Can You Feel The Heart Of Children?<br /> Vol.1 - PREGNANCY, CHILDBIRTH, CHILDCARE
1. What kind of adult do you want your child to be?
Parental nurturing is an essential part of a child’s education. Once you understand how to bring up your children, you will easily understand how to educate them. The point is what kind of adult you want your child to be. If you want to make your child submissive to parents, company and country, conventional education might be good enough. However, it is much more important to understand what type of education meets the changing needs of the times and what exactly education rooted in human nature is.
I want to bring up a child who will grow up to be an independent person with spiritual richness.
How should I bring up and educate him? First, what does spiritual richness mean specifically? I believe you will be able to grasp the rough idea of it while reading this booklet. Secondly, what does an independent person mean? It is the person who can make his own decisions and take responsibility for the outcome of his decisions regardless of success or failure.
In today’s society there are many people who can’t make decisions for themselves, which, I wonder, might be due to poor education. Everybody seems to feel that he is forced to do anything by somebody else. Such type of person tends to blame others for his failures without taking any responsibility at all. Some junior and senior high school students can’t feel themselves mature, for they can’t take responsibility for their behavior. They are sure to blame the society, teachers or parents for everything. Shifting the blame to other shoulders indicates their dependence. We can say that anybody who can take responsibility for himself is independent. How can we make an independent person? The other side of the coin is that an independent person can be egoistic. This can be a strength or weakness, depending on point of view. What matters is how to bring out the best in such character. The husband and wife should thoroughly discuss childcare and prepare themselves to become parents before bringing up their child. Unless the couple has the same sense of value about bringing up their child who will grow up to be an independent person with spiritual richness, the child will never grow properly. It is quite difficult to bring up children properly if only the mother is involved. Cooperation of men and the society is indispensable.
To start with, how should the couple prepare themselves to cope with coming pregnancy and childbirth? First of all, trust your intuition. A great many people seem to easily swallow what others say about bringing up and educating children: what should be done and what should not be done. If I evaluated my childcare on a scale from 1 to 100, it would probably be some 55. The score is well below a perfect score of 100. With the score of 40 or more as a passing mark, my score would be merely adequate. I want all of you to strive to approach a score of 100 as near possible by reading many books or educating yourselves.
Well, let me give you some points to heed concerning pregnancy and childbirth. First of all, upon learning of a pregnancy, parents and those around should rejoice in the news, which is very important! Especially important, the mother should rejoice in her pregnancy! Today’s science shows that an unborn child senses how its mother feels. When a man suffering from schizophrenia was put under hypnotherapy to return to prenatal consciousness, his mother was found to have had a great deal of mental suffering when he was in the womb. This shows that the mother should consciously protect and take care of her unborn child as much as possible. The husband has to be cooperative and careful not to give her stress. It is very harmful for a woman to find her husband cheating during her pregnancy. A mother’s emotional stress has a direct influence on the unborn child. When a mother tries to abort her child, the child suffers a lot, which is especially harmful. This often causes the child to develop schizophrenia in adulthood.
I advise pregnant women to be away from work, if possible. But some women feel stressed when they are away from work and stay at home. Such women would be advised to continue working. It is important for a woman to establish the least stressful and easiest lifestyle as early as possible so that she can feel happy and relaxed in her pregnancy and be well prepared to give birth at any time.
Physically speaking, we have two kinds of harm: drinking alcohol and smoking. Especially drinking alcohol is more harmful; it is known that one or two cups of alcoholic bevarage a day will produce a deformed baby at the risk of 50%. So it is important to refrain from drinking alcohol as much as possible. Next, passive smoking is also harmful. Working in a smoke-filled environment is intolerable. Some insensitive people smoke heavily next to a pregnant woman, never thinking about the toxic effect of passive smoking. The work place can pose a big threat for pregnant women. Electromagnetic waves from computers are also a risk factor. Society’s awareness of protecting women from such a bad environment is indispensable. I advise women to quit their jobs or take a leave of absence to protect the health of their unborn babies unless enough accommodation is taken in the work place.
3. Parent-child relationship during pregnancy
With regard to childcare, the father and mother should establish a spiritual connection with their unborn child. It is wrong for parents to give no thought to the baby, busying themselves with work. They should sincerely talk to their baby. Any subject will do. First the mother should establish a relationship with her baby by sincerely talking to him/her. It has been discussed by researchers as to when the mother-child relationship is established. In fact, the relationship should be established when the child is in the womb.
The reality is that an unborn baby can telepathically read how its mother feels. It senses everything. I once read a book entitled “The Secret Life of the Unborn Child” by Thomas Verny, M.D. with John Kelly translated into Japanese. There is a baby named Christina in the book. She never tried to drink her mother’s milk. Her behavior was considered to be fickle, but a doctor, who had observed her for a long time, started thinking that there was something wrong with the baby. The doctor left the baby with another woman who could produce breast milk. The baby started devouring the woman’s breast milk as soon as she was held by the woman. After asking Christina’s mother many questions, the doctor inquired, “Did you really want this baby?” The mother answered, “No, I didn’t want to give birth. I gave birth reluctantly to live up to the expectations of those around me.” The baby, who was a few days old, refused to drink her mother’s milk because she knew how the mother felt. This story indicates that a baby has will, anger and sorrow. It has been found that a baby already has such feelings when it is in the womb.
