Posted: February 27th, 2023


Respond to the Classmate’s Discussion as you would in a face-to face class by asking questions and stating your point of view. 

                                                     Classmates Discussion S.W.

Again, I was humbled at how little credit I give to babies! I knew they understood more than I thought, but this chapter about children and emotions/development was pretty revealing (Erford, 2017). I didn’t realize that by 2 months, an infant already has situated self-awareness and can differentiate between themselves and the world. That is amazing considering they are a whole 2 months old at that point! Not just that, but they are able to begin social referencing and identify an expression with an object at as early as 2 months old!

This is going to be a weird statement, but I kind of have a cognitive dissonance issue when it comes to learning about child development in terms of biology and survival. On one hand, learning about the infant’s innate biological propensities for survival is incredibly fascinating and fosters a lot of compassion. Not that people don’t show children compassion but understanding that a baby cries or has a meltdown or laughs or whatever it may be because their survival instincts are hard at work trying to survive is incredible and gives a lot of understanding. They’re amygdales are looking for perceived threats and doing what they can to let their caregivers, whom they’re completely dependent upon for survival, know that something is wrong. That is amazing! One the other hand, sometimes I feel like it slightly takes the magic out when you learn that basically everything is done for survival, even falling in love. I love to learn those things and I think it can really give some good perspective and, again, compassion on a whole new level, but it kind of takes away the magic, I guess. A couple weeks ago, in lecture, Dr. Hartman asked the women why they wanted to have more children if childbirth was so difficult and everyone said it was worth it and they had amnesia, etc. I wanted to say “oxytocin”, ha. Now, I’ve never had children and I am very grateful for oxytocin, but sometimes learning biology takes the innocence out of something. I do believe God gave us the ability to feel emotions and connection on what seems like a metaphysical plane, and that helps, haha. 

One cool thing for me when I read about child development and the processes that are healthy for children is seeing this take place in my sisters’ relationships with their kids. One of my sisters is a really good mom and she places a lot of importance on emotional regulation with her kids. It amazes me because we were never taught anything closely related to that as kids. In fact, we were taught what not to do and I’m sort of left in awe of how she goes about this and how incredibly self-aware her kids are. I have a niece that will have a meltdown and then, after some thought, declare that she just needs to eat or that she’s tired. Then she’ll go have a snack and feel much better. I didn’t have that level of self-awareness until about 21 years old and still have trouble with it today, ha! When I was reading about self-regulation, it was especially neat because my sister does so much of these strategies that foster positive relationships between the parent and kids already. She’s very predictable and tries to keep their environment predictable, she gives them good structure and routines, helps them see others’ perspectives and points of view, and explains things to them like their people! She sits down with them and explains why something is happening or not happening, what they are allowed to do and not to do, what to expect and what not to expect, etc., and gives them a chance to respond, like they’re having a conversation. It blows my mind! I take mental notes all the time in case I ever have kids someday. 

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