We adults always tend to talk and think about ourselves; what attitude I should possess towards the others to succeed or to be favourite, and liked by the others in the society. Constant thinking and questioning ourselves create tension. This is the adult’s world shaped, and curved by the way we have grown, and what our parents thought us, and what we have learnt at school, and from our friends.
Ok, we all remember the good old times, playing on the playgrounds with friends, including our memories of the school days. But have anybody thought us including our parents, and teachers, about how to become independent, and what independence means, that it is connected with responsibility, and other characteristic behaviours of a good character leading us into a prosperous, secure, and safe future? The answer is no! You really do need to go back in time and try to recall your memories from your childhood to get answers.
Even our parents and teachers didn’t know. Well, how they could know, when nobody thought them, right! Let’s go back to the child’s world, and learn something about how children perceive reality because what they are shown, told or taught at the very early age, they will try to do later in life, and possibly most of them will stick to the habits they have caught from the environment they have been growing and surrounded.
We are born in a peculiarly helpless state. Our limited behavioural repertoire at birth, allows us to do basic but important tasks like; sucking reflex and crying. Compared to other mammals we are born before our brain and body are complete. If we stayed in the womb for the same proportion of the life cycle as other primates, we would be born at the age of 18 months. But we come into the world early because our head size is so large that a later birth would be physically impossible- this is down to evolution.
Yet, we are not born as blank slates. The genes equip our brains with a set of programmes, which unfold actively throughout our development. For example; babies are born with a preference for looking at faces. Newborn follow a picture of a face with eyes rather than look at a picture of a jumbled up face.
Babies can also recognize between happy and sad faces. This is talking about the physical appearance but we know that smiling can be faked, but real smile from the bottom of your heart will unleash the energy which truly unleashes a true smile, and babies are extra sensitive to the world of ‘unseen’. Baby’s brain simply will react to what is not seen directly by the baby but for example, only heart in the distance or seen as flashes of light or let’s say; fast-moving with your hand in front of the baby’s face. Means, the baby doesn’t necessarily need to react physically to the subject yet the baby’s brain will catch the slightest nuances of information around. The babies’ brain is set at different frequencies to catch and learn from the unseen. They can simply sense it if you are smiling truly from the bottom of your heart or just faking a smile.
The babies’ brain is set at different frequencies to catch and learn from the unseen. They can simply sense it if you are smiling truly from the bottom of your heart or just faking a smile.
Look matters; babies have large eyes, a high forehead and a small nose, which elicit ‘aaahh’ reaction and our nurturing instincts. Their cute appearance is one of the survival mechanisms which helps them ensure we will look after them. Studies show that mothers of more attractive babies pay more attention to them. Mothers of less attractive babies look at, play with and touch them less often.
The importance of bonding
Babies survive through the bond with a caregiver and this is a key part of the baby’s psychology. From about 7 months onwards babies are aware of strangers and form a distinct preference for their mother. Baby is willing to touch frightening objects if they kept hold of the mother with their hand or foot. This is a famous ‘attachment theory’ proposed by John Bowlby, a child psychiatrist.
The attachment is the biological and basic drive that babies and children have to stay with their mother. The closeness gives the sense of security and safety from which they explore the world. It is believed that if the bond is disrupted it would have severe consequences for the child’s emotional, social and even intellectual development.
The attachment/ bond between mother and child are the cognitive and emotional representation of the reality of the baby’s or child’s brain and its development. This is the crucial moment, and important years for the baby or child to develop subconsciously an environment where the baby feels safe and secured.
The seeds of fear, anger, and emotional imbalance are like a dead wasteland where nearly nothing can grow but will survive once seeds are implemented because life will always find a way to exist. If you don’t give enough safe, healthy and secure environment to your child to grow and develop, the baby’s brain ability to suck anything and everything from the environment around will adjust, and grow the way to be able to live and survive. In the early years of the child, parents are the most influential factors for baby’s and children’s’ development. When the child reaches the school-age and starts getting to know more people around like teachers and meeting new friends the ratio of the influence will set accordingly between parents, teachers, and friends.