It has also been found that an unborn baby can telepathically read the heart of others, see the outside landscape and hear what is happening outside of the womb. An unborn baby already knows how its father looks. In fact, there are a great number of babies who have prenatal memories. They remember how the landscape was when they were in the womb, which they are unlikely to know. It sounds incredible, but it could be true. I think it could happen though it is still under study. It was believed in the past that the psychology of a mother during pregnancy has some influence on her hormones, which might trigger the feelings of the unborn baby. It was a biological level study. Currently a study of ESP is being conducted. This is why the mother should establish a strong relationship with her unborn child. The best way is for the mother to talk aloud or silently to the baby while placing her hand on her belly. Be sure to talk to the baby every day. The longer the mother talks to the baby, the better. The father also should always talk to the baby, placing his hand on his wife’s belly when he comes home. As the baby grows, it reacts to the touch of the parents, if it is awake. The baby starts moving at a touch as if it were at an athletic meet. A certain book says that if you train an unborn baby to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ by kicking the mother’s belly once or twice, the baby is sure to give a right answer. I had already known our child was a boy though a maternity nurse had the opposite opinion. I was a winner! If the parents establish a parent-child relationship before childbirth, the child will not get sick and will be quite different from ordinary children; he/she will grow up to be very intuitive. Early education for gifted children is very popular. However, I advise you to establish a parent-child relationship early. Much more important qualities will develop later. Education for gifted children should be given after an affectionate relationship is established. If parents try to give such education to the child in the hope of making the child a genius before such a relationship is established, what will happen? I am afraid that some children without well-rounded personality might suffer a lot later.
Next, I’d like to talk about the easiest delivery. I advise a woman in labor not to give birth to a baby by herself or leave delivery to others. Then what should she do? In fact the baby is born all alone. It is just like a ripe persimmon naturally falling in due course. If the persimmon is unnaturally plucked, it will be bruised. It is the same with the baby. The baby will come “naturally.” This is the easiest delivery. However, obstetricians (OBs) today feel like delivering babies with their techniques. They ignore the fact that the mother and the baby have the ability to give birth and be born all alone. Their ignorance causes messy deliveries. It is the worst thing to use labor-inducing drugs. Upon pregnancy, a mother’s body starts preparing for lactation so that it can be supplied to the baby in ten months. However, to fit in with their schedules, OBs often plan the date of delivery and the labor is drug used! This has turned out to be a problem. Such artificial delivery is far from a natural delivery. The use of labor-inducing drugs is most dangerous for a baby as well as the mother who has not prepared for delivery. When the birth canal starts to dilate and is completely dilated, the baby is born self-reliantly. In the case of my wife, she delivered our baby smoothly about 20 minutes after she lay on a delivery bed. However, in a hospital they have a mother lie on a delivery bed and push her for delivery before the contractions. A mother can’t control. It is just like forcing a bowel movement. A baby can’t be coaxed. A mother gets physically and mentally exhausted and loses the energy to deliver after straining every muscle for delivery on the bed for a long period of time. This is very dangerous for mother and child. Unnatural childbirth with the use of labor-inducing drugs or forceps will prevent most women from producing milk, which is a great risk.
As you know, breast milk is essential. Especially, colostrum or the first breast milk with power to improve immunity is very important and cannot be replaced by artificial milk. . Giving breast milk to a baby as long as possible is the secret of keeping the baby healthy. We tend to think it is all right to substitute artificial milk for breast milk. It is no easy matter that a woman’s breasts are dry and they are not able to provide breast milk, which is abnormal. You can easily understand how much you are irritated when you refrain from answering nature’s call. Even the politest and well-mannered people might completely color their attitude. On such occasions they are disturbed psychologically and act unusually. Suppose a physician acted dumb at the very critical moment a mother is about to give the baby her breast milk after 10 months of preparation. Do you think nothing is going to happen? No, it threatens to result in a serious problem such as child abuse in some cases. I would like physicians to examine whether there is any difference in child abuse case between women with ability to produce breast milk and those without it. Child abusers are said to be immature or spoiled. My opinion is that it might be involved with some physiological problem. If child abuse should be due to unnatural delivery, it cannot be ignored.
The method of delivery determines the development of the child and the mother’s condition after having given birth. For this reason, it is important for a mother to take enough time to give birth according to natural laws. The key to childbirth is “patience.” All the mother has to do is to be patient enough to allow the baby to be born on its own. When the mother is anxious about when the midwife will arrive, she would give birth most easily. On the other hand, when she tries to hasten childbirth, leaving everything to a physician or insisting in delivery unassisted, then her delivery would not be easy. The easiest way is to always talk in soothing tone to the unborn baby, saying “you can come along anytime you feel you are ready.” Then the baby will be born smoothly. Trust the baby and leave everything to him. I advise you to give birth at home with the help of a midwife or at a reliable maternity hospital, instead of a big hospital.
