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ERIC Number: EJ913818
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0164-8527
Compassionate Roots Begin with Babies
Gonzalez-Mena, Janet
Exchange: The Early Childhood Leaders' Magazine Since 1978, n193 p46-49 May-Jun 2010
Long before babies understand words, they understand touch. The first experience of compassion infants receive is gentle, caring touch, which gives a strong message, especially when accompanied by eye contact and a soft tone of voice. The kind of relationship a compassionate caregiver strives to develop with an infant creates attachment, an important requirement for healthy growth. The most consistent displays of compassion by caregivers to infants this author has ever seen come from the Pikler Institute, a nursery home in Budapest, Hungary, where Magda Gerber got many of her ideas. Gerber was a friend, student, and colleague of the Institute's founder Dr. Emmi Pikler, whose research indicates what infants in group care need to develop optimally. One of Pikler's primary considerations was creating a special kind of attachment between the caregiver and the infant. The idea was that the attachment had to be close enough to make the child feel secure, but not so close that the child, when adopted or returned to the birth family, would go into mourning at the loss of the caregiver. How does one create that kind of attachment? Both Gerber and Pikler trained adults in just how to interact with babies to promote a relationship that leads to attachment. The author describes how to demonstrate compassion during free play and presents caregiver tips.
Exchange Press, Inc. P.O. Box 3249, Redmond, WA 98073-3249. Tel: 800-221-2864; Fax: 425-867-5217; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hungary