, when children come out of the womb, love goes to sleep
in the garage.
- HOW CAN THEY NURTURE?
- So then, how can a parent nurture a child when she thinks of a
child as someone interfering with her personal life? One of the best forms of
nurture for a new born baby is breast feeding. Many Bahamian women do not breast
feed because they feel "they have better things to do." What better
thing to do than to place your new born at your breast providing for your child
the most powerful natural "antibiotic" and bodybuilding formula that
cannot be matched by any human-made product. Mothers who refuse to breast feed
(more than 95% of all women can breast feed) are doing their child an
injustice and refusing to provide the most primary form of
nurture and care
known to the human race. Babies who are breast feed truly blossom. They are more
contented. They smell sweeter. They have fewer stomach grips. And research says
that when they grow up they are less prone to be delinquent and rebellious.
- WHAT ABOUT DADS?
- Dads cannot breast feed. But dads have strong arms. They can
hold their little ones for hours. Along with breast feeding as a primary form of
nurture, so is holding your infant in your arms close to you and cuddling it for
as long as you can. A woman cannot breast feed for hours and a time. But a
father can hold his son literally for hours with no side effects. I have
observed that too many Bahamian children have not been held sufficiently by
their parents. They are actually love hungry. Unfortunately, the only time many
little ones are touched is when they are being punished. I once asked parents as
a seminar to think when they last told their child that they loved them. The
majority of parents present indicated that they have never said "I love
you" to their children. Many said that whenever they have to punish their
children they would tell them "I am only doing this because I love
you." For many parent "I Love you" can only be stated when they
have to punish their children. This is not nurture. This is abuse and a false
concept of the meaning of love.
Do you know what is one of the most beautiful pictures of
nurturing? It is a Bahamian father holding his young son in his arms, close to
his chest, looking in his face, and singing lullabies. It is a Bahamian dad who
cannot wait to leave work to get home and hold and play with his new born infant
or just-learning-to-walk toddler. Too many Bahamian fathers when they leave
work, go to play with the "boys" under the trees or in the bars,
instead of going home.
Instead of loving our children we exploit them. Instead of
nurturing, we neglect. Instead of hugging, we hit. Instead of saying "I
love you" we curse. Instead of apologizing for hurting them, we aggravate
them to anger.
Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist.
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