An unborn baby who is talked to, loved and cared for sufficiently has a human face. A neglected unborn baby has a wrinkled face like a monkey. It is important for a mother to have the newborn baby gaze at her face, with the baby in her arms, within 45 minutes after delivery. This is because the newborn baby can see during one hour after birth but he goes to sleep after an hour. Mother should have baby gaze at her while he can see. There is something for a mother to keep in mind; she should keep a room dim. It is too bright in a delivery room. The womb is as dim as a room with a curtain drawn. Such dimness has a decisive meaning. Ordinary lighting and daytime brightness is too strong for a newborn baby. It is a flood of light for him. He closes his eyes out of fear because he can’t see anything. However, he can see his mother’s face clearly within 45 minutes after birth if the room is kept dim. My wife gave birth to a baby boy at a maternity hospital. We always drew the curtain and tried to dim the room even at night so that he was never bathed in direct light. After coming home, we kept the lights low: with the curtains drawn in the daytime and just one light on at night. Under such circumstance a baby can see immediately after birth. However, a baby can’t see for one month if exposed to ordinary lighting. It takes one month for the baby to gaze at his parents’ faces or follow them with his eyes. However, a baby can see under the condition of dim lighting. Our child followed me with focusing his eyes on me. This can be explained by connection of brain circuits. Since brain networks are being created at full speed by a newborn baby, vision has a decisive meaning for brain development. Imagine who is more aware, a baby who can see or a baby who can’t. This will result in a decisive difference in brain development, which we cannot catch up with even by providing education for gifted children.
I doubt the insensitivity of OBs who easily choose to do a Caesarian operation, never considering the fact that there is a difference between Caesarian delivery and natural delivery. In the former a baby is born, not passing through the birth canal. My opinion is that in the former case a baby cannot be awake for one hour while in the latter a baby can be awake, maybe for one hour due to having friction through the birth canal. So the kind of delivery a woman chooses is very important, I think. In most big hospitals, upon delivery mother and baby are separated from each other and a nurse gives milk to him on regular hours. You can easily understand this situation is terrible and interferes with important “bonding.” I advise parents to thoroughly discuss the kind of delivery they really want and choose a hospital that can meet their desire.
5. After childbirth – Communication with a baby
It is important to talk to a baby as often as possible after he was born, just like when he was in the womb. A baby cries when he needs to pee or poof. In my case, I always asked our baby, “Why are you crying? Pee? Milk? All right, I’ll check the diaper.” I said “Oh, you have poo! Good for you!” This process is very important, for the baby immediately understands the difference between poo and milk while listening to the parent. “I’ll take the diaper.” “I’ll wipe your bottom.” “I’ll put a new diaper on. I’ve finished!” I held him in my arms, saying “Do you want to be held in my arms? So, let’s hold you!” Be sure to talk to the baby before taking action. The adult’s speech gets across to the baby about two weeks after birth. Mutual communication is easier. Around the third day of birth you ask the baby, “Pee? Poo? Hug?” The baby changes the way he cries, depending on his demand. For example: he stops crying for a while when asked “Pee?” This shows he needs to pee. Talking to the baby like this will make mutual understanding easier. Around the second week the baby cries much more infrequently. However, the baby cannot smile or nod because he cannot move the muscles of facial expression. It means that he cannot simply reply though he can understand what you say.
All a baby can do is to cry. He tries to make himself understood to parents by changing the way he cries. On the second or third week we come to understand what he wants to say. Soon he looks affectionately at us though he can’t move the facial muscles. Our son looked affectionately at me when the perfect question he wanted to answer was asked; For example, he smiled only when asked “Hug?” because he wanted a hug. We brought up our child in this way. Around the fist month he cried once a day, if any. He hardly cried and he was all smiles around the third month. When we missed his sign, he cried once a day and he never cried at night. Around the fifth or sixth month he never cried. He cried once a week when we were to blame. When a baby never cries, it shows either normal development or abnormal one. Abnormal development, for example, is autism. When a mother or those around are too fussy and ignore his demand, the baby does not want to see the outside world and withdraws into his inner world. He tries to wear ear plugs psychologically. He never cries, having no interest in the outside world. This naturally brings about intellectual impairment.
Careful observation of a baby shows he always moves his legs before crying. First, he rubs his soles. Secondly, when a parent misses his demand, he moves his legs violently and then moves his hands violently. Thirdly, he starts uttering “Uh!” or ”Wah! ” Each movement takes five seconds or so, always in this order. And then he pretends to cry slightly when ignored by the mother. He cries heavily when mother still pays no attention to him. Before crying, the baby tries to give signs. When mother is busy with housework and ignores him, he really cries. The cry indicates “Why won’t you come when I call you so often?” When he gets angry and cries a lot, he refuses to drink mother’s milk though he really wants it. It is the same with the psychology of adults. The mother gets confused about his crying. The baby does not seem to need milk, pee or poo though he, in fact, needs milk. In this case mother has missed his signal. Try to ask a baby if he needs ‘milk’ or ‘poo’ to get his signal as soon as possible while he is moving his legs violently. And the baby will grow up smoothly without crying at all.
