A tiny story about the healing power of listening.
When I met sweet B., she had a lot of fears about being picked up. During her short life, she had already endured being jabbed with needles and confined while procedures or medication were administered. Her cries of protest were so loud and she struggled so much that I almost felt that I could not keep holding her. She is an incredibly strong little person, both emotionally and physically, all 15 pounds of her!
I was able to make eye contact with B. and release the tension that I could feel in my shoulders, the result of her cries. I took a breath. I was ready to listen to her strong feelings. I did not shhh her or say ‘you are ok’ or hug her tightly. It was tempting to do all of those things; this little one is so precious and vulnerable. Instead, I held her gaze and listened. My face stayed calm. I nodded a few times as the minutes passed. I said ‘I am sorry that it was so hard for you.’
This was the start of many listening times with baby B.. Each tine, she would begin to release some of the fears and discomfort she had with me picking her up. She would always begin to relax after our eyes were able to make a good contact. I also noticed that she went to sleep very easily with my help after these sessions. I truly believe that listening to babies is one of the most important things we can do as parents and teachers.
Contact me for support in being a calm listening for your little one.