by Janet Lansbury
“Remember, crying is a baby’s language – it is a way to express pain, anger, and sadness. Acknowledge the emotions your baby is expressing. Let him know he has communicated.” – Magda Gerber,
In the beginning, fostering healthy emotional development for our children means listening and trying to decipher our babies’ cries rather than immediately suppressing or ignoring them. It means that throughout childhood, anger, grief and sadness are acceptable feelings for our children to express anytime anywhere (although never in a destructive or unsafe manner). Granting our children this freedom to be their whole selves — unconditional acceptance — will lead to far fewer enraged or depressed adults in the future.
I write about this subject so often I feel like a broken record, but since this aspect of child care is both a) the most important, and b) the most intensely challenging, here I am at it again sharing two crucial ways we nurture and promote emotional health: