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The Real Needs of Your Infant and Child

Deep down, every mother and father wants to nourish their children. The needs of your child grow and change, as your child grows and changes.Pathwork Lecture 73

Love, Care: “More often, however, both parents are emotionally immature and cannot give the love the child craves, or give it only in insufficient measure. During childhood, this need is rarely conscious.” Pathwork Lecture 73

Closeness, Holding, Bonding:“For an infant, closeness is an entirely passive experience: the child takes in, receives, soaks up nourishment and affection as a merely receptive organism, thus illustrating the universal feminine principle. The mother in this case is the giver, and in that capacity the truly feminine woman expresses her masculine principle.”Pathwork Lecture 207

Constant Physical Contact, Attention: Your child needs to be constantly held by his caregiver or another family member until between the age of 5-7 months. During this time the child nurses, observes and sleeps.

Breastfeeding on Cue, Nourishment: Your child needs to breast feed. when they are hungry. Breastfeeding ends, when your child is done. This takes 4-7 years if you fully allow it.

Immediate Response, Appreciation: Parents immediately respond to your child’s needs, when they cry or are upset, care is taken to give them what they need, and resolve the discomfort.

A Continuum of Care to provide Trust and Safety: Being a parent is not a job you can just quit, or stop for a while and take a break. Until your child reaches complete individuality, you need to be there for them. And you need to be there for them as often as they need you. This is really honoring, this is real prayer, attention, communion and love. That means, do not break the bond with your child, do not abandon them. When you are unfaithful, and unclear with your willingness to be physically and emotionally present for your child as they grow, this puts a dent into the substance of your child, because they will feel hurt that you do not fully love them.

This list was adapted from Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff