Tips on Helping Your Child Build Relationships

05Through relationships, children discover who they are and learn to understand others. Learn how you can help your infants and toddlers develop strong relationships with the people in their lives.

Relationship-building describes the process of establishing emotional connections with others, starting from birth, which are based on trust and intimacy. Through relationships, children discover who they are and learn to understand others. When young children experience people helping, understanding, and enjoying them, they approach the world with openness and enthusiasm, and they grow to be responsive and caring people.

Babies are born with a drive to relate to and connect with others, and they continue to develop the social skills necessary to form strong, healthy relationships throughout their lives:

  • A newborn gazes at her mother’s face as she breastfeeds. She recognizes her mother as the special, loving person who is always there for her, and calms down almost immediately when her mother picks her up and holds her close. This baby is learning that she is loved and that she can trust others to care for her and treat her well.
  • A 6-month-old laughs and laughs as his father holds a napkin over his face, and then drops it to say, “Peek-a-boo!” Whenever his father tries to put the napkin back on the table, the baby says, “eh, eh, eh” to let his father know he wants him will hold up that silly napkin again. This baby is learning that he can connect with a loved one through a fun activity like this one. He is discovering that spending time together is satisfying and pleasurable. (Read More)

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