Observing Infant Cues
One of the most important things we can do as a parent, is to accurately respond to our infant’s cues. This is no easy task. Initially, it is challenging trying to decipher if one’s baby is crying because it is hungry, bored, has a wet diaper, wants to sleep, has been over-stimulated, or needs a good burp. Over time a parent starts to get a feel for what type of cry his or her child is making and can respond appropriately. However, as the child gets older there are other cues to read. For example, did you know it is possible for an infant to get angry? Suppose you are rattling a toy in an infant’s face over and over, only to discover the infant beginning to show signs of distress and anger. If you discontinue rattling the toy in the child’s face because you observe the distress, this would be considered healthy emotional responsiveness. When a child’s cues are constantly ignored or disregarded, it can affect a child’s feeling of security and self-esteem. In addition, inconsistent responsiveness can also be confusing to a child and cause social and emotional hinderances in the child’s life. Although a child is not yet able to talk does not mean he or she is not feeling emotions or capable of communicating. It is an important parenting task to realize the non-verbal communication of a child start from infancy.