6. Not Nutrition but Love
A baby never cries for no reason. He has the greatest need for hugs. First and foremost, breast milk is important. I ask mothers to give breast milk as long as possible. Nowadays even a mother with breast milk available stops giving it to her baby half a year after his birth. A short period of breast-feeding entails many problems. It makes a baby sick. The baby has a great demand for motherly love. He feels most secure when snuggled and breast-fed by mother.
There are many people who have a great interest in nutrition. Really, you don’t have to think much of nutrition and baby food. It is, of course, important to pay attention to what to eat. More importantly, however, the baby can eat all he wants at any time when he needs. I’d like the parent to have faith that the baby knows what he wants to eat. Whatever the baby is unwilling to eat is unnecessary for him. For example, if your baby won’t eat wakame or seaweed and carrot, there is nothing to worry about. You don’t have to force the baby to eat it. My child was given surprisingly simple baby food. All he ate at the age of 4 months was ground brown rice and iriko (dried small sardine) with a little amount of miso soup added and tofu. As he grew up, he started eating cheese and yogurt. We gave him breast milk for one year and a half, sometime during which we gave meat and powdered milk. However, he refused to eat it. Then we stopped giving such food, understanding it was unnecessary for him. Instead, we gave him very simple baby food, which was an easy task for us parents. In spite of such simple food, my son, now 5 years old, has never been sick nor has he ever been to a hospital. I think this shows we have given him the right food. My boy has been disease-free for five years, because he has been given plenty of motherly love which is most important to a child. I read a book about a rabbit research. In an experiment, rabbits were fed food which was likely to cause myocardial infarction. The rabbits were divided into some groups. A certain group of rabbits were less likely to develop the disease for an unknown reason. It was discovered later by chance that the group of rabbits had been held and stroked every day by a research student in charge of the group. Then other groups of rabbits were treated the same way, which showed the same result. Nutritional value cannot be measured only by what to feed. Today’s science has not yet studied how giving a gentle stroke or speaking gently to a baby will serve as nutrition.
There is a book entitled “The Secret Life of the Unborn Child,” which I mentioned before. In an experiment, a baby, who was in an ICU due to premature birth, was stroked for five minutes an hour by a nurse. The baby started growing more rapidly than the baby who was not stroked. Furthermore, the former baby was stroked by his mother, too. The former baby at the age of four had IQ 15 points higher on average than the latter baby who was unattended. This experiment shows stroking five minutes per hour helps raise IQ. I deduce that a child who has been hugged sufficiently with his demands being satisfied is essentially so clever that he does not need to be forced to study. I hugged my child all the time while he was awake. The midwife cynically said “Your boy will get into a hugging habit, and you will suffer later.” The demands of the awakened baby include those for pee, poo and breast milk as well as hug. He also demands to get him to sleep while being snuggled. Parenting really requires physical strength! Sufficient hugs keep any disease away from the baby. I hear that in a certain community in Africa the baby is brought up by the parent who breathes on him and caresses him affectionately. Without medical facilities, they intuitively know how to keep the baby healthy. I feel they do proper childcare, believing in their own power. On the other hand, we often take the baby to a hospital, relying on physicians. An adult needs wisdom to understand the demands of a baby. It is really difficult to bring up the baby, hugging him to his content. But you find it the toughest only at the beginning of childcare. When the child starts walking around the age of one, he never demands to be hugged. Even the slightest hug immediately satisfies him because his demand for hugs has already been met and has disappeared. Efforts will pay off. You will find it easier to bring up the child thereafter. As is often the case, even an elementary school pupil competes with his brother for parental love and demands hugs unless his parents have satisfied his demand for hugs.
You might think that childcare is as easy as I mentioned and all you have to do is to hug him. This way of thinking is wrong. You hug your baby superficially when your attention is focused on housework. You hope your baby will get to sleep as soon as possible and you will be able to do housework. This attitude will never satisfy your baby. However long you hug him will do nothing. A superficial hug is meaningless. You have to sincerely hug your baby, gazing at him so that you can communicate with him. My child showed different reactions to my wife than to me. In my case, I promptly hugged him as soon as he moved his legs violently. I hugged him wholeheartedly, feeling his existence. Then he went to sleep promptly. After I found him sound asleep, I put him softly on the bed. I stayed beside him for a while and took the opportunity in leaving him, making sure that he was sound asleep. Then I got to work. He never woke up as expected. As for my wife, she hugged him without directing her attention to him. She left him immediately after he went to sleep, for she felt relieved. Then the baby found her not to be beside him and started crying. She complained a lot of the baby preventing her from doing domestic chores. She got angry at the baby. Next time she hugged him, she could not hug him affectionately. This is a vicious cycle. A hug, however long it may be, will never satisfy the baby. The baby needs both fatherly and motherly love. He apparently demands more motherly love. The baby will not satisfy himself unless his mother affectionately hugs him. I understand housework and childcare are demanding jobs. The mother can’t keep up with housework if she busies herself with childcare. Many mothers are exhausted with housework and childcare. Under such conditions, she can’t hug her baby affectionately. The cooperation of the husband or a volunteer is indispensable. We should create a lifestyle in the whole community, where someone gives the mother a hand in housework and the mother can put her extra energy into childcare.
