When our eldest son was unwell, a psychiatrist gave us a great gift. He told us about an experiment that was conducted in England.
There was one simple ritual that the mothers of ill children conducted every night. When the child fell asleep, they waited for the active phase of sleep, and then spoke these simple words to their child:
’I love you. I’m proud of you. I’m glad that you’re my child. You’re the best child to me.’
The results were compared with other children who had received the same diagnosis, but whose mothers didn’t whisper anything to them at night. The children who received their mothers’ love declarations recovered much faster. That’s the magic of a mother’s words.
We decided to try it immediately. It was easy, cheap — actually, it was free, unlike other treatments — and always at hand. Then I began improvising. It’s already been five years, and I still whisper different words to my boys almost every night.
What does it give?
- The feeling of intimacy. I can’t compare this feeling to anything. I hug each of them and tell them things which are important for us both.
- One-on-one time with each child. Our daily routine doesn’t give me individual time with my sons. But these moments at night are special.
- I can tell them something important. Sometimes the abundance of information or other circumstances can make them misbehave, and this complicates our communication. But at night, when I whisper in their ears how much I love them, all the quarrels and hard feelings disappear
- Children feel love. I read that we should tell our children one important phrase: ’Do you know that if I could choose from all the children in the world I would have chosen you?’ When I first told it to my son, he was so excited and surprised at the same time that he couldn’t stop repeating: ’Me, really? Is it true?’ It is so important for children to feel that their parents love them the way they are, and that they’re special.
There’s such a thing in constellation therapy as ’permissive phrases’: phrases that we say that can change our perception of the world. Usually the words are simple — about love, acceptance, regret. I found out that if you say such phrases to your children at night, many problems resolve themselves.
The phrases I usually say:
- ’I’m your mother, and you’re my child.’ This can help if you are not feeling an emotional connection with your child.
- ’I give; you take.’ It’s about the circulation of energy in the family.
- ’You don’t have to do anything for me. I love you the way you are.’ It’s about finding one’s own way in life.
- ’Dad and I love you so much. You’re our child.’
- ’You’re just like your father.’ ’Your father is the best dad for you.’
- ’I’m sorry.’
- ’I’m proud of you.’ Especially if you tried to impose your own vision of your child’s future on him or her.
- ’I love you.’
How to choose phrases?
You can try different phrases to understand which of them your child and you need. I noticed that if I choose a phrase that is important to me at that moment, it causes a sigh of relief. And if I tell my children what they need to hear, they react the same way.
The main thing about all these phrases is that you shouldn’t say them automatically. To make your words work magic, you should be sincere.
Don’t forget to tell your children that you love them during the day, for no reason, just because you can. Hug them, kiss them, stroke their hair. These are the moments they will remember for a lifetime.
’I love you. I’m proud of you. You’re the best child to me and Dad.’
What could be simpler and more magical than these words told from the heart of a loving mother?