Friday, March 5, 2010

A Language of Facial Expressions Part II

On the other hand, your baby flashes negative emotions- distress, disgust, anger, fear and sadness- as red light messages that something wrong must be remedied right away. Discomfort from gas pains, for instances, will invariably cause her to screw her eyes shut, furrow her brow, clench her fists, and whimper or cry- the universal distress call that summons your aid.

While parents are generally quick to notice and respond to the more gratifying expressions of their child’s pleasure and curiosity, the subtler signs of negative emotions often go unrecognized until they have erupted in loud wails and tears. The most serious expression of all, however, is the silent face of sadness; an urgent message that distress signals have been ignored for so long that the baby has began to withdraw.

By responding promptly to your infant’s emotional expressions, both positive and negative, you are sending him an important message in return: He sees that his communication efforts can succeed, that his needs will be met, that his mother and father are creatures he can trust, this initial trust in a caring world, and the sense of security it provides, are carried deep within every happy, self-sufficient child,