7. Reason for crying at night and bedwetting
Our childcare was far from perfect. We made quite a few mistakes. I’d like to show you one of the mistakes. When my boy cut his teeth at the age of one and a half, my wife was reluctant to breast-feed him and mentioned her refusal. Ideally, the mother should give to the baby as much breast milk as he wants. She announced that she would take responsibility for stopping breast-feeding. I advised her to breast-feed him for another month, but she never listened to me. So I allowed her to do as she liked, warning her of possible unwelcome outcome. When my wife stopped breast-feeding our baby, he started crying at night for three consecutive days though he had never cried at night before. I felt relieved that nothing but crying at night had happened. Actually, stopping breast-feeding at earlier stage causes the baby to cry at night and wet the bed because his demand for love is not satisfied. Wetting the bed is sort of a psychosomatic disease, with which he physically appeals to the mother to demand more love. When the mother gets angry about wetting the bed, he wets the bed again, to make sure whether he is loved or not. This causes a vicious cycle and it will take additional time before he does not need to wear diapers. I‘d like to ask the mother not to get angry at the child for wetting the bed but to hug and caress the child, speaking to him tenderly “I like you very much. Don’t worry about wetting the bed.” Then the baby would stop wetting the bed.
Half a year ago my child wet the bed after very long time, feeling slightly disturbed and uneasy. My wife had not taken good care of him. When he wet the bed, she didn’t get angry. The next day he wet the bed again. This decisively indicated want of motherly love. My wife got angry at him because he didn’t admit having wet the bed. The more she got angry, the more often he wet the bed. I thought that was not good for him. I said to him, “You feel comfortable when you wet the bed, don’t you? It is really comfortable. We also had wet the bed when we grew up. Don’t worry. You may wet the bed because it’s very comfortable.” The child asked me “May I wet the bed?” I answered “You can do anything that makes you feel comfortable. Don’t worry.” My wife complained that it would take time to dry the futon. When I said “You don’t have to worry because we have another futon. Wet the futon as you like,” I found his body becoming loose because he felt relieved and relaxed. Seeing his response, I thought he would never wet the bed any more. I was right.
If parents scold the child for wetting the bed, he will tense himself. He will behave badly, playing a trick or making a lot of noise to make sure of parental love. He will repeat such bad manners until he is convinced that he is really loved. Unless feeling sure about it, he will wet the bed again at night. It is a vicious cycle. As for discipline, I think it is proper to train the child after he turns three. The child has a good reason for acting up. So don’t get angry at him. Instead, find out the reason and try to meet his demand as much as possible until he turns three. Then training will be easy. We tend to worry that the child whose demand is met as much as possible might be spoiled. Quite the reverse! It is the same with adults. For example, if your husband always ignored your desires, you would get angry. When he asks you to get him something, you would feel like saying “Why don’t you get it yourself?” The same is true with the child. The child is sure to rebel against parents if his demands are ignored. He acts the opposite on purpose. The worst of it is that he will badly annoy his parents at the most inconvenient times for them. I want parents to understand that if he acts up when he is supposed to be quiet, he appeals for love. I also want parents to shower love on him sufficiently until he turns three and to show their message “I love you” with attitude as well as verbally. When the child is brought up while hearing parents say “I love you,” he will feel secure and grow up to be well behaved.
8. Respect for child’s will
I’d like to give you another example. I fully satisfy my child’s demand for love. Before taking a Shinkansen bullet train, I warn him, saying “We are going to take a bullet train. You should not play noisily. You should contain yourself even if you feel happy. Can you try?” He replies, saying “Yes, I can.” I say “Then, shall we take it?” But he unintentionally makes a loud noise because he’s so happy. When I say “Be quiet,” he keeps quiet for about two hours. He is very cooperative. Because he knows I have tried to meet his demands, he answers my request. Parents try to meet their child’s demands as much as possible and teach him what he may do or what he may not do, little by little when he needs to be trained. If they get involved in training like this, he will not get sick and be well-behaved.
Many people assume that a baby has no feelings, reason or will and that he develops consciousness after he starts uttering words. My experience shows that it isn’t true. When my son was around four months old, two of our friends visited us. He never cried for four or five hours while they stayed. One of them had a loud voice. I found that my child in the next room became fretful and I understood that he was complaining about his noisy voice. My wife welcomed them with holding him in her arms. My son had a nice smile to one but never smiled at the other. When he went to the bathroom, I said to my son, “You must be angry with him for his loud voice. Forgive him.” He smiled at me. He gave the friend a smile, too when he came back from the bathroom. The baby seems to have a greater capacity to forgive and forgives anybody as soon as he understands.