The study investigated by John Bowlby and Harry Harlow;
Why do abused children love their parents who treat them cruelly? It is now recognized that an infant’s drive to form an attachment is so strong that they will attach to the person who provides the care, almost no matter how neglectful or sadistic they are. Abusive parents often wrongly believe, because their child is attached to them, this means their parenting is good enough. The attachment is the primary drive, like hunger. Just as the starving will eat unpalatable food, a child will love the most abusive parents.
Childhood impacts the rest of your life
Mary Ainsworth, a colleague of Bowlby, discovered that there are different patterns in the quality of the attachments between babies and mothers.
These attachments vary from;
• Secured attachment-Where baby feels safe with mother, and is calm when the mother is in the proximity of her baby, to a
• Very insecure-disorganized patter-Babies having lack of coherence. They want both to be near the mother but to avoid her, too- such as walking towards her with the head turned away. During the reunion, they show disturbed or confused behaviour, such as rocking, freezing.
Secure attachment is associated with better development in children, such as higher self-esteem, more perseverance, higher curiosity, more positive emotions, and more advanced cognitive development. There is a 75% chance that your childhood attachment style will determine what kind of attachment your children will have to you.
The way you are treated as a child affects the brain’s physical structure. Lack of adequate emotional care prevents the brain from developing properly
Developing the baby’s security feeling
Mother’s ability to respond to baby’s needs appropriately will directly affect and determine the baby’s mental development. If the mother’s attachment pattern is responsive and positive, the baby forms a secure attachment. If the pattern is neither responsive nor adequately attentive or the mother is, for example; playing with the baby vigorously when the baby is tired or speaking sharply to the baby when frightened, then the baby will develop insecure attachment.
Simply, when the baby is screaming or restless for any reason, it is not adequate to shout back at the baby to make it stop crying, and if it stops crying, it is most probably for the reason of being frightened of the mother’s sharply raised voice.
My point of view;
Feeling secured means establishment in one’s feelings. Establishment takes time to develop, unfortunately, this doesn’t come automatically and naturally by getting older when you go through childhood to teenage age till you reach the adulthood age where you become an adult but not necessarily mentally prepared for the outside world to live independently and mentally sound on your own.
Yes, your adult life is tied up with what you have learnt, seen, heard and experienced during your childhood, with your parents, teachers, friends, and mainly how you started coping with your very first feelings towards the world around you when growing. These very first feelings in the stage of establishing fundaments in your mind for further development, and are gained within the first 7 years since you’ve been born, are the fundaments for shaping your brain structure, and the ability to evolve mentally, and socially as a sound human being.
Some people later in life become very reluctant to make changes to help them develop further, and live life happily thereafter. Then, still feeling unsure about the life-path they are on, they become parents, and the patterns what they have been thought in the childhood do tend to pass on their children if not intentionally then by following automatically their subconscious mind which is directing them unknowingly how to raise their children.
Human feelings and thoughts are very complex and fragile material to work with. Especially, when most of them about 95% come from the subconscious mind-an area which you can’t that easily control. The more you think about your life the more you get tangled into your feelings. I call it- scattered emotions from which insecurity and other negative aspects of one’s character come.
Hoping, this article has opened up your inner eyes to see what you normally can’t see when you are looking. Your brain’s ability to perceive information, and process it, without you even knowing about it, is very active, and immensely powerful even when you are not ‘looking’ or you don’t want to see. It is negligence to ignore and to pretend or to say ‘I don’t want to see’- this is not a way to learn something about responsibility. Because knowledge is not enough just like reading this article, but the experience is what it takes to make the changes simply to do it.
And now imagine a baby so helpless that still can’t properly see, hear or even walk or talk. Therefore the baby’s brain is tuned differently from an adult’s brain to perceive, and process information.
So, next time when your baby or child is crying what you are gonna do…?