How To Easily Promote Infant Emotional Development

Infant emotional Development

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Infant emotional development is one of the growth areas often ignored by most parents. Roughly between 1 and 4 years old is when the basis for future emotional behavior is formed and shaped.

What Is An Emotion?

Emotions are the body's way of telling your child whether any experience was great and should be repeated… or not and must be ignored. Also keep in mind that the very same emotions will in future be able to motivate and move your child to action… or not. So, getting infant emotional development right IS important.

But how does the brain form the connection between what happens and memory?

Simple really. Every time something happens, whether good or bad, the brain automatically realizes that this experience is important and should be stored for later reference. This storage process then creates memories of all prior incidents that triggered a prominent emotional response (good or bad).

As your baby grows up, she uses these "saved memories" as references to determine further emotional responses to things that happen around her. What this also means is that infant emotional development forms the basis of relationships in later years.

Forming and improving a child's emotional development is a necessary part of helping babies and toddlers on the road to establishing a sense of self and self worth.


How Does Infant Emotional Development Happen?

Emotional behavior is shaped by positive feedback, experiences and time. Obviously, your positive feedback has the biggest impact on forming your child's development… especially during the first few years.

It is shaped by such factors as back and forth interactions between your child and you, as well as feedback from the wider world. The skills and personalities of the parents or caregivers, the practices they adopt and their expectations for behavior will vary considerably. As will the results.

Although your baby will have no understanding of exactly what is taking place during the first few weeks, it is still terribly important to always create an environment of care, love and appreciation.


Can You Give My An Example Of Infant Emotional Development?

Sure I can.

Let's say your baby plays with a few wooden blocks. And you notice that she's trying to stack one on top of the other. At this stage she is still uncoordinated, struggles and finds it terribly difficult to do. Now, instead of ignoring her actions, you encourage and make a big fuss about her actions and let her know you see and appreciate her and her attempts.

Tomorrow the same thing happens and you again make a big fuss. Again you show your appreciations and encouragement. Now, if this happens a few times it is almost as if you're creating a "self perpetuating" situation.

She is spurred on by your encouragement to persist and try a little harder, you encourage and support, she tries even more, and on it goes.

The building experience eventually creates a pleasant memory in your child's mind. Later she relies on this same memory to encourage her to take on, persist and complete much more complex tasks. Also appreciate that a lot of her success in later life will be built on this experience.


How To Promote Infant Emotional Development

  • First thing is to create a secure environment. Do this by forming and sticking to a daily routine. Give lots of love, cuddle your child and hold her.

  • Show your appreciation. Make a big fuss. Oftentimes we tend to only show our appreciation when children make progress. Nowadays I am more of the opinion that parents should just show their appreciation. The performance will in most cases automatically come later.

  • Be consistent. This is something all of us parents need to check. In simple terms this simply means whatever you do, allow today or your response to a behavior today MUST be exactly the same tomorrow and every day thereafter.

  • Let your baby know how you feel. "I love you"; "I really like to have you with me"; "You make me sad and unhappy if you do that"; are just a few examples.

  • Encourage, cheer on and promote any progress… however small or insignificant.

  • Always give honest, truthful and sincere feedback.


First Feelings: Milestones in the Emotional Development of Your Baby and Child has been described by several readers as "the" one baby development book to read. Your child's EQ (emotional quotient) is more important to her future success, health and happiness than her IQ (intelligence quotient) and this book can help both of you off to a great start.

Baby Steps: A Guide to Your Child's Social, Physical, Mental and Emotional Development in the First Two Years is a very easy read, gives a lot of information without delving too much into details. One of the ways this book helps is to highlight what to look for as your child develops. A pediatrician can only diagnose what he sees or what you tell him about. This book helps you do exactly that.

Building Healthy Minds: The Six Experiences That Create Intelligence and Emotional Growth in Babies and Young Children uses down to earth examples to help parents best encourage their children. Also a highly recommended shower gift for an expectant parent.

infant emotional development >> infant development