Loving your baby more every day!
Once the meeting starts, welcome everyone and ask the participants: • Who can help us remember what we talked about in our last meeting? • Who was able to do the activity at home that we asked you to do at the end of the meeting? How did it go? • Does anyone have questions or concerns after doing the activity?
What are we going to learn? We are going to learn how to create expressions of love and care within a family. LET’S TALK ABOUT IT! We are going to look at some pictures, so we can talk about what we all know about this topic.
In your family, how do the other children get along with the baby?
In your family, what kinds of things do you do as parents to show love to your baby? Why do you think it’s important to show care and affection to small children and babies?
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“Ties of affection” We are going to play a game to illustrate how important emotional ties are in a healthy family.
What we’ll need: • A large ball of string • Flipchart paper • Markers
WHAT WE’LL DO: • Ask participants to think of a person with whom they have strong emotional ties, someone with whom they are in a close and caring relationship with. What are the reasons you have developed that connection? • Then have a discussion on how important it is to develop these types of caring relationships within your family for your baby. • Ask the participants to think of activities that they can develop with their baby in order to help establish emotional ties and attachment to the family. • Bring a large ball of string to the meeting and when everyone is standing in a circle you can begin the game “Ties of Affection.” • Everyone should be ready as the facilitator starts the game by throwing the string to one of the participants after saying: “I build ties of affection by…hugging my baby…” They can say any activity that they think can be used to show affection to a baby. • Whoever has the string should then throw it to another participant repeating: “I build ties of affection by…” and saying the activity that they have thought of. • All the participants should throw and receive the string. When you are done throwing the string you should have created the effects of a net or “spider’s web.” You can then throw a big object into the middle of the net, like a box or ball, to show that emotional ties can bear the problems within a family. • At the end make a list of ideas of activities that one can do with babies to show affection, in order to remember what has been taught in this lesson. Other suggestion: If some of the mothers have a hard time thinking of activities to build affectionate ties, you can help them by mentioning some simple basic activities: • Smiling at the baby • Hugging your baby • Talking or listening to the baby • Letting the baby express him or herself • Making funny faces at the baby
What did we learn today? Now, we’ll review what we discussed today. • How do you feel after this meeting? Why? • What are the two most important things you’ve learned today? • What will you do differently based on what you learned during the meeting? • What did you like the most? Are there things you didn’t like? • Do you have any remaining concerns or questions about what we talked about? To finish, what would you recommend to improve today’s meeting when we do it again with another group. (Explain that answering this question will help the meeting be even better in the future for parents with small children.)
To do at home:
• Have each participant write a card to the person that they named earlier in the meeting, and thank them for their support. • Have the parents write a letter to their baby expressing their love and care, and suggest that they read it to their baby every once in a while.
Basic information for the facilitator: Learning more about loving your baby more every day: 1- Establishing emotional ties or “bonding”, is the mechanism that ensures that the parents
or adults in charge of a baby take care of him or her in a warm and loving way. This tie is the relationship from which a baby acquires a special trust with one or various adults. The feelings of security and acceptance that a mother (or primary care giver) provides are the basis for the baby’s future development. This relationship allows the baby to feel safe and explore the world, try new things and continue to grow.
Establishing a secure bond with at least one person during the first year of life has been associated with advances in a baby’s stamina and adaptation to change, their capacity to learn and social development. The best learning comes in a safe, open and motivating environment. When a baby is almost 8 months old, he or she will try to always have their care provider in view. A baby will suffer a
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12 lot if moved away from their primary care provider. Psychologists call this reaction “separation anxiety.” Babies at that age don’t understand the concept of time. When they don’t see someone, they feel like they have gone for good. They can register an absence but cannot maintain the image of the person that has left in their mind in order to be able to wait calmly until that person returns. During the next months they start to understand the significance of “constancy of an object.” This constancy of an object allows a baby to understand that people and things aren’t gone just because they can’t see or hear them. With experience the baby will learn that people that are important to them will return. The anxiety that comes from feeling far away from their caretaker and being with a stranger is a real fear. Like any other fear it will disappear with age, if you have a solid base of trust and security at home and with your relations. With this base, babies will feel freedom and be ready to use their capacities to explore an environment that always presents challenges.
Establishing routines can help build bonds within a family, everyday experiences, bath time, feeding
the baby, giving the baby massages, playing with the baby, all these things provide many opportunities to create bonds between adults and babies. Making time to play is an excellent opportunity to create ties with the men of the family; it would be ideal if the men are involved in every area of the babies life. It is important that parents and caregivers offer the baby a physically close community that supports, hugs, talks to and smiles at the baby. Holding babies and children isn’t spoiling them; actually, it helps to generate confidence and security to leave and explore the environment.