emotional development in infancy

There is plenty of stuff that we are not familiar with as parents. The effort that we have to put in in order to ensure that our baby goes to sleep and then stays asleep without us physically holding him or her or being in close proximity to the infant. Similarly, the amount of time that a kid can take out of our daily schedules when it comes to his eating habits.

And it can be really taxing to see them sick even if it is simply the sniffles from the cold. Parents from all across the globe hate seeing their infant or toddler become ill.

However, a baby’s emotional feelings and sentiments are the hardest to deal with.

Humans or robots?

At some point in time while you raise your little bundles of joy, you will find out that you are not parenting robots from some popular Hollywood flick. Some parents have to face this reality a little earlier in comparison with the rest of the lot that they cannot get hold of an instructions manual to determine why their three months old infant is not being able to sleep.

After all, they are all humans and not robots. This is a phenomenal sensation while at the same time quite a daunting one as well. Parents are also humans with their own emotions which are more often than not related to the feelings of their kids.  Dealing with emotional development in infancy can be the hardest of jobs you will ever find anywhere.

Parents have feelings too!

During the course of your life, irrespective of your relationship with your own parents, you will be acquainted with the fact that sentiments such as sadness, anger and fear can be ruthless to tackle. Your job as a parent is made further complicated if you have not learned yourself how to deal with those emotions since you will be forced to deal with them second hand as your infant also goes through the same set of sentiments as any other human being.

A lot of people are taught to avoid negative feelings such as sadness, anger and fear and quite a few of them are punished or snubbed even if they feel a whimper of them. Plenty of people simply avoid these negative feelings since they believe that nothing really good comes out of them and end up failing to learn how to manage them.

Are you scared of negative feelings or even the positive ones?

People generally cope with such negative stuff by shying away from it. That means that they like to stay away from situations which would give rise to such feelings. And even if they end up being caught in such a situation, they either ignore them or try to detach themselves from the situation. This can prove to be quite catastrophic in the long term to be honest.

Same is the case with happy feelings since a number of people are frightened of the fact that if they will have them, some way or the other they will be destroyed.

Now, as parents, in addition to learning to deal with our own feelings, we also have to deal with emotional development in infancy. One can imagine the difficulty that one has to face while managing his own temperament and anger. So, the whole experience of watching our kids go through all this emotional turmoil can be quite challenging.

How to manage one’s emotions?

It is not surprising that parents of quite a few of us did not help us learn how to manage our own emotions. Watching your kid become sad at losing a game or becoming angry at you while you told him to stay clear of staircase in the home is never an easy thing.

And so we try to ignore it and tell them to cheer up. Similarly, when it comes to anger, we tend to punish them since it is a rather uncomfortable feeling. It can be excruciatingly painful to see your child become angry at you.

But believe me, you are not doing your kid any good by forcing him to ignore his feelings and emotions. You are, in reality, telling them that it is not good to harbor those emotions by not giving them safe space to express their sentiments.

Similarly, you are doing them a huge disservice by not teaching them how to deal with their emotional development in infancy. All this stuff is bound to happen. Your kid will inevitably get angry, sad and experience fear. Here are a few things that you can do:

1 – Acknowledge the emotions

Give your kids the words that they cannot come up with themselves. For instance:

“I know it can be so frustrating to lose that game by such a close margin”.

“I would also be sad about my teacher snubbing my best friend.”

This can be applied even if your kids are angry.

“I know that you are angry with me now. I would have been angry as well had I been in your place.”

2 – If they are mad at you, tell them what is right and what is not!

Screaming “Hate You!” does not get rid of the problem rather it exacerbates it. I know you are mad at me but you need to let me know what you are actually mad about!”

“Hey, it seems that you are upset with me for something. When you feel that you are ready to talk to me about it, come back to me and we will get it resolved real quick!”

Similarly, if they are mad at you generally, same rules are applicable.

“Hey, I know that you are not in the mood to do your homework but throwing your books away like that is not at all warranted. Go, get yourself cooled down and then we will have a little chat!”

3 – Accept your own mistake. Present a nice emotional model to your kids!

“I shouted at you! I am really sorry for that and assure you that it will never happen again!”

“I was really having a bad day and I am sorry that I let it out on you!”

If it is something else that is wrong, talk to them and figure out how to get the issue resolved mutually.

“I know it feels bad to have someone who tries to be mean to you at school. What can you do next time?”

Final Words

You will be surprised how effective this strategy can be in dealing with the emotional development in infancy. The acknowledgement of the emotions and of each other’s humanity can be of great assistance both in the short term as well as in the long term. However, as your kids get older, you will have to become acquainted with dealing with these emotions on a regular basis.

Our kids are bound to get mad at us and even get sad. They will be happy and excited as well. This life is such a blessing and it makes us go through tons of sentiments throughout its course. It would give them such a nice feeling to have parents who are willing to listen to them and furnish them with a safe space to experience those wonderful emotions that are common to any human being. By helping them learn how to deal with emotional development in infancy, you will be doing them a huge favor, believe me!