This month we are exploring how to build our family’s emotional bank account by responding to each other’s needs. We are working to become more aware of how we each express our needs (bids). This week we are exploring the ways that infants and toddlers express their needs. We know that in the early stages of language development, parents have to be the detective to figure out what the cries, sounds, and movements mean. Over time, babies figure out that they can use their cries, sounds, and movements to have an impact on the people in their world. “They don’t realize that these sounds and actions have any meaning until their caregivers consistently respond to them. In this way, children gradually learn that the messages they send without words have an effect on other people, and they start to send these messages intentionally.” (http://www.hanen.org/Helpful-Info/Articles/Why-Interaction-Must-Come-Before-Language.aspx) So as we respond to our children’s sounds, gestures, facial expressions, and movements, we are filling their emotional bank accounts, teaching them that the world is a safe place, and also laying the foundation for future communication development.
Here are some additional resources to help us to improve our skills at reading our children’s cues:
Baby Cues that Say "I'm Tired" (article with video)
Tired Signs in Infants and Toddlers (article with video)