Smiles are the first building block of a warm, loving, and responsive relationship. These relationships are critical to your child’s development. Through these relationships, infants and children learn to think, understand, communicate, and emote. In fact, giving and receiving smiles are the first steps your child takes to learn how to be social and build good relationships. Smiling at your child is great for your early relationship with your child. This promotes bonding and attachment, and helps the child feel secure.
Plus, when your child gets a lot of smiles, it tells them a lot about the world – that it’s a safe and secure place where people are happy, friendly, and responsive to your child’s needs. You probably can’t help but smile at your child. And of course, seeing your baby smile at you makes you feel good too! Smiles and frowns are the first way your child treats you. When you and your child smile at each other, chemicals are released in your bodies that make you both feel happy and safe. On the other hand, if a child feels insecure or stressed, the level of stress hormones in the child’s body rises.
Different chemicals interact with a child’s nervous system in different ways and even play a role in how the brain grows and develops. For example, high levels of stress hormones can interfere with a child’s learning and affect their overall development and well-being. It is worth remembering that a simple smile is one of the building blocks of your relationship with your child. Your face is where your child looks for encouraging, comforting responses and attention. Not every answer you give is vital, but the more often you smile at your child, the better. Every smile your child sees sends a big message that your child is loved and cherished.