A baby’s relationship to his mother should be healthy. Erik Erikson’s theory clearly states that this initial stage of a child’s psychological development is of utmost importance. Without receiving the care a baby needs, he could develop mistrust towards the world and the people around him. Luckily, moms have the instinct to protect and fondle their baby. Babies, on their side, are born to yearn for connection. It depends on the parents to shape his social skills and tie his relationship with the people around him.
Like other things, the relationship between the baby and the mother develops over time. It begins when the baby is inside the mother’s womb. Although they can’t really see their mom’s face yet, they can indistinctly hear her voice and feel her love through the things she do and the foods she eat. After the child is born, he begins to form other ways to connect with his mother.
Breastfeeding and Gazing
Newborns would usually stare at his mother when he is breastfed. This is not a meaningless gaze. This is a way for the baby to recognize the person who is feeding him. In his brain, the face of his mother would register as the person who cares and loves him. That is why the newborn baby would easily stop crying when the mother would pick him up. He would recognize the face of the person he trusts.
Breastfeeding is the first act towards making a connection with the baby. This act establishes both the child and parent’s position in each of their lives. When the mother breastfeeds the baby constantly, the child will come to learn that he is treated well.
At about 3 months, a child learns how to have fun and laugh. It is during this time that both parents should engage in fun activities and games with the child. For starters, parents could play peek-a-boo. Some would try making silly faces. All are aimed towards making the baby laugh.
When the child laughs, he learns that spending time with the people he loves and who loves him is fun. He finds that spending his time with those people who make an effort to make him happy is satisfying. He then tries to distinguish those who he could spend time with and those who he doesn’t want to.
Mothers often try to keep their child away from harm. They don’t want them scarred or in pain. Often, this leads to over protectiveness, which in turn leads to limiting the child’s experience and making him scared to do new things.
To let the child know that he is understood and that his interest is important, parents should be able to let him explore. Let him run, climb trees, and get small cuts. Let him do some things he can handle like cutting paper. Just be sure to be always there to guide him along the way. Your presence will help him feel secure, too.
A child learns to empathize from the people closest to him. If a mother displays concern for her child, the child will also display concern towards other people. For instance, when a child cries, a mother usually sings to him and rubs his back. Sometimes, she would give him a candy. When a child sees another kid crying, he too will try to console her by doing the same thing his mother does to him.
From birth until the child continually grows, he learns what it means to make relationships. His idea will be based on how his parents, especially his mother, treat him. When done right, the child will not grow socially awkward. He would learn to trust, enjoy, explore, and empathize with other people. He would grow caring and loving.
This relationship building between the mom and the child will go a long way. Mothers should realize how strong their influence to their child could be and use it in order to raise someone who would be socially healthy.