A Year To Cheer
articles The Amazing Power of Baby Love and A Year to Cheer (written by Dr. Stanley
Greenspan and Emily Abedon, respectively) advocate intense coexistence between the
child and the caregiver. These articles (taken from parenting magazine) are, in essence,
guidelines to be used by the parents or caregiver to ensure proper development of their
child up to the second year. The article also educates the reader that every child develops
at their own pace, and there is no exact time table that one can easily look at to see how
well their child is doing. Either way the two articles overly support deep mutual
interaction between both the child and the caregiver.
Stanley Greenspans The Amazing Power of Baby Love teaches that simple
gestures and interactions help babies develop intelligence, language and character. It
states that at 2 to 4 months (notice the allowance of time Greenspan gives) the child
becomes more involved with the caregiver. Notice the correlation between the authors
statement and Ainsworths Stages of Attachment (p463-465):
Birth through 2 months- indiscriminate social responsiveness- at first, babies do
not focus their attention exclusively on their mothers and
will at times respond positively to anyone.
2 months through 7 months- discriminate social response- During the second
phase, infants become more interested in the caregiver and
the other familiar people and direct their social responses to
From birth to approximately 2 months the infants is does not really who cares
who handles them. Afterwards, from 2 through seven months the child develops into the
Once the child is in the second stage of Ainsworths theory Greenspan
insinuates that the child is intelligent enough to distinguish differences between people:
your child seems to be more intensely involved with you. She may look longingly
into your eyes…or wiggle in anticipation when she hears you approaching.
By 5 months the child the child should have their own ways of expressing
-Responding to facial expressions
-Making sounds or moving in rhythm with motions of your own
-Relaxing when being held
-Cooing when attention is given
-Looking at face as if studying it
-Looking uneasy/ sad when you move away
The last in the list above relate to stage three of Ainsworths stage theory, focused
The child suffers from separation anxiety, or fear that the caregiver will
leave and never return. This action can relate to Piagets thoughts of object permanence,
because the child fears or believes that once an object is out of sight it is gone for good.
Object Permanence- The knowledge that objects have a permanent
existence that is independent of our perceptual contact with them.
In Piagets theory object permanence is a major achievement of the sensorimotor period.
Greenspan then begins to talk about the beginning of communication. He states
that children really do have a comprehension of language before they say their first
Gestures instead take place of verbal communication. At first gestures are
purposeful for requests and referential communication, later for functioning as symbols
to label objects, events and characteristics.
When the caregiver responds to the child the following interaction supposedly
helps boost the childs self esteem. More importantly, the child learns about others
moods, and in turn learn the ability to react to them. By responding to a baby they learn
that their actions have an observable impact on their environment. Two-way
conversations also make the child more empathetic.
Once they see that they have an
impact on the caregiver they see that person as an individual, some one separate from
In the end Greenspan emphasizes again that children develop at their own pace.
On top of that, they have their own response to a stimulus. Just because the react a way
that a caregiver was expecting does not necessarily mean that there is anything wrong.
When interacting with a child one should study how the child reacts, and then do what
the child seemed to enjoy to bring the most pleasure, that should not be too obvious.
Finally Greenspan suggests the following:
-Talk in babble, using high to low pitches
-Use a variety of faces while babbling
-Massage the baby, telling them what your doing
-Move the babies arms and legs while talking and looking at them
-Do not exhaust the baby, stop when signs of
Emily Abedons A Year to Cheer discusses the development of a child from 12
through 24 months.
The most important thing again is that Abedon emphasizes children
develop at .