Many books on parenting are available offering tips on how to raise your child. It may be challenging not to mention overwhelming trying to follow all the advice offered. The important question is, what do you want most for your child? Most parents would probably agree that they want their child to feel secure in who they are, in the journey of life, and about their parents being there for them. I know as parents we want more than this, but this is a great place to start. Security is something that is a part of us all our lives. The first year is the most important in a child’s life. It is also the time to instill security as parents.
In the first year a child accomplishes many milestones. They learn to smile, laugh, roll over, crawl, and walk to name a few. Their little bodies grow fast as well as their brain development. Everything is new and unfamiliar to them. During the first year children look for security in those closet to them, mainly their parents. The first year sets the tone for the following years.
Do you remember Erikson’s eight stages of psycho-social development? Trust versus Mistrust is the first stage. It takes place the first year of a child’s life. During this time Erikson says if a child’s needs are not consistently met, they develop mistrust. This means the child becomes uncertain about getting the things they need and want. This can create anxiety producing behaviors in the child. Back when my children were in their first year, some of the advice I heard about how to care for them was questionable. Older generations sometimes advise not holding a baby too much or else you will spoil them. Other advice I heard was don’t go to the baby as soon as the cry, that will also spoil them. To say the least, I didn’t follow any of those recommendations. There is no way to spoil a child who can’t talk or care for themselves. This is the time to be consistent with their needs and see to them when they cry, every time. This is how you make a child feel secure.
As your child grows up the security you developed in them the first year will influence how they engage in life later. An insecure child may hesitate at every new opportunity because they are unsure of themselves. They may feel anxious about how things will happen or how their needs will be met. It’s important at the time you notice this behavior to address it promptly. Assure them that their needs will be met and you are going to care for them. A child needs to know no matter where they venture you will be there to save them.
Being present mentally and physically is so important the first year.
Raising children is a serious matter. When we give them security that first year we are demonstrating our love with actions that nurture their existence. Showing them, they have support and that they are not alone. In parenting, there is always something to learn. In all that you do learn, remember raising a secure child begins in the first year.
Cherry, Kendra. “Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development psychosocial development in infancy and early childhood.” The New York Times Company. http://psychology. about. com/od/psychosocialtheories/a/psychosocial. htm [26 May 2012].[Links] (2012).