Kids are aware of everything even if they don't understand what is going on around them. It is such an awesome responsibility to take care of your child and be such a good influence. Attachment is at the heart of your relationship with your child so it is especially important to set special times for rituals and to bond with your child.
Have you ever noticed how your child watches you and your every move and then models everything you do? Even when your child is in the terrible two’s or the defiant four’s, your child will still emulate your very existence.
As a result, it is imperative that you protect them from your own insecurities. As a parent you can be your own worst enemy because it is such a big job and there is no handbook on how to do it properly.
When you face stress as a parent your child intuitively knows that and is watching for information so that he can make sense of it. Children are so egocentric that they often feel responsible for any situation that causes you fear, anxiety, or anger. It's important to modify your feelings around small children. I'm not asking you to be disingenuous, however children under the age of six need to feel safe and stable. They need to know that they are in a safe environment and that you are in control. This means that you really should watch your conversations, your nonverbal cues, and your reactions to things that are causing stress at home. If you're having money troubles, marital issues, or work-related stress it's important for you to convey a sense of calm and confidence. That strong attachment that you and your child have give you the groundwork for safety, security, and confidence within your child.
There is an amazing video called “The Still Face Experiment” that shows how much attachment occurs in the early stage of infancy and how much social cognition a child has even as a small infant. In the video, this infant demonstrates how important attachment is with her mother. The video is only two minutes long but it will make you tear up as you watch the relationship between this mother and child. Mother and child engage for approximately a minute and then mother is instructed to look away and ignore the child. The small infant reaches out her hands and searches for a way to connect with her mother. She begins to cry, scream, and flail her hands to get her mother’s attention. As a child therapist, I cannot underscore the importance of having attachment time with your child. It will reinforce a sense of importance in your child and help to build confidence and a sense of security. Good eye contact, lots of smiles, and lots of physical attention are the necessary ingredients for a child to build a self-assured, happy, socially responsible child who will relate well to others and seek healthy relationships. This will offset the many stresses that you may feel that your family faces in a day. Make sure to have plenty of support as you take on this challenging opportunity because you too, deserve the smiles, the praise and the connection with others. Asking for support can replenish you and increase your emotional quotient for parenting.
Your love, attention and encouragement will forever impact the development of your child. Enjoy it and know that you make the difference in the heart of your child. (Now Google The Still Face Experiment)