I’ll show you another experience. We often took my child to a shop of our friend. Every time we initiate action to my child, we ask for his permission, respecting his will. So when our friend asked me to hold my child, I always asked him, saying “He wants to hold you. Is it all right?” Only when he smiled, I had our friend hold him. But on one occasion the same friend asked to hold my child when he was around 10 months old. I passed him over to the friend carelessly without asking for his permission, for the friend had been allowed to hold him many times. As my child was in a good mood at that time, I could not understand how he really felt. Then I left home for work and I came back home late at night. My child turned his face away from me though he always greeted me with a smile on his face. I forced him to turn his face toward me, but he turned away from me. I thought that something wrong was with him. My wife and I talked about his attitude and tried in vain to get a clue. Reflecting back on that day, I suddenly remembered that I had him held by our friend without his permission. So I apologized to him, saying “You must be angry with me because I had my friend hold you without your permission. I am sorry.” He smiled at me. Babies understand what adults say though they can’t speak. Babies seem to have a great ability to communicate, whichever linguistically or telepathically it may be. Treat the unborn baby with respect, recognizing that he is living being with full-fledged personality. Then he will grow to be healthy and be able to pass over a rebellious stage easily. If adults bring up the child without respect as if he were like a domestic animal which needs to be trained, they will be sure to have difficulty in facing up to his rebellious stage. Even an adult would get angry if he/she was treated as a greenhorn. I think that the child reaches the peak of independence between three and five. At that time he insists on his ability: I can do this. He never rebels against his parents when he is brought up with his demands met and his independence respected. It is important to bring up him with such attitude from early childhood. Don’t get angry with a child. Treat him with respect for his will and understanding of his desire. Then he will grow up to be strong-willed and highly concentrated. It is important to realize what he demands and what he wants to do.
9. Demand for independence and importance of patience
When a baby demands love, love should be showered on him sufficiently. On the other hand, when he demands independence, it is vitally important to be patient enough to “wait” for a baby to grow. I’d like to take an example of childbirth. A mother should shower a lot of love on the child before he is born. During the time of childbirth, time for independence, it is most important to be patient enough to “wait”. This goes for any other case. Parents should shower love on the child on a daily basis. When the child starts expressing himself and tries to be slightly isolated from parents, though not completely, they should not rush to train him but to “wait” as long as possible. This is very important. They should never potty-train the child or have him clean his room early in childhood. They should train the child as he grows. Children grow at different rates.
It is generally accepted that the earlier the child crawls on his hands and knees, walks or cuts his teeth, the better. To tell the truth, however, if the child is brought up with a lot of love, he is slow in crawling, walking and cutting his teeth. Some children grow three or four months behind ordinary children, but there is nothing to worry about. Brought up without a lot of love and nutrition, on the other hand, the child can walk and cut his teeth early. The best nutrition for the child is motherly love, and the second is food. Due to lack of motherly love, the child has to be fed with solids. Such a child cuts his teeth early. The same is true of the child whose mother is often absent. He can walk early because he has to walk to her on his own. In truth, parents should not be glad to see the child cut his teeth and walk early. I want them to understand it shows the lack of nutrition or motherly love. But parents want the child to walk early and try to have the child practice walking by holding him or using a walker. They become happy to see the child walk with the help of a rattling toy. This is not good for the child. Crawling is essential for the growth of the child. Without sufficiently crawling when needed, the brain circuit cannot be organized. A research group led by Dr. Dorman, an expert of education for handicapped children, found that children who grow without sufficient experience of crawling or never experience a necessary developmental step tend to develop disabilities. If parents intentionally have the child never experience a necessary developmental step and have the child stand with the aid of a walker, the child is likely to develop motor dysfunction or intellectual impairment, in some cases. This is bad for the child. It is desirable for parents to help the child grow, but undesirable for them to intentionally alter or interfere with his natural growth. When the child is brought up with a lot of love, he usually grows slowly, except in the case of special walking training provided by early education. This is why you don’t have to worry about growth of your child a few months behind other children. Bring up your child as he grows. Different childcare books give completely different instructions in detail on when to potty-train, what and when to feed baby food or etc. So I do want you to rely on your own intuition and follow your own way.
