Infant needs can be overwhelming. Although parents want the best for their children and try their hardest to meet their needs, sometimes lack of information or support result in a chronically impoverished emotional environment for infants to develop in.
Understand infant needs
Parents, caregivers, educators, medical doctors, psychotherapists keep learning and adapting how we behave towards infants, what we prioritize, how we spend our time with them.
- Video – “Donald Winnicott” (The School of Life, Dec 2014): a wonderful 7-minute introduction to the first medically trained psychotherapist who focused on babies.
- Video – “John Bowlby” (The School of Life, March 2015): on the creator of attachment theory, who traces our difficulties with relationships to early childhood
- Video – “Melanie Klein” (The School of Life, January 2015): on one of the first child psychoanalysts
- The San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center: The San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center provides a Playroom where children play with trained staff and volunteers while parents attend counseling or take a break in the lounge. I spend a few hours every week at the Center, and have observed firsthand the wide spectrum of behaviors of children as young as two years old, and the extraordinary work of parents and staff collaborating to strengthen these infants’ skills.
- Homeless Prenatal Program: Homeless Prenatal has been in operation in San Francisco for 25 years.
- Child First: Child First operates in three States and is in the process of expanding nationally.
Quickly diagnose and treat special brains (autism, ADHD)
Autism and ADHD diagnoses are on the rise. “Autism is a social disability that develops so quickly it can become an intellectual disability” – according to The Economist. Recent research shows that early investment in infants’ emotional development can play a great part in enhancing these children’s wellbeing.