Parenting Resource

Jamie, Age 7 months, With His Mother Amanda

May 19, 2010

Watch to see how Jamie “tells” his mother how he is feeling and what he needs. How do you see Jamie’s mother, Amanda, try to figure out what Jamie is saying and then respond to him?

To Think About:

How does Jamie communicate what he is thinking and feeling?

How does Amanda respond to Bennett’s communications through actions and sounds?

What might Jamie be learning about self-control in this interaction with his mom?

What the Experts Say About This Interaction

What Jamie does:

  • Communicates that he is tired and needs a break through his sounds, facial expressions, and gestures.

  • Accepts comfort from his mom, showing that he trusts and loves her.

  • Reaches out to stroke his mother’s face in order to comfort and calm. himself, showing how he is learning to soothe himself. This is an early example of how self- control develops in children.

  • “Tells” his mother through his voice and body posture that he does not want the teddy bear she offers him.

What Amanda does:

  • Follows Jamie’s lead. When she sees that he no longer wants to play and is showing his “tired” cues, she picks him up and comforts him.

  • Uses a quiet voice and is very calm, which soothes Jamie. Over time, this will help him learn to regulate his own emotions and to recognize when needs to calm down and rest.

  • Tries to offer Jamie a “lovey” as another strategy to calm him. When he is not interested, she doesn’t force it but instead gives Jamie a hug, which is what he wanted.

Think About How Your Child Is Learning These Skills

How does your child let you know she’s lost control?

How do you help her manage her strong feelings?

How do you manage your own feelings when you are angry, frustrated, etc? Are you able to remain calm or do you respond with intensity, too? What can you do help yourself remain calm when your child is “losing it”?

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