ERIC Number: ED356059
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr-2
Infant Mental Health: Implications for Parenting in Limited Resource Families.
Honig, Alice Sterling
Parents of babies have many tasks to master. Beyond basic physical skills needed to care for children, such as diapering or preparing formula, parents need emotional wisdom to relate to their child. Parents with limited resources should know that as long as they provide the emotional nourishment that babies need, their baby will flourish. The essence of quality caregiving lies in the emotional bond that is forged between parents and their child. Parent bonding involves parents' feelings of tenderness towards the baby and a deep investment in its well-being. Research has shown that early parent bonding facilitates babies' development of secure attachment. Caregivers need several special skills to help babies develop a secure attachment to them. Caregivers should be attentive and tender to babies. In addition, they should try to understand and cope with a baby's difficult behavior. Planning a baby's play and encouraging a baby's language development through conversation and reading aloud are also important. Caregivers should learn a wide variety of teaching techniques to enhance an infant's development. If bonding is to be successful, parents may have to free themselves from old prohibitions and feelings of shame. (MM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Plight of Young Children Conference (College Station, TX, April 2, 1993).