Every time we hear the word or concept of “teach”, I think we all have a similar idea come to us. Probably one of a school room, with a teacher at the front, writing on a chalk board. Or maybe one of a wise man teaching his grandson how to fish. It’s an active word, teach.
But I would like to propose a new way of looking at the word. I’m sharing the photo below of my nephew Justin and his new baby Cooper (not quite a week old – congratulations, again Justin and Tara!).
I loved the photo, and as I was writing to Justin to tell him so, I realized that this was a beautiful picture of what deep “learning” looks like. You can see it in Coopers eyes.
If we define learning as an “acquiring of knowledge”, and if we define “knowledge” as “a state of knowing”, then I’d like to propose to you that little Cooper here, is learning to know that he is cared for. And loved. He is learning that the world is a safe place, that there are a lot of people who love him SO much just for who he is, and the fact that he exists.
People that he will share his whole life with, who he can trust, and love in return. People who make him know that he “belongs”.
When the holding is through skin to skin contact, even greater the imprint or the “lesson”. The primal senses are all stimulated and reinforced neurologically, solidifying the acquiring of knowledge during a time when his neurological development is at one of its lifelong peaks.
One hour of this (babies form over 700 neural connections per second at this age) might even be on the same level as earning a university degree later on in life. But rather than earning a degree, to get a good job, to live in slavery (!) – the baby that is given this physical attention during these very important time periods – is earning a state of being that is rooted in trust, love and nurturing.
Lifelong gifts that we all have a right to as living beings. Gifts, or “skills” that allow a person to truly live a fulfilled life as they grow and develop, with freedom and creativity.
Skills that are definitely required for a positive shift into a better way of living on the planet.
So, I borrow the famous line today, and urge us all to “teach our children well”.
Hold them, cuddle them, sleep with them (also, please don’t mutilate their genitals – go here for more information on that), sing to them while cuddling them. Do it naked – with your baby naked.
And while you’re doing it, imagine a world with people who trust each other, who learned love when they most wanted it and needed it. Imagine it. Feel it.
It’s exhilarating to me to know that as parents, we truly have the ability to create this new way of living. Now. And it’s pretty easy. Just holding and loving your baby is a great start.
(for more information on skin to skin contact – I love this article here)