When a child cries and we try to distract him or, even worse, “plug” him with a pacifier, bottle or breast, we are telling him “Don’t feel uncomfortable. Your real feelings will not be acknowledged but will be suppressed or you will be talked out of them.” Who are we to tell children how to feel? It is uncomfortable to hear children cry. But why are we uncomfortable? Did we get the message that only the good news is acceptable to communicate? We need to work through these feelings.
Babies are always trying and failing and they are fine with that. Sometimes they are unhappy but they express it and move on. We can learn from them. We can’t give our babies a script.
Children co-determine their lives with each interaction. When they tell us they’re hungry by crying they are co-determining. They hear us preparing to feed them and the cry becomes an anticipating cry. The final cry, as the food approaches, is the relieved cry. The same thing happens in other instances. If we can observe them and learn their crying language we will be better co-determiners.
In the Dunstan Baby Language, the founder discovered that due to her gift of perfect pitch plus her lifelong music training she was able to discern her newborn’s cries. If we listen to our babies, we can learn what they are trying to tell us and better help them meet their needs.