Encouraging and nurturing
your child's natural intuition
"New babies are not completely at home in this world. The Ibo of Nigeria say that they are still so much a part of the womb that for some time they remain in contact with unborn spirit children."
From 'MamaToTo' by
Carol Dunham of the Body Shop
[no longer in print].
Whether or not we believe that newborn babies come into this world with intact memories of other dimensions, we must at least acknowledge that they have a capacity for knowing and seeing things that many of us aren't aware of. We want to help our children maintain the sense of well-being that comes from this direct connection to their own inner wisdom. Too often, as children grow up in our culture, the connection to the inner realm is lost. This is, in part, due to our lack of acknowledgement of these abilities. But much if the fault lies in our world of constant stimulation, which robs children of the capacity to be still without having a television or computer in front of them.
Massage with infants can be done very quietly, encouraging silent communication, rather than constant chatter and movement. How often are you happy with your massage therapist when they "chat" through the hour? We encourage eye contact and interaction during the massage if the infant is in the mood or at the stage in their development when this is a big focus. If your baby begins to "drift" during the massage they may be off in the spirit world playing with their old friends. We don't need to be constantly 'in their faces' trying to 'engage' their attention. Very few babies in our busy world suffer from lack of stimulation. How can we expect our children to 'sit still and be quiet' when they go to school if they have never had the experience? Give them the gift of stillness and silence through the practice of Infant Massage.
Beginning the practice of being still and quiet at an early age gives them the memory that will be with them for life. When the caregiver takes a slow, deep breath each time they feel tension, either in themselves or the infant, it teaches the baby to do the same. Infants mirror what we present to them. Sitting with them quietly at other times, just gazing into their eyes, asking what they have come here to teach us, and listening for an answer, can give a profound feeling of peace. Surrounding your infant with total unconditional love, engrains in them the belief that they are wanted and perfect in every way. Adults who have grown up with their self esteem nurtured will be less inclined to foster prejudice, lacking the need to put others down to achieve results, thus making them better leaders,.
"The Aborigines believe that it takes up to three years for the spirit to fully inhabit the body of a young child. If you violate the innocence of a child it interrupts or interferes with the child's spirit taking full possession of their growing body. Because they assure that childhood is a sanctuary of joy, love and affection, confidence and self-esteem are established early in a child's life. There is evidence that unbroken, gentle loving of infants fosters remarkable coordination, confidence and independence."
From "Wise Women of the Dream Time" by K. Langloh Parker and Johanna Lambert
Creating a nurturing and secure environment is the best thing a parent can do to encourage intuitive abilities in a young child. A child who feels threatened by their environment cannot risk paying attention the their own inner reality, a problem made worse by the frightening images that are shown on television. Our children are "hyper-alert" to the external world. How can they screen out the outer world and attend to what's inside? Burton White, who wrote Raising a Happy, Unspoiled Child, based on research done on exceptional children, looked at hundreds of these children in their homes. He discovered that between the ages of seven months and two years, these children had "evolved social agreements and understandings with caretakers with very little conflict." Because they weren't wasting time and energy on the battle of wills they were free to take in more information and have more interesting observations about their environments. This matches what the Aborigines do in their culture and applies it to ours.
Like any other childhood ability, intuition fades when it is not recognized and nurtured. If a parent disapproves of their child's feelings or experiences by saying things like "Don't be silly" or "Don't make things up" children learn to suppress this inner knowledge. The best thing we can do to strengthen children's intuition is to listen to them, allowing the gifts they have brought with them into the world to unfold. In this culture children are told who to be, molded into matching everyone else as closely as possible. If you don't accept a child for who they really are, they lose themselves and develop an entirely false front. This process often starts with birth, as infants are brought into the world with bright lights, noise and multiple procedures done in the name of safety and necessity. The infant turns inward, creating the false impression that they are unable to smile or relate to others until much later. The process of 'going inside and losing themselves' has already begun.
In our culture of encouraging over achievers we need to be cautious about wanting our children to be intuitive as something else they must master. Providing an atmosphere at home where intuition is recognized, respected, and allowed to flourish, but also considered a normal part of life, will be the best way. This means asking children questions that help them clarify their intuitive experience, without telling them it's extraordinary. They need to know it's an everyday way of seeing so they take it for granted without it being a big deal. Watching their parent taking a deep breath and briefly closing their eyes before making a decision teaches by example. Getting in the habit of 'checking in' yourself will help all of you.
In her set of audio tapes "Spiritual Madness" Caroline Myss, Ph.D. says that we are now being asked to develop our spirituality while simultaneously living in the physical world. Think of the impact on the next generation if they retain their ability to follow spiritual guidance, acknowledging their intuition, while simultaneously being firmly grounded to the Earth from their experience of being massaged as infants. These will be our future leaders
Elly Leduc, RN, CIMI, CHTP
Elly is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor & Certified Healing Touch Practitioner.
She worked for 25 years in a Level II Special Care Nursery and has recently retired, enabling her to expand her Healing Touch Practice and teach Infant Massage classes focusing on the Spiritual Connection. She has produced the video "Baby Massage, a Video for Loving Parents" available at www.babymassage.net or contact Elly at