Children are a true gift from God. As with any gift it’s not always as things appear. This divine blessing is sent for one primary reason: to enable you to let go of self and lay your life down for another. Any gift from God needs to be seen as extremely precious to Him and to you. With a gift of this magnitude you are called to raise this child in the best possible environment so that he or she comes to know their true identity in HIM!
Stress is infectious
What causes children to be ill-tempered, frequently upset, or have learning problems? There are many reasons of course, and some of those you can’t control. But stress is often the biggest factor, and especially in the early years, children may not have ways of telling you that they are stressed except by acting out. And their stress may be coming from you.
There is no blame here! Stress is hard to avoid: so much to do, and you have to balance your family, job, finances, and household. You’re already at the most active time ever in your life, and then a child comes along. And you aren’t going to be perfect at parenting at first. But as you let go more of doing and start listening to your heart you will be instructed on how to raise this child. Children do not come with a manual of how to raise them. This instruction comes moment by moment spoken to your heart, not your head.
There are many books written about good parenting, how to prepare for a family, and what to do at each stage of a child’s life. Rarely, however, do they talk about making their lives better by making your own life healthier. But this is where you do have control, where you can make a big difference — not just in raising your children, but in giving them a healthy start, beginning while they are still in the womb.
Special note to mothers
Your health matters! Not just for your sake, but for your kids’ sakes as well. And it starts before pregnancy. Reducing stress in your life before pregnancy means you are getting into new patterns of thinking and living which will carry over into pregnancy. Also, your body is smart enough to resist pregnancy in times of stress. Published in Human Reproduction, researchers performed a study where they measured the alpha-amylase levels in participants’ saliva, thereby measuring their levels of stress, and found that it took 29% longer for those with high stress levels to achieve pregnancy. Even if you do not recognize the danger of high stress levels, your body does, and it will not rush into pregnancy.
If you are stressed and manage to become pregnant anyway, your stress is directly impacting your child’s development as surely as a drug addiction or a poor diet. The baby in your womb is completely dependent upon the internal environment of your body. Just as a seedling requires good soil and proper nourishment to sprout and grow, so your baby needs a good environment to develop before birth. Published in JAMA Network Open, researchers at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC studied mothers with elevated stress, anxiety, and depression, finding that the stress had a negative impact on child brain development in the womb, particularly in the left hippocampus and cerebral cortex (cortical fold) regions. After birth, these children could experience social and emotional problems. This builds the child’s stress, so in effect your stress has been passed on to them.
The best nutritional environment you can give your newborn is mother’s milk. Again, giving your child good nutrition is vital to early development, and formula is a poor alternative. You don’t fare well with processed foods, and neither does your baby, whose digestive system is only suited for mother’s milk for many months after birth. But your milk composition will also be affected by your stress, which can then affect the baby. This was noted in a study published in Developmental Science, where researchers stated, “Findings support lactocrine programming, and suggest that mothers may ‘communicate’ vital information about stressful environments via cortisol contained in breast milk…” Greater stress in the mothers increased the cortisol content of their milk, which seemed to especially impact girl’s fear and anxiety levels.
Still, breast milk is beyond superior to formula: John Hopkin’s Medicine states, “Breast milk has the nutrients that are best for your baby’s brain growth and nervous system development.” They also cited studies showing that breastfed babies do better on intelligence tests when older. They suggest exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, then partial breastfeeding along with mixing in solid foods until at least 1 to 2 years old.
Note to fathers
You don’t get a pass! Your stress can pass along to your children as well. First, if you are stressed, it’s likely you are communicating that to your wife in many subtle ways you may not even realize. Also your stress can cause epigenetic DNA changes that you contribute to your children. Once your children are born, you may unconsciously be emoting stress to them and your wife. Stress is infectious.
What to do
Even in the midst of stressful times, you don’t have to be stressed, because stress is a reaction to what you perceive, filtered by the subconscious “programs” that replay in your mind. But these repetitive non-stop thoughts can be modified. Also, stress can be counteracted by not only exercise, but everything that contributes to good health. Your brain is part of your body, and making one healthier de-stresses the other. It may sound rather flippant to say, “Go, get rid of your stress,” but when you realize that there are solid steps you can take, regardless of your circumstances. to reduce your stress, you find that you can make a big difference.
We are willing to do a lot for our kids. For yourself, you may not be willing to work that hard on reducing your stress. How about for your kids? This could be a great gift to them which could pass down through generations.
Dr. Nemec’s Review
You are not so much the teacher of your children as the student. Children teach you how to let go of yourself. They teach you how to tap into unconditional love. They teach you how to touch into your gift fully. There is no greater love than one who lays his life down for another.
Let’s start with the physical side: what you eat, what you drink, how much exercise you get, and how much sleep you get all affects your health and any child growing in the environment in your womb.
After the child is born, what you give this child to eat, to drink, how much exercise this child gets, and how much sleep sets the stage physically for health or disease. And remember this gift from God does bring a responsibility, so you cannot raise a child feeding them healthy food while you are eating and living an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Children learn the most by observing their parents and the world around them.
Now let’s talk about the mental-emotional component: this is the stress that you can pass on to your children genetically, environmentally in the womb, and then continually in their early childhood and beyond because you have never learned to resolve your own stress.
Let’s cut right to the point. If you have a toxic mind and toxic body you are going to pass that onto your children unless you clean up yourself first. Because how you are, that’s how they will be.
What does your stress do to a developing fetus? As the study showed it causes improper development in the hippocampus and cortex areas of the brain. These are not only responsible for emotional processing and cognitive function (intelligence), but also the memory of these.
What is the answer? Take care of yourself, get healthy in body, mind and emotions. Learn and live the 7 Basic Steps to Total Health. Use these seven basic steps as a guide.
A very famous person’s story on raising children:
Here is an account of how his wife raised their son. She walked into her son’s room and caught him smoking. Her son was very embarrassed and she just smiled and said nothing. The next day when her son came down for breakfast he told her he was sorry he had let her down. Her response was: my job is not to tell you what to do and what not to do, my job is only to love you unconditionally — your Father in heaven will tell you and teach you the rest.
Raise a child in unconditional love and they will do the same for their children and so on and so on.
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.