Emotions: Birth to 18 Months
The brain learns best when it's challenged with new information. The University of Georgia's Better Brains for Babies program reports that babies and children learn certain skills most easily during particular "windows of opportunity." Read on to find out at what ages babies reach these windows of opportunity for emotional, verbal, and logical skills, and learn how to help the process along with the advice of the Better Brains for Babies campaign.
Emotional intelligence, which involves an understanding of others, predicts about 80 percent of a person's career success, reports the University of Georgia's Department of Child and Family Development (CFD). Emotions such as empathy, happiness, hopefulness, and sadness are shaped by how the infant is nurtured. With a well-developed emotional intelligence, a person tends to form good moral standards for himself. Although emotional intelligence continues to develop through adolescence, a baby's early experiences form the basis for a lifetime. Here are some methods for enhancing your baby's early emotional skills:
- Provide a secure and consistent environment for baby.
- Smile often.
- Acknowledge and verbalize the emotions that your baby is feeling.
- Show empathy when baby is upset.
- Bond with your baby on his level; "converse" through baby sounds.
- Explain why you're saying "no" instead of just saying it.
- Allow your baby to help in family activities, such as sorting laundry.
- Express positive feedback for good behavior.
- Explain when and how your baby's actions affect others.