10. Failure in potty-training
Let me give you a story about potty-training. We have greatly failed in potty-training our child. A certain childcare book said that it is proper for a baby to be potty-trained around the 6th month of birth. It might be true if the baby is brought up properly. But after reading the book carefully, I found that surprisingly, even such successful persons had their children pee or poo after the 6th month while holding them. As shown in such example, it is doubtful whether it is right for a baby to be potty-trained exactly at the 6th month of birth. It is not necessary to potty-train the baby so early. However, my wife thought it was proper childcare for the baby to be potty-trained early. She became obsessive about potty-training our son as early as possible. She, who used to study hard for entrance exams, tended to do everything correctly. She wanted to justify herself by managing early potty-training. Though I always told her never to be fastidious about this kind of thing, she got stuck with potty-training. Her attitude made the matter worse: it took extra time to potty-train our child. The child, who demands motherly love, knows well what attitude appeals to the mother. As my wife thought she was able to potty-train him when he properly let her know his demand for pee or poo, she was overly aware of it. As soon as he moved about his legs violently, she asked “Poo?” first. I myself asked him questions at random. But she asked him “Poo?” or “Pee?” always in this order. The baby knew she would come to him if he answered yes for the first question though he really needed to pee. He moved about his legs when she was working. When she asked him “Poo?”, he answered yes. So she let him sit on a training chair, but the stool didn’t come out. She thought he lied, but he really demanded love. We intended to have brought up our child very carefully and wanted to take care of him and meet his demands as soon as possible. But we were not able to do anything when we were exhausted. In that sense, I might not be qualified as a parent. Men should be more considerate of women. When women are exhausted by childcare and housework, they cannot meet any demand of the child. The child feels lack of love and tries to get love from her by doing something most worrisome to her. In our case, my son discovered that his saying “poo” would lead my wife to come to him. He answered yes when she asked “Poo?” Even if he sat on a training chair, the stool didn’t come out. Then she got angry. He repeated the same thing as mentioned before. She got angrier and angrier, and finally gave him a spank on the bottom because she thought he lied. I generally dare not meddle with the mother-child relationship because I want my wife to realize his real intention. But I thought that by allowing such situation to continue, it would grow worse and worse. Then I said to her, “Do you understand why he cries? You seem to be unusually interested in potty-training and he knows that you will come to him when he says poo. He tells a lie because he wants to get your love.” I also said, “Why do you dislike poof? Do you realize you change diapers with a disgusting look? You always change diapers with a devilish look, indicating it is unpleasant to do so. Moreover, you think you will be late in potty-training and get angry. You change diapers with a cruel look all the more because you get angry. He gazes at you and doesn’t feel he is loved. He feels uneasy and fools around again. It has become a vicious cycle.” I explained the whole process to her and told her that it was wrong of her to dislike poo because it was healthy to poo. I talked to her for one or two hours. After that my son let her know his intention properly and returned to how he had been; he never cried at all. This crisis lasted for a week. This is the biggest childcare crisis we have ever been faced with. Leaving such problem unsolved, the mother tends to spank the child as soon as she gets angry. The child has a good reason for his problematic behavior. Childcare will become very easy when you understand this fact!
11. Good reason for romping
Recently I bought a toy rail called plastic-rail for my five-year-old son. For two hours he played with a toy streetcar on the floor, in a bent-over posture. I was worried that such posture might be hard on his back. On that night he romped about in bed and didn’t fall asleep, which I had almost never seen. At times like that, we should not angrily tell the child to go to bed early. The reason is so simple. Unexpectedly, a child gets stiff shoulders, neck and back from unnatural posture. When a baby can roll over and stand up, such parts stiffen and he soon gets in a bad mood. A bad mood in a child shows he is likely to be stiff in any part of the body. It is important to give him a massage or a gentle rub or to shake him gently. The younger the child is, the sooner his muscles relax. He will be in a good mood soon. A sulky or noisy child is sure to have a stiff part of the body, which results from playing or walking. He instinctively adjusts the whole body by romping about or doing a summersault in the bed at night. It is just like an adult’s rolling over to adjust the whole body. The child romps about and relaxes in the bed before he goes to sleep. There is, therefore, no reason for getting angry if we understand this fact. In our case, we allow the child to wake up or go to bed anytime he wants to. We don’t force him to go to bed and we allow him to act up. It is the secret of health. On the other hand, if I scold him saying, “You sit up late. Go to bed early,” he cannot relax his muscles and gets sick. When I want him to go to bed early, I give him a massage. There are many ways to have the child go to sleep if you can have the child disperse energy sufficiently.
