|Children, Adolescents, Family|
Mothers and Babies
Babies depend on mothers who care a lot about them and sacrifice personal interests and needs in favor of babies' needs. A baby needs intimate contact with mother 24 hours a day in the first few months. Lying in a crib alone in the dark is not the best environment for an advanced primate to develop. Babies need physical contact, gentle movement, simple sounds and many opportunities to interact with caring adults and other babies.
We speak of "mother's love" referring to the fascination of the mother with her child and the devotion she displays, often for the rest of her life. Mother’s love is a prototype of feeling states that arise when humans care about and care for each other. There is a spectrum of animal and human affiliation that is manifest by body contact, grooming, licking and reassuring vocalizations.
The prototype of maternal love is breast-feeding an infant. The sucking infant’s instinct is to root for the nipple and suck milk from the mother’s breast. If the mother is available, patient and succulent, the infant thrives not only on the nutrients available in the milk, but also with the constant maternal contact. Mother’s warmth, her movements, her breathing, her heartbeat, her sounds and smells become incorporated in the deep memory of the infant that forms the basis of a future personality.
Mother's singing is the best music to listen too and baby's banging with any hand-held instrument is the best ways to start a musical career. Children love to sing, chant and dance. It may be fine to listen to Mozart, but active participation in music making is more desirable. Babies do not need passive learning; they need to practice the skills that are coming on line by doing their own thing and interacting with other humans.
A caring affectionate nature is characteristic of only some humans and others are the opposite. There is a strong innate basis to feelings of nurturance and affiliation, but not everyone develops these feelings and no one sustains these feelings, consistently for very long. Humans generalize from maternal and paternal nurturance and develop different levels of affectionate behavior. A normal child will treat other children, dolls and pets with affection and concern that suggest mothering instincts. Even children who are treated harshly will sometimes be affectionate and conversely some children who are treated well will be callous and punitive toward others from an early age. Children who lack close maternal contact in the first two years will seldom develop an affectionate disposition and will have difficulty being empathetic toward others.
Persona Digital Books