Emotional and Social Development of Infants

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					 Emotional and Social
Development of Infants
• Why do you think a baby’s early
  experiences can affect his self-esteem
  later in life?
     Emotional Development
• The process of learning to recognize and
  express feelings and to establish a
  personal identity.
• Parents and caregivers play a large role in
  shaping babies emotions. Basic emotions
  lead to more complex emotions – such as
  pride, shame, and embarrassment – later
  in life.
           Emotions (by 9 mo)
• A feeling response to the world around us
  –   Contentment
  –   Distress
  –   Joy
  –   Calm
  –   Interest
  –   Disgust
  –   anger
  –   Fear
  –   Sadness
        Comforting measures
•   Cuddle
•   Move the baby
•   Sing
•   Offer a toy
•   massage
             Self comforting
• Thumb sucking (fingers, thumb, fist)
  – Stops around 6-7 months when their teeth
• Pacifier
  – Correct size and shape
Helping a baby develop a sense of
• Follow a predictable routine – regular
  times for feeding, baths and naps
• Get to know the baby – appreciate
  uniqueness; what do they like and dislike;
  learn the signs for hunger, tired, bored….
• Bond with the baby – time, talk, closeness
• Meet the baby’s needs – physical, social
  and emotional
             Uncontrollable crying
• Colic
   – Unknown cause but may be due to anxiety, allergies, food
     sensitivities or gas
       •   3 hours or more a day crying for 3 weeks or more
       •   Worse 6 pm and 12 pm
       •   Happens between 6 weeks to 3-4 months
       •   Mothers breast feeding can try to avoid strong foods
• Reflux
   – A condition in which partially digested food rises in the throat
       • Forceful vomiting
       • Intense crying

       • See pediatrician
      Attachment and emotional
• Attachments (a baby’s bond to his/her
  main caregiver) are crucial (essential) to
  the healthy emotional development
  – Trust
  – Self esteem
  – Social skills
  – Emotional skills

     • Fully formed around 2 (if not may have difficulty
       with relationships later in life)
 Why is physical touch important to
     emotional development?
• Babies need to grow and develop
• Primary sense
• Helps the brain grow – forms new
  pathways/networks of neurons to form (20-30%
  smaller in children who are abused/neglected)
• Builds attachment
• Builds trust and affection
• How they respond to their environment
• Soothe
• Show love & affection
    Building Attachment through
           consistent care
• Babies develop trust when their needs are
• Makes it comfortable or confusing
  – If comfortable then secure
    Building Attachment through
• Infants respond to a caregiver’s voice,
  facial expressions and eye contact
• Babies gaze into the eyes of those who
  care for them, track their movements and
• As they get older they respond with
  sounds and hugs – then crawl or walk to
                Failure to thrive
• Where babies do not grow and develop properly
  –   Lack of love and attention
  –   Emotional and physical needs not met
  –   Do not respond to people and object
  –   Cries weaken
  –   Smiles fade
  –   Withdrawn
  –   As adults may be unable to develop caring
      relationships with others, even with psychological

  – Neglect, abuse, stress, left alone most of the time, do
    not receive enough physical contact, live in poverty
                         slide 14
 Understanding Temperament
• A person’s unique emotional makeup
  – How you react to your environment
 Resolving temperament conflicts
• Remember temperament traits cannot be
• Don’t punish for a temperament trait
• Caregivers responsibility to adapt to the
  temperament of the child (even if their
  temperament differs from the child)
• Why is it useful to know a baby’s
      Nine Temperament Traits
• Intensity
   – How strong are a child’s emotional responses?
• Persistence
   – How determined is a child to complete a task?
• Sensitivity
   – How strongly does a child notice his/her own and
     others’ feeling?
• Perceptiveness
   – How aware is a child of all that is around him/her?
• Adaptability
   – How easily does a child accept changes?
  Nine Temperament Traits cont…
• Regularity
   – Does a child’s behavior follow regular patterns?
• Activity
   – What is a child’s energy level?
• Approach
   – How does a child face new situations and people?
• Mood
   – Is a child typically cheerful or down?
    Emotional climate of the home
• Emotions of adults
• Tone of voice
• Gestures
• Facial expressions
• Worried or angry caregivers are tense in handling =
  irritable and anxious child
• Ups and downs normal and babies adapt but affection
  and caring need to be the basis not frustration and anger
  that can hinder (delay) emotional development
• How can you find ways of releasing negative feelings
  away from their children – who can you count on for
  emotional support
          After you read 8.1
• 1. list the most important influences on a
  child’s emotional development
• 2. explain ways to build attachment to
  support a baby’s emotional development
• 3. describe ways to resolve temperament
• 4. Explain why it is important for parents to
  not express negative feelings around their
     After you read 8.1 cont…
• 5. (ELA) Describe your temperament using
  the nine temperament traits described in
  the section. How imagine that you are
  caring for a child whose temperament is
  very different from yours. Write a letter to
  a friend describing how this could be
  challenging and what strategies you might
  use to handle the challenge
     After you read 8.1 cont…
• 6. (SS) Temperament, family, culture, and
  institutions such as schools and churches
  are important influences on your identity.
  You are also influenced by your peers, or
  people your same age. Write a report
  describing the people, places, and things
  that you think have influenced your identity
  since you were a baby, and why?

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