We often think that we need to have more encounters to make our baby a human with good social skills. However, it is quite different. At least during the baby's first year of life. Explanations and tips.
You've probably heard it before, maybe even said it before: "My baby is going to make lots of friends". Whether at the park, in groups or mother-baby classes, or even at daycare, a child under the age of two does not form friendships. He's too young.
So, socializing a baby is not about making him meet lots of people. “At that age, his need is more to develop his emotional confidence. And that is done by adults who take care of him, by the stability of the care, the regularity and the emotional availability", mentions Isabelle Vinet, psychoeducator and general coordinator of the Centre of Excellence for Development Young Children (CEECD).
Indeed, more and more studies show that a safe bond between the baby and his caregivers is the greatest predictor of positive behaviors between children. “The warm care that babies receive in thefirst year of life will help them better manage their emotions, to have positive relationships with others when they are older,” says Ms. Vinet.
That still doesn't mean it's better to stay inside all day. On the contrary!
Developing social beings
Babies, from birth, are social beings. It is by giving them the necessary tools and by showing them the example that they will develop their social skills.
From the first months of life, babies perform a number of actions that prove that they rely a lot on adults to manage what is happening around them. “Babies will look at someone they trust when they are under stress,” says the psychoeducator.
At a party, for example, it can be scary for a baby a few months old to face so many new faces. Rather than putting our offspring in the arms of everyone, it is better to first put him in confidence. We do not hesitate to name what is happening, to put words to situations. For example: "I see you're scared, there are a lot of people you don't know, but they're all friends, they're nice, you'll see. »
If we put our baby in the arms of an aunt who wants so much to take him and the latter starts to cry, it is better to take him back than to satisfy the desire for "aunt". And that, at the risk of hearing derogatory remarks like: "He's still in your arms thisbaby there. He is well spoiled! »
Isabelle Vinet emphasizes that we value children who reach out to others and that we can sometimes feel a certain pressure to part with our baby. “However, it is never a good idea to push a baby towards others. The latter will feel even more out of control of his emotions and will not feel supported, not understood”, supports the psychoeducator.
From 3 years old
It is around 3, 4, 5 years old that we will help our child to reach out to others. Some more shy will need more time. It will then be important to be patient, to respect his rhythm and to accompany him gently. For example, at the park, if our child does not go running to play, we can accompany him.
Once secure, we can move away and make way for new friendships!