I have been reading a lot of Sandra's page. Every day I try to read a little—seems to keep me more centered. Funniest thing is the that the one thing that has helped the best is smelling my children's hair before I say anything. Isn't that weird of all the things I read that works the best to remember to be kind and loving. Who would have thought. Sandra Dodd says it on an audio or somewhere. If someone can locate the link that is great if it helps others. When I am close and hug them and smell them it is really hard to say something that is not sweet. They are older (8 and 11) so I didn't suspect it would work anymore but it does and it is lovely. Thanks Sandra.
Audio maybe: SandraDodd/parentingpeacefully
Essay: "Smell your child's hair. They say dogs can smell fear, but moms can smell love, or something, when they smell the top of a young child's head. Something biochemical happens, and something intellectual can happen." SandraDodd/peace/noisy
I found several with the site search.
This has video and transcript both:
"Touch your children sweetly. Smell their heads. Relax into an appreciation of each child's presence in your life."
There are others, not always my advice. It's a tried-and-true tool. 🙂
(Site search results for "smell head")
I think that maybe it is touch related also. There have been so many new studies about how we should hug longer.
I was feeling overwhelmed today. At one point, I was about to get out of the pool and tell the kids I was DONE. First I pulled my 3 year old close and smelled her hair, planning a quick hug before getting out. And then I closed my eyes and we just hung out in a hug for a minute with me smelling her hair. And I felt better.
What did it take? It took being in Toys R Us one day and getting really hungry and getting really unhappy and recognising that the two things were linked. It took making sure that I wasn't hungry. It took smelling their heads when I was making lists of things that needed to be done away from them, a sort of biofeedback that pulled me back into them and turned my head from the chores that I was lining up to go and do. It took a growing awareness that they were at least as engaging and interesting as the things I was thinking of doing or that I was thinking would fill me up. And it took a real recognition that when I got "my time" it didn't satiate my needs, it didn't even begin to meet them.
Originally on a yahoo discussion called "Unschooling Basics," but preserved at Thinking about "Needs"
Look for ways to connect with them. There are biological ways. Smelling their heads is amazingly connective. At 11 and 14 it still works for me, but when they still had that new baby smell, that mussy, sweaty, sleepy, milky head smell, it switched massive switches for me. Look at them. Watch them talk or move or bounce or roll or whatever it is they are doing and marvel at the fact that they are.
There is more at SandraDodd.com/bonding
Smell the baby's head!! Breathe it in slowly, don't sniff it. Inhale it gently and deeply. There is biochemical magic there.
Do Not Watch the NEWS! Don't read about bad births, or anything about grief or mourning. It won't help your baby.
Do NOT listen to sad music. It won't help your baby.
Don't read magazines that talk about divorce or crime or political evils. It won't help your baby.
Do what will help your baby. Be the gentlest, sweetest, most attentive mother you can possibly be, and you will be putting peace in the bank for you and your whole family.
When you are kind, it changes the kind of person you are. When you are patient, it makes you a better person.
More simply put, kind is kinder, patient is more patient and better is better.
photos by Bruno Machado and Lydia Koltai (each is a link)
More about the effect of scents