In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “For Posterity.”
Like a law of nature. A baby utters different sounds and expresses his emotions of joy, energy, curiosity or maybe irritation, hunger, being tired or bored. You, as a parent have to answer and match precisely that particular emotion in words and show the mimic to “tell” the baby that you know what he is going through.
The child is so helpless and is calling to be understood. He needs caring parents who can answer and help quickly and relevantly.
All the answers are stored in the brain, and the baby will gain the feeling of security knowing that he belongs to the family in safety.
If the experience is that he or she is not helped or understood or the answers just come too late the baby probably will get an uneasy feeling of emptiness and confusion. If he could he would ask:
“What do I need?…… I haven’t a clue”.
Maybe some parents are occupied by their mobile phone. In former times the TV that was in between the relationship with the baby or just created a distance to him or her.
A depressed parent also loves the child but will be too slow in the interaction with the baby. The child learns to look elsewhere than in the parent’s eyes.
An emotionally deprived child will often be quick to come up and crawl and walk to find some stimulation. The quality of precious contact will not be right and the child is in danger of getting a superficial way of connecting to the parents.
Fortunately, the situation can be turned around with a lot of purposeful training. The child is a social being and “mirroring” can be used.
If the child doesn’t look for the mother’s eyes, the mother should mirror every movement the baby does. If the baby is crawling the mother does the same. He lifts his arm and looks intensively or in an asking way, and the mother does the same.
This kind of imitating each other is a significant kind of game for children younger than 12 months old. But if the abilities mentioned are lacking the same can be used in older ages too to catch up on the essentials of being together.