Core idea 17
Show affection for your partner in the baby’s presence
Babies learn about their families by watching what goes on around them. Where there is anger and conflict, babies will feel that stress. Young children are very sensitive to emotions that swirl around them. What they feel is not exactly what others feel, but an approximation. There is a contagion effect. A depressed mother can have a baby who fails to thrive. A fearful parent can have an anxious child. The emotional radar children have is strong even if they cannot talk about how they feel.
Emotions can have a positive effect as well. Joy and love provide a sense of security and pleasant calmness. Showing that you love the child’s mother certainly adds to the baby’s well being. Plus it begins to demonstrate the importance of joyful loving behavior to the baby. Your loving hug to the mother tells the child that expressing affection is valued. It also models for the child the way couples treat each other. Children are watching even during their infancy.