Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.VII

 This new found ability to create abstract ideas has its roots in the child’s earlier discovery that objects have specific functions and perform certain tasks. The child saw that this lesson held true for people as well. Mother gives her food, puts on her clothes and can be counted on to hand her a toy; father reads books and drives her in the car. Mother and father also play a major role within the child’s world of feelings. They laugh with her, and respond to her love, and comfort her when she is upset and by now the child is thoroughly familiar with the physical characteristics of her parents; after all, she first began to study their faces when she was about a month old.

 Gradually the child brings all these separate impressions together. She links observations about the way her parents look and behave to the feelings and expectations they stir in her. In doing so, she creates a single mental image of her mother and of her father. The toddler has formed an idea that she can use.
 This valuable emotional tool increases her self sufficiency. Until this point, the child responded to emotions strictly on a behavioral level. As a very young infant she calmed herself by focusing on familiar sensations; later, when she was upset, she flailed out at what disturbed her, or she started to cry. But at this toddler stage, the child is starting to approach the world conceptually as well. She can comfort herself conjuring a mental picture of a person she trusts and loves, or of pleasurable objects and experiences. Her feelings are translated into a mental image that tempers and guides her emotional expression. The child is beginning to understand how feelings and actions should mix and work together.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.VI

As your child approaches a year and a half, you will notice him behaving in patterns that make emotional sense and are socially acceptable. If he gets caught in the middle when you scold his older brother, he may try to defend the older child with a hug or try to restore your good humor by laughing and flashing an unusually bright face. More and more, in this age of growing independence, he is striking out on his own, emerging as a unique individual with his own quirks and personality traits. You begin to get a reliable sense of the kind of person your youngster will be.
In the midst of all these changes, your child has started to speak a few words and seems to understand when Mommy has to say “no”.  His capacity for social and emotional growth seems to unfold a little faster with each new day.
At some point shortly after the child reaches 18 months of age, she makes a revolutionary mental leap: $he begins to form ideas in the abstract. This ability, coupled with a growth in language, makes possible a leap to the next higher emotional level. Now she can use her mind, rather than raw behavioral patterns, to satisfy her physical and psychological needs.
The child who has reached this conceptual milestone can search for toy or stuffed animal that has been hidden from her sight in playful game, because she is able to form a mental image of the hidden object. On a social or emotional level, the child can envision a person not present in the room or can recall an interaction with that person.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.V

When your child is somewhere between ten to eighteen months, you may notice the following: A one year old may race on all fours to greet his father at the door. He may pull himself to his feet by clutching at daddy pant legs and chortle when he is lifted for a hug. He is acting upon his understanding of cause and effect, learning to form patterns of behavior and to inter mix actions with bits and pieces of emotion these are the first signs of ability to organize.
In the previous age when your child got angry it was fleeting reaction that leads nowhere. Now he may crawl over and bite the playmate- who inspired his anger. He also shows his love more demonstrably, making a big show of bestowing hugs and kisses. When the toddler learns to pout, he has found a way to act out his disappointment and uses it to play for his parent’s sympathy. A little later on, he shows the beginnings of pride. He wants you to notice when he stacks three blocks or pulls off his socks all by himself. All these developments are tokens of your child’s first real sense of who he is.

This emerging sense of self is shaped as the child experiments with patterns of behavior. She is constantly watching, always trying to learn how things work. She is constantly watching always trying to learn how things work. She leafs a dozen times through a magazine, empties the cupboard of all the pots and pans. She discovers that everything has a specific function: A rake scrapes up leaves, the telephone carries voices, and the high chair holds her up where she can see her parent’s eyes. All the while, the child is studying her parent’s actions and finds that they have their functions as well. She begins to imitate adult behavior as a way of trying out the actions and emotions she observes, and in some cases, what starts as imitation becomes the real thing. With this new tool at her disposal, the child can initiate actions to get her needs met- tugging on the refrigerator door for example, to show that she is thirst and wants a drink of juice or milk.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.IV

