Do we love the baby?
When two year old Ellie needs to be potty trained, I thought it would be helpful to find a baby doll which drinks from a bottle and then can be put “on the potty” to help her understand the process.
We did indeed find the very doll at a store in Knoxville and she even came with a bottle and a pacifier. This was a thrill for all of us as dolls that have pacifiers and bottles that actually fit, are not so easy to find any more.
Ellie was fascinated with feeding the baby, putting her on the potty, and watching her do her business. She loved helping the baby and like all little children, benefits from modeling behavior, not just watching the doll, and modeling that behavior, but watching what her parents model towards her and each other.
A child who has been able to learn to be gentle and caring towards a baby doll, will also be learning to be gentle and caring towards real babies. Children learn that from their parents, and from how their parents treat them and treat others.
And when we think about it, there is a baby in each of us…an innocence that yearns for gentleness and kindness from others.
Eevie, Ellie's cousin, picked a baby doll just a few weeks ago at the Polish and German festival in Tomball Texas. Something about the face of the doll compelled Eevie to beg for us to purchase her, and she has been loving and gentle and attentive to this doll ever since, bringing her to bed with her and making sure she is hugged and loved.
The baby is named Rose, says Eevie, and Eevie loves Rose.
I think that not only do children learn to love babies by practicing on dolls, adults learn to love themselves by practicing loving their children and other people. People who are good to others and are gentle with innocent ones, can recognize that good in themselves and celebrate it and understand that their kindness and caring will attract the same kindness and caring towards themselves. The good we do towards others is always returned to us one hundred fold.
When my children were small, they would learn which animals were safe by asking “Can we pet porcupines” or “can we pet cows”. Children naturally appreciate the innocence of animals, but even more naturally want to nurture and protect the innocence of baby brothers or baby sisters. They learn to do this from watching their parents show love, affection and nurturing to babies and to other adults, and from practicing with babies of their own.
Eevie loves her baby doll. It is a beautiful thing to see when the innocence of a baby is loved, cherished and protected. It is a beautiful thing to see when that love of babies translates into love of our fellow man. It is a beautiful thing when parents can model this behavior towards others, especially towards innocent babies, so children can see it and experience it, and learn it. Tolerance towards others, starts with loving the babies…doesn’t it?