Thursday, March 18, 2010

Clues to Personality II

Another indicator of temperament is the way a baby typically reacts to
new experiences. Does your child make his preferences immediately
known, taking the first spoonful of cereal, considering its taste,
then straining for the next bite? If he spits out the first mouthful,
will he try the new food again later on and eventually decide that he
likes it? With some children, patience and persistence are needed when
it comes to introducing unfamiliar people, places and things.

How much stimulation does your infant tolerate? Some children love
being in a roomful of people, or watching the passing scene while out
for a stroller ride. Others prefer to survey the sky or their own
hands, and are unsettled by too much clamor. Parents will need to seek
out quiet, un pressured activities for a child who is easily over

Finally what is your child’s general mood and level of activity when
she is alert and comfortable? Does she playfully kick, examine the
mobile over her crib and listen intently to music playing in the next
room? Or does she actively kick and squirm, propelling herself around
the crib and then fussing when she gets stuck in a corner? You will
surely have to interrupt what you are dong more frequently to keep a
very active child composed and entertained. More often than not, the
answers to the above questions will show some kind of consistent
pattern of behavior; this pattern is what is meant by the term
“personality;. Most experts agree that babies fall roughly into one of
three or four basic temperamental types; one expert’s gallery of
infant personality styles is going to describe in later pates

Clues to Personality I

There are many ways you can size up your baby’s personality: She will
reveal her likes and dislikes in almost everything she does. Experts
in child development evaluate temperament by observing a child’s
responses in key areas of behavior. You can do the same by noting your
own baby’s reaction to such every day activities as feeding, bathing,
and play. As you consider the following question, thing about possible
adjustments to your routine that might make life easier for every one.

First, does your infant adhere to a set schedule? After the settling
in period following birth, which may take as much as four months, some
babies seem to develop built in alarm clocks. They eat and sleep at
roughly the same times each day. They have regular bowel movements and
predictable times each day. They have regular bowel movements and
predictable times when they are either alert and playful or fussy and
irritable. Other babies operate on no apparent schedule at all. One
day this type of baby will sleep for so long that she has to be
aroused for feeding: the next day she will barely settle down for a
nap at all. Parents of a child this unpredictable should keep their
plans flexible.

How strongly does your baby show her feelings? If she is hungry or
wet, does she cry loudly, flailing and kicking her arms and legs? Or
does she fuss mildly at first to try to get your attention, only
gradually intensifying her appeal if you do not respond at once? The
less demonstrative the baby, the more alert you will need to be to her


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,

A Language of Facial Expressions Part I

To compensate for his physical helplessness, a new born baby depends upon a remarkable set of survival tools- his built in repertoire of emotional expressions, until he can master his parents language, they must master his: For months, emotional signals like those picture here are the only means he has to communicate his basic needs and his reactions to the formidable world beyond his high chair and crib.

This wordless code representing joy fear surprise and other primal emotions that are present from the early weeks of life is the closest thing we know to a universal human language. Researchers have observed that infants of every culture, middle class America to the tribal, use the same patterns of facial expressions, gestures and sounds to signal their feelings. And parents of every culture face the same task- to interpret their child’s messages and respond in a way that ensures the little one’s survival.

A baby’s emotions work for her in two essential ways. Her positive expressions of joy, interest and surprise are like green traffic lights: they tell her mother and father that she is enjoying the experience of the moment for the pleasure or information it is yielding, and encourage the parents to continue the stimulation. For example, when your baby sees an intriguing new toy, she will stare intently- a universal sign of interest that conveys to you the notion,” I like this. It is teaching me some thing; I want to go on exploring it”


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Your Child’s Emerging Personality

Only a generation ago, newborns were widely regarded as “blank slates” neutral little bundles of life whose personalities would be shaped solely by the way their parents raised them. It is true that the way you nurture your child has a major impact on his personality, but doctors now acknowledge what experienced mothers have known all along – that nature also plays an undeniable role. Children are born with many personal traits already in place- some no doubt inherited, others possibly caused by experiences in the womb or during child birth. While it is not known exactly how these inborn characteristics come about, it is clear that they produce a surprising variety of infant behavior. Even identical twins, like the pair at right, can be physically indistinguishable and yet reveal distinctly different behavioral patterns and responses to the world. Fussy or calm, jumpy or cuddly, alert or aloof- such variations are quite normal and no cause for alarm.