12. No rush for training
It is enough to bring up the child affectionately before the time of independence. As for discipline at the time of independence, it is necessary to further understand human beings. It is not too much to say that the key point is to be “patient,” that is, to make a long-range plan. In the case of my child, he actually still used a potty chair until a few months ago. The child around this age is usually supposed to do his business in the bathroom. I said to my son, “All the people generally do their business in the bathroom. Why don’t you do that?” but he preferred using a potty chair. Respecting his own free will, we have allowed him to use it. As I never force him to do something, I just wait for him to say that he would like to do his business in the bathroom. However, he would be embarrassed if he were unable to do his business in the bathroom in an elementary school, I thought. It is about time to have him go to the bathroom instead of using a potty chair. At a time like this, I try to work on him little by little with a one-year long-term plan. Specifically speaking, I ask him why he won’t go to the bathroom. He answers he prefers using the potty chair because the bathroom is in the main building where my parents live, away from our house. Actually, he is afraid of the flush toilet; running water sound and machine noise. Some children are timid, on the good side, cautious. Our child is very cautious. I avoid saying “You must be afraid, mustn’t you?” not to hurt him. I casually say to him, “It is all right for you to manage to do your business in the bathroom in one or two years,” suggesting him that he is supposed to do so. A few days later, I took him to the bathroom, saying “I will go to the bathroom to poo. Won’t you come with me?” I let him know that he didn’t have to be afraid of the flush toilet, and explained what to do there and how to use a washer attachment on the toilet. I was patient enough to take him to the bathroom three or four times. In one or two weeks I found him unafraid of the flushing sound. At this time you should not pressure him, saying “You are not afraid of it now and do yourself.” It is not so easy for a child to be motivated to do something. We have to encourage the child to be willing to sit on the toilet seat. I offer a carrot to my child. My son, a great lover of the Shinkansen bullet train, has never taken it and is eager to take it. I said to him, ’“I will have you take it next year.” My son asked “Why?” I said, “Tomo-kun, you cannot poo in the bathroom. The Shinkansen has only bathrooms, not potty chairs. If you cannot poo or pee in the bathroom, you will be in big trouble, won’t you? “ He said, “Yes.” “When you don’t need a potty chair and can poo or pee in the bathroom, I’ll let you take the Shinkansen,” I said. He said, “I can do.” I casually said to him, “Then next time you want to poo and practice in the bathroom, shall we practice it? If you have no courage to do so, you can use the potty chair.” When he seemed to want to poo, I asked him whether he was going to try in the bathroom. He answered yes. I had him sit on the toilet seat and I found him nervous with stiff shoulders. When nervous, everybody has a difficult bowel movement. After five minutes, he couldn’t do his business. I let it go and praised him, saying “You can sit on the toilet seat properly. Well done!” He tried in vain to do his business again. At that time don’t get angry. It requires a lot of patience. To make him feel at ease, I praised him, saying “This time you can do that easily!” As he felt more and more relaxed, he finally succeeded the third time around. He reported to my wife, shouting with joy, “I made it! I made it!” It is all right that he became happy with his success. But the child tends to feel pressured to poo in the bathroom again. I found his body stiffen. Realizing this, I said to him, “You don’t always have to poo in the bathroom. You can use the potty chair anytime when you can’t do it.” Hearing it, he felt relieved and his whole body relaxed. We made it! However, if parents should pressure him to do it again or blame him for failing in doing it the second time, the child will lose his confidence. It will take longer time for toilet-training. Luckily enough, I spent only three months toilet-training my son, though I had planned to spend one year on the training. In case parents train their child to do only one thing, they should wait until the time comes when the child really wants to. Brought up with respect for his free will, the child will have no rebellious spirit. What matters is to take your time to train him. When a parent gets angry, he fails. The parent should observe the child carefully and understand what his actions suggest.
13. Importance of childcare and a stable society
To grasp the demands of the child accurately, parents should create their lifestyle in which either parent can take good care of the child. Working parents, who leave their child in a nursery, cannot understand the demands of the child. Parents should think thoroughly about what kind of lifestyle they should create and how they should work. They need to make an effort to understand their child by reading really good books.
Bringing up a child is a demanding job, which requires energy and attention the same as or more than office work. If parents spend all of their energy working, the child will be neglected. A neglected child will naturally grow up to crave love and do annoying things to the extreme. A child in need of love instinctively knows what will make parents to pay attention to him when left neglected. Then the child does the most annoying things. Annoying things differ from parent to parent: shoplifting, school violence, sexual deviancy, anorexia and, in the worst case, suicide. Being brought up carefully and affectionately, a child will grow up to be independent, which makes the subsequent childcare much easier. The parent can let the child go when he turns 16 years or so. On the other hand, if the parent leaves the child nursed in a nursery and has him trained at school, the child cannot live away from his parent, and vice versa. As a result, such child will lead an unhappy life.
I think that childcare with a lot of love will help build a much better society and then childcare will be much easier. It is true that the first several years of parenting is quite demanding, but subsequent childcare will be much easier. As we did, if parents single-mindedly hold their child for one year and a half, the child will hardly need to be held and will not get sick or go to the hospital, either. Childcare requires a lot of care and love but your efforts will be fruitful in the long run. As you can grasp the heart of your child while bringing up him, you will easily understand other human relationships: the husband and wife, the superior and subordinate, the teacher and student, and the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. Childcare is really a rewarding job. However, many people seem to spend too much time working. If you try to grasp what your child or spouse is thinking about by paying more attention, very harmonious relationships between the husband and wife and the parent and child will be created, where nobody suffers any conflicts. I think that under such conditions, a stable society, with the least burden of medical expenses, will be realized.
14. Amazing childcare by native people, and conclusion
As mentioned before, our parenting would be evaluated at a score of 55. There are gifted nurturers in the world. Ugandans and the Aborigines seem to bring up their children in magical and talented manners. I hear women lead a normal life immediately before delivery, give birth in only 20 minutes and return to a normal life in one hour. How astonishing it is! Some babies hold up their heads on the second day of birth and even smile on the fourth day of life. I also hear that the mother understands all that her baby demands and the baby never cries even on the first day of life. That seems impossible to me. They think it is shameful to have a baby cry. It sounds incredible, but it is true! How wonderful that a mother has such spiritual richness that she can tune in to her child by telepathy! I feel such childcare is idealistic for human beings. Compared to this, I have many regrets for my own parenting. I think I have barely earned a passing mark. From my own experience, I do hope you would put into practice your ideal childcare with great confidence in your intuition.