I was sitting in church Sunday, listening to the reverend talk about how she had learned of a woman in San Mateo who was teaching pregnant women how to play the piano.
The learning of this new skill was for much more than to pick up a new talent; the theory behind her classes was that her students would then deliver babies who would begin life with an affinity to music.
The idea that fetuses can hear and learn certain sounds has proven to be true. Nursery rhymes, certain vowel sounds and most importantly, a mother’s voice, do indeed influence a baby once it is born.
And if nurtured properly, the can produce young, bright children who have the capability of leading healthy, successful and happy lives.
In August, a new study was published in he “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” showing that “a fetus can detect and remember discrete words.”
“The fetal learning capabilities are much more specific than we thought,” said study co-author Eino Partanen, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Helsinki. “Once we learn a sound, if it’s repeated to us often enough, we form a memory of it, which is activated when we hear the sound again.”
Hmmm … this got me thinking … maybe one way to deal with youth truancy, incarceration and recidivism is to create what I’m going to call “Womb Cultivation.”
Now, I’m not saying that if we “teach” our kids how to say “yes ma’am,” “no sir” and about the finer things in life while in utero, we will raise kids who are polite, respectful and straight ‘A’ students. But if we begin certain positive practices and phrases while the mother is pregnant, and she continues this process during the child’s development, who says those who otherwise may have strayed won’t stay closer to the nest?
More importantly, why can’t Womb Cultivation extend – or maybe the theory of it begin – when a young boy or girl reaches adolescence?
According to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1.6 million juveniles were arrested across the country in 2010. Of those, an estimated 170,600 were juvenile arrests for drug abuse violations. With further investigation of these groups, experts often times find a person’s upbringing plays a big part in his or her outcome.
Now, I realize there aren’t a lot of hardworking and loving parents out there who are confused as to why their once-adorable child now is a juvenile delinquent. The problem may be found in today’s uncertain economic society where “hardworking” takes priority over the “loving” – the loving and emotional support that is needed for ALL children to grow up happy and healthy.
There are many great programs out there, but most look to males to “fix the problem.” I suggest the men take a backseat for a minute and allow the Moms to do what they do best – nurture and provide unconditional love beginning BEFORE birth and continue it through adolescence.
And to target our youth who have fallen: Let’s start placing women, not just men, in these programs … to give our children and young adults something that is all about new beginnings – a womb.
Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig is an award-winning, professional journalist who resides in Oakland. If you have an individual, organization, issue or other topic that may be of interest to our readers, contact her at [email protected]. Need more stirring? Visit stpminute.blogspot.com.