Monday, 29 June 2009

Breastfeeding - brainfeeding

When I first deregistered H from school I saw the beautiful turning of his face towards me. His face lost its anxiety and fear. What I realised was that all of a sudden I had my authority back as a mother. This is not in a bad sense, but a truly wonderful sense.

He turns to me for my views and information. He doesn't agree with all of it, but that is his starting point. For lots of things he goes straight to the internet or other people. He knows I regard his health as most important, I don't dismiss his views.

What I want to write is that while breastfeeding is about security and feeding of nutrients, there is a next stage no-one has named which I call brainfeeding. It is an intellectual taking of what is needed from the parent. There is a natural assessment of the value of what the parent says, I get told that what I have said is rubbish every so often, or I am asked why, or my children tell me something and they want to see what my reaction is. Sometimes they simply bring up a topic and after a bit of discussion they move the talk onto something else. I can see the 'say no more' look on their faces. Sometimes they are polite and will glance at an interesting, to me, photo of an insect I show them, but I can tell it is never going to become a big interest!

What is nice is that I can ask a question about something technical then I can tell them I don't want to know any more, that is enough for now. Then they stop telling me about it, so I can regulate how much information coming my way, just as they can.

That not being swamped by information is similar to the self regulation of breastfeeding, which is the opposite to the forced feeding or spoon feeding of information by a school approach.

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