At the same time, a child’s individual nature should not simply be ignored. Babies with different personalities have different sets of infant may bring woe to another. Some babies, for example, like to sit propped up amid the social bustle of the kitchen or the family room, while others need more sedate surroundings and far less stimulation. By recognizing and understand your child’s individual traits you can provide the kind of care that will help him to thrive.

The Preschool years and beyond

Snapshots of your older child would show extraordinary eagerness to branch out in many directions at once. The preschooler’s independence is rapidly turning into self sufficiency, though frustration is evident when she bungles the knots on her shoes or reads the wrong time from the big and little hands of the clock. The confidence she will gain is another key factor in her present in future happiness. Experiencing frustrations and setbacks will teach her about life’s realities, and weathering strife filled episodes at home will help her see that the loving bond with her parents remains firm and unbroken, no matter what.

The ties of affection and trust established in her infant and toddler years will now blossom too, into a host of social skills- a generosity of spirit, cooperative attitude, and consideration for other people’s feelings- that will win her a welcome place in the society of her peers.

You will see your child’s curiosity and adventurousness now finding their greatest expression in the pleasures of make-believe, which she pursues intensely. In fact, a flourishing imagination is one of the clearest reflections of healthy development. Children use pretend play to experiment with what they see and feel. By lavishing affecting on her doll one minute and becoming mock aggravated with her the next, your child shows that she understands and feels comfortable expressing all kinds of feelings – an important dimension of emotional growth.

No recipe exists for the proper mix of behavioral ingredients, just an understanding that the blend will be complex and rich. If you have supplied a nourishing climate of unmitigated love, acceptance and appropriate limits, your child’s emotions will range wide and run deep: you can take that as the surest thing that you have a happy child

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Happy Toddler

Your child will grow into toddler hood carrying with him the curiosity and the cuddly qualities he developed as a baby. But the distinguishing feature of these years is his vacillation between the old dependency of baby hood and a new drive for independence. Children now become more consciously attached than ever to their parents, but at the same time a paradoxical event occurs; They learn to crawl and then to walk, gaining the locomotion to move away from the objects of their affection. This is usually the source of some short term anxiety, but it is also crucial to the child’s long term happiness.

Watch as your child crawls or toddles boldly away from you and into the dining room, where he peeks under the table, grabs a bit of dust and wiggles the leg of a chair. Suddenly, something reminds him of you and, looking up in surprise; he either cries or scoots back to your side.

Eventually he will gain more confidence and his desire for security. With the toddler’s new found mobility, curiosity, flowers into rampant a adventurousness. The happy child at this stage is into everything, asserting himself in exploring and testing, discovering a new things every day. One thing he discovers quickly is that there are limits on his ramblings, which invariably produces some friction. His moods are mercurial, shifting from laughter to tantrum and back to smiles within hour.

And most toddlers go through the period of ardent protest known as the ‘terrible twos’. Considered from the long view, however, his barrage of ‘no’ is really more assertive than negative. He is simply claiming his freedom to choose, while you stand by with your regulations. Gradually he comes to accept your authority, even to welcome it. Soon he will learn to set his own limits – another mark of the truly happy child.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Child

Although it may seem hard to believe, a crying baby is not necessarily an unhappy child. Infants cry for May reasons: fatigue, hunger, wet, uncomfortable gas bubbles, too much stimulation or perhaps just boredom. Crying is the way babies let the world know of their feelings and needs. Parents must look beyond this noisy form of communication for signs of good emotional adjustment. One of the most important – in childhood and throughout adult life- is the capacity to give and receive affection and love. Your baby shows the beginnings of this are quite early. You can see it in the enraptured gazes she fixes on your face and in her delighted smiles, kicks and coos as you play together.

Cuddling and clinging to per parents is another promising sign: Here the baby is exhibiting her dependency, showing that she trusts these all important people in her life and feels safe with them. It is by having her needs met promptly and reliably when she is a helpless infant that the child in time gains the security she needs to venture forth on her own.

A happy baby will also display a healthy curiosity and interest in her surroundings. Notice how she reaches for toys in her crib, explores the wonders of your air and ears, watches yours every move with fascination, involvement with people and events around her will be per primary method of learning, and another enduring source of pleasure throughout her lifetime.