The importance of this first deep emotions relationship cannot be overstated, for it is from this primary human attachment that all subsequent social relationships flow. The infant has sampled the benefits of having an emotional partner and at some point between two and ten months, he will be ready for the next step of his journey; He will take the initiative in communicating with others.
 During the middle months of her first year, the baby begins physically reaching out a hand or flagging her arms to show that there is something she wants. In company, she smiles, makes inexpert gestures and utters small sounds in an effort to elicit a response from those around here. When these overtures are answered when someone smiles back or mimics her movements and haphazard noises- the child learns that she has the power to make something happen.
She discovered a reason to communicate – a major leap forward on the path to emotional maturity. Exploring this exciting new reflex cause and effect, the child sees that by stretching out her arm, she can sometimes get a toy in her hand. In the same manner, the child learns that by smiling and making a show of her joy, she has the ability to create happiness in her parents. The child discovers that her actions and her feelings can make a difference.
In her first nine months, a child developed a taste for the world: almost immediately, she sensed her need for people and formed a deep emotional bond with the person central to her care; the child’s affection for her mother then broadened into a will to communicate, and –even though her tools of self expression were minimal- she found she could provoke an emotional response. Now the child wants to communicate in many different ways. She is poised for an explosive burst of growth, both in her motor skills, which so far have been limited and in her emotional repertoire.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.III

Each of these seemingly tiny steps forward is fundamental to future emotional growth. Certainly the child’s capacity to control her feelings and her readiness to regard the world with interest will be essential will be essential to any meaningful social or social or emotional exchange. In the short term, this mastery of the senses is a stepping stone to the child’s next important stage- forming a first strong emotional bond. Any random discovery can attract attention during the first weeks of life. But soon the indiscriminate interest in the world beings to become more focused. During the second third and fourth months, the child zeroes in on Mother. There is a growing sense that human contact is the most essential experience the part of the landscape that can be counted upon to provide food and other comforts. Sometime between the fourth and eight weeks of his life, your child finds a way to indicate his budding fascination.
One day while he ponders your face, your child quiet unexpectedly lights up in a smile. This first real sing recognition can be mightily affection; many parents remember these enraptured first smiles as vividly as their child’s first steps. And in terms of the baby’s emotions development, fascination with the unman face and voice is truly a giant step forward.
 The seeds of a new emotion shave been planted and it is up to you to help your child bring it to fruition. By responding to his smiles and showing him quiet love and affection, by talking to him and being his steady companion, you show your child that there is rewarding side to life beyond the mere satisfaction of physical needs. You are, essentially wooing your baby into human society. Over time, his fascination turns to love.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Child’s Emotional Maturity Part.II

The behaviors discussed here have been noted by leading scholars in the field of child study, among them no one can say for sure what takes place within the mind of a baby or very young child, most experts believe that the child’s emotional learning begins with a general interest in the world, an interest that first finds focus in attachment to a parent, then broadens into a need for ever wider social interaction.
Expanding upon these principles through years of research and observation psychiatrists theorized that a child’s emotional maturity is built around certain key turning points, each one setting the stage for those that follow. Perhaps most important ways that parents can help nature their child’s unfolding emotional life. In the normal course of infant development after the baby recovers from the tumult of birth and settles into her new home, she spends her first few weeks finding ways to calm herself amid the rush of sensations that confronts her. This she seems to accomplish by focusing on sensations that she likes –perhaps the dependable sound of a ticking clock, the coolness of bedding pressed against her cheek, or simply the shifting patterns of light from the window by her crib. At the same time, the child is developing an interest in her strange new world. The taste of mother’s milk the warmth of the bath, the scent of a visitor’s perfume- gradually she learns that such sensations explain the things around her. These two small skills work together for the child. She uses her senses to gain self control in the face of a sometimes over whelming environment; and by taking an interest in the world of sensations she learns new ways to be calm.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Child’s Journey to Emotional Maturity Part.I

   Of all nature’s transformations, none is as dramatic as the blossoming of a human child in the first years of life. The newborn infant, expert only at suckling, sleeping and crying, evolves by kindergarten age into a loving scheming, probing, teasing, feeling social being.
This journey toward emotional competence begins at the very moment of birth, when the baby emerges from the cushioned haven of the womb into a world of sudden, harsh sensation. There is blinding glare, a startling new temperature, the urgent pressure of hands giving care and oxygen abruptly pouring into untried lungs. The senses, for the moment, are the newborn’s greatest torment   - but they are also her only tools. Forever after, the world will thrust at her a torrent of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations. Tiny and helpless as she is, the infant faces the first great task of her life she must learn to deal with the ceaseless stimulation of her senses, to use every sensory message as a lesson about her surroundings.
  As you watch your child’s progress over the years, you will see milestones of physical, verbal and intellectual growth glide by like exist on a well marked highway. Signs of emotional progress are more difficult to detect. You may not even notice when your child first makes the connection between smiling and receiving affection in return, first mimics adult anger or uses a word to label some inner feeling. But these are critical steps in passage to emotional understanding. Each new achievement paves the way to further progress.  And, in large measure, the course of this emotional journey determines the kind of person the child will someday become.