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Centerpointe Research

Infant

Dampening The Joy of Children

JoyofchildrenChildren are a source of light, love, and joy; but we often unthinkingly dampen their enthusiasim.  Children can be blissfully happy or madder than a wet hen.  We often only orient to their screams and hysterical outbursts.  We are sensitive to that erie quietness that means they are up to something either naughty or dangerous.  We react with shock when they get hurt or are  in harm’s way.  But can we enjoy the everyday sounds of childish laughter or the intimate conversation between two toddlers?  Childhood emotions are often uncensored and in their purist form.  Even their very innocence in their quiet times can be rewarding.  Recently I enjoyed watching a two month old sleep quietly, so quietly, I almost didn’t notice she was there.

Why do we often use the term “childish” as a derogative descriptive term?   In the past, children were to be seen and not heard.  Children were highly scheduled and there was a certain time for everything.  Babies were fed every two hours or so and if they cried with hunger in between feedings they had to wait.  Bottles were preferred to breast feeding.  Breast feeding was too spontaneous and interrupted things.  They also could be given by someone else rather than the mother.  Being a child was often a frustrating experience.  The natural joys and highs of childhood were often ignored and depreciated.  Children were told to go out and play and get out of mom’s hair so she could get some work done.  Playpens were a standard household item when one had small children.

Having been a play therapist, I learned how to observe and participate in a child’s play which was their world.  I was not really another child so I was not a real playmate; but I could become part of the child’s world and participate in it. Hopefully in a helpful fashion.  This has been useful with my own grandchildren as I have some idea of how to interact with and make playing or reading a book to them an interactive experience.  I also get a lot of  enjoyment of it.  I don’t have as many rules as their parents do and generally the scheduling is looser.

Refresh your memory and relive the best parts of childhood.  Focus more on having a good time and enjoying yourself.  It is contagious.

 

 

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Attachment A Crucial Step

Caregiver

Caregiver (Photo credits: www.smartsign.com)

Attachment is a crucial step that is often neglected in determining what is needed in order to develop strong relationships between mother and father and child.  It is a rhythm that is developed between the mother or father and child at the beginning of the child’s life.  The child gives out signals as to what and when he or she needs something and the caregiver learns to recognize these signals and meet the child’s needs establishing a firm consistent bond between them.  One of affection for the parent and one of trust for the child.

Sometimes it is a difficult process if the child is cranky for some reason and inconsolable especially if the parent-caregiver does not have a support system in place to rely on besides the child or an absent partner.  Attachment is a crucial step in a child’s development.  Some children are born with a more difficult temperament than other children even though the child’s sibling or siblings may not  be this way.  Colic is frequently something that causes enormous frustration for the caregiver or caregivers and is difficult to tolerate if there is no relief possible from any support system and/or the caregiver’s frustration tolerance is low due to other stresses in their life and/or the lack of a successful attachment to their parent or parents when they were an infant.