Culture “is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people,” says one article on the site Live Science. If we would apply this on the particular culture an infant needs to develop psychologically, we should talk about family culture.
In other words, what family characteristics and knowledge should surround babies as they grow? Most folks may think having books around can help, but books don’t have meaning to babies yet. Remember, what have meanings to them are parents’ attention (especially a mother’s comfort and caress), the emotions discernible around them and of course, milk.
Admittedly, psychological development begins in infancy and there are certain things needed to create a healthy family culture that can serve as base support for it. The following are worth considering:
- A culture of love. Babies may not understand words spoken around or said to them but they do “feel their way around” a home, as it were, by the emotions prevalent there–especially if an atmosphere of love pervades it. During the second month after birth, babies “feel good” when people around smile at them, says HealthyChildren.Org in one of its articles. And then babies begin to smile back at people, adds the article. In short, a culture of love helps babies develop their cognitive or psychological faculties and able to respond back accordingly. When people talk to babies and each other with tender and affectionate voices, babies respond positively.
- A culture of healthy communication. A family always alive with healthy and warm conversations does well for the psychological growth of an infant. First, babies need to be talked to. Some pediatricians even believe that they need to be talked to while in the womb. Again, as earlier mentioned, they may not understand the words per se but they are able to “feel” the voice tone they are uttered with. When each member of the family talks to babies (and each other) tenderly and warmly, it makes babies feel they are part of a family. Soon, the baby also begins to identify and become familiar with family members and that triggers his or her psychological function of recognition.
- A culture of gentle music. Lots of child psychologists aver that gentle music, like classical music, contributes significantly to the psychological and intellectual development of babies, even while they are in the womb. Thus, a family culture of playing gentle music at home aids in stimulating babies’ brains and help their psychological development. Some even claim that babies nurtured with often hearing classical music grows to become intelligent kids.
An atmosphere of chaos, rude conversations and noisy arguments in the family is discouraged when a baby is around. The same with violent or scary sounds that emanate from TV sets or videos. Inappropriate sounds like these can give babies negative emotions and even traumatic experiences.
An infant’s psychological development depends on the healthy family culture that pervades all throughout.