The younger the child, the harder it is for her to show us who she is and to communicate her needs and capabilities. This means babies are ripe for our projections. What we see – or what we think we see – informs our responses.
This is important stuff, because the manner in which we engage our children determines their core self-image and charts the course of our parent – child relationship.
But aren’t babies just babies? Can there really be more than one way to view (and treat) them?
Here are two one-minute video clips that answer that question. The first reflects the philosophy of Magda Gerber, who believed babies are unique individuals, whole people with real thoughts and emotions. The other comes from Harvey Karp, one of the most popular and influential parenting voices of our time…
Magda Gerber has described the basis of her approach, Harvey Karp demonstrates his here…
What do you think?
2/19/14 update: I find it interesting that the above video of Dr. Karp was recently removed and is no longer available. Perhaps this is due to the negative responses here and on Lisa Sunbury’s blog Regarding Baby. In any case, here’s a more lengthy video that contains some of Dr. Karp’s demonstrations and an interview:
For further reading/viewing:
Magda Gerber’s clip “Seeing Babies Differently” is from Seeing Infants With New Eyes, which is available on DVD
Dear Parent: Caring for Infants With Respect by Magda Gerber
The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D.
Toddler Man, The Atlantic