BABIES AND EMOTIONS
Motor skill development and emotional development occur in babies during their first year. Although we focus primarily on the development of motor milestones, it is important to discuss emotional development from time to time. We have habits of how we respond emotionally just like we have movement habits that exercise teachers try and change. Through a bit of education we can become aware of our habits and then improve them, whether it is our physical movement or expression of emotions. Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child: The Heart of Parenting, by John Gottman, Ph.D., is a book for parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and anyone else interested in nurturing the capacity of young children to feel and express their true feelings. He introduces the concept of “emotion coaching” as he guides parents to the understanding that it is important to help a baby or child feel their true feeling in the moment rather than bury it.
MOTOR SKILL DEVELOPMENT AND EMOTION COACHING
Emotions go hand in hand with learning movement. From the joy of learning to execute a new movement to the pain of falling down, babies and children move through a range of experiences on a daily basis in both emotions and motor skills. Parents can learn to react to these moments with baby through the simple steps outlined in Gottman’s easy-to-read book. By learning to see the disappointment on a child’s face when her favorite toy just fell apart in front of her, a parent can first identify the emotion first and then provide a solution. He also recommends a unique game for babies that allows parents to share the emotions of their day and invites baby to share her emotions in return.
RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR BABIES AND CHILDREN
One of the most valuable sections of this book is the list of books for babies and children that focus on emotions. Selected books from this list makes a wonderful baby shower gift. Adding books to baby’s first library that teach emotions makes a nice addition to a collection of books on colors, counting, and ABC’s. After all, aren’t emotions also the colors of our life?
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child: The Heart of Parenting: by John Gottman, Ph. D. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997).