Tap Into Your Mothers IntuitionFaith Stone
Almost every mom will tell you that she has a special sense about knowing what is right for her child and family. Some believe that moms have a bond so strong with their children that they have an intuitive way of knowing when their children are at risk.
Unfortunately, many mothers have been trained to ignore this voice, trusting that surely educational experts and child psychologists know more and better than we do. While I believe it is possible to gain a wealth of knowledge from the experts, I don't think that anyone is more likely to love a child as much as the child's mother and father. And in this way, the parent is uniquely qualified to be the expert on what is best for their child.
My daughter and I read together every night, one of my favorite children's story books is Hazel's Amazing Mother, by Rosemary Wells. In this story, a young girl (really a young badger girl) finds herself lost on the way home from the store. While crossing through the park, she encounters a group of bullies who ruin her doll and throw the doll carriage into the pond. Hazel cries out, "Mom, I need you!"
On the other side of town, Hazel's mother abruptly stops what she is doing and looks up. A sudden gust of wind lifts a blanket from the clothesline. Momma badger grabs hold of a corner of the blanket and is carried parachute-style to the park where she lands in the tree above Hazel, unbeknownst to the bullies. In a deep voice, she calls out for the bullies to fix Hazel's doll and retrieve her baby carriage. The frightened bullies think it's a voice from above and hurriedly obey orders. As they run off, Hazel's mom drops down from the tree and gives Hazel a big hug.
A close friend of mine suffered abuse from an older brother for years. Once her mother witnessed this, and, horrified, talked to a child psychologist. The well-meaning expert assured her, neither talking to my friend nor her brother, that it was surely a one-time incident. Desperately wanting to believe that, her mother lived in denial of the problem for years. Had her mother listened to her intuition, her gut feeling, she could have saved my friend years of abuse.
Not all potential problems are as severe as this story but listening to your intuition can greatly help your child. While in Hawaii on vacation last month, my six-year-old daughter suffered swollen gums from a loose tooth. That morning, we made an appointment to have the tooth pulled at an emergency, same-day dental service. My daughter was nervous, asking that I hold her hand during the procedure.
The dentist's office was chilly and impersonal. The receptionist seemed preoccupied, handing my husband and I forms to fill out. A technician came to get my daughter. When I said that I'd come along, she replied that it was not allowed. My husband and I felt very uncomfortable in the waiting area - neither of us with our daughter in a situation that was scary for her. The dentist came out in a few minutes and told us that he was an oral surgeon. An alarm went off inside me. I told him I didn't want her put under anesthesia to pull a tooth, and that it was important to me to hold her hand. He cut me off, "Absolutely not! We don't do that kind of thing here."
My husband and I decided to take our business elsewhere.
We went to another dentist. On the phone making the appointment, I asked if I could hold my daughter's hand. They said, "Of course, that helps the kids feel better." When we went into the office, it was all of sunny, warm colors with a child-size table, a basket of toys and children's books. The dentist, Dr. Ann Marie, told my daughter about her kids and the tooth fairy. I could tell my daughter was relaxed by the way she crossed her feet. What a difference! What is the harm in being there to hold your child's hand, if that's what they want, as they lose their first baby tooth?
Maybe nothing would have gone wrong with the first dentist. Even without me there, even if he used anesthesia, most likely nothing would have gone wrong. And the only side effect would have been that my daughter could have a life-long fear of the dentist. On the other hand, what if something did go wrong and my daughter suffered injury from the anesthesia? How could I live with myself knowing that I had that uncomfortable warning feeling in my gut and chose to ignore it? I would rather suffer being considered overprotective by a stranger than put my precious daughter at risk.
As moms, we need to reclaim our special unique ability, our women's intuition, when it comes to our children and family. When it comes to our kids, listen to your heart instead of the opinions of well-meaning outsiders. More often than not, we can save the day for our young ones. And even when the victories are minor, we are still the heroes of our young children. The greatest reward of listening to my intuition comes from my own daughter. She knows that I go with my feelings in regard to her safety and that I'll listen to her feelings about the same. She knows I won't force her into a situation that makes me uncomfortable because of what someone else thinks. This gives her a strong feeling of security. She knows mom and dad are protecting her.
Today as I worked at my computer, she came in the room and climbed into my lap. She said, "When you are sweet to me, the way you come whenever I call for you, it makes me feel kind of sleepy and good and warm." I kissed her on the forehead and said, "That feeling is called warm fuzzies. I love you so much. I will always try to be there for you." I will listen to my mother's intuition, the natural gift every mother has for protecting her most precious gift.Faith Stone is the director of Shoshoni Yoga Retreat in Rollinsville, Colo., and the author of The Shoshoni Cookbook.
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