Charlotte is 8 weeks old and her parents, having to return to work to provide for their baby, have no choice but to entrust her to Mahi, who has been looking

Charlotte is 8 weeks old and her parents, having to return to work to provide for their baby, have no choice but to entrust her to Mahi, who has been looking after her for two weeks. This is a completely new environment for Charlotte, and it has taken her some time to adapt, as well as to accept the separation from her parents.

Charlotte feels insecure, it is a very new environment for her and she needs time to get used to it as well as getting used to her new caregivers. Charlotte is overwhelmed by her emotions, which she doesn’t yet know how to understand and regulate. “Babies are born with virtually no self-control” (p.1, ZERO to THREE. 2010, Help your child Develop Self-Control). This can also put her in a state of stress that she can’t stop on her own because she hasn’t learned the tools yet. “They naturally act on thoughts and feelings without the ability to stop themselves.”(p.2). The role of the caregiver is significant in helping the child to develop self-control. First, Mahi could be prepared to welcome a baby and understand that crying is her way of expressing herself, so Mahi won’t be stressed or anxious if she knows how to handle these moments of crying and can react appropriately. If Mahi is calm, Charlotte will feel it and it will help her to calm down. Mahi can then take Charlotte in her arms, give her a cuddle and rock her gently so Charlotte feels reassured.

It is also important for Mahi to be sensitive and avoid any sudden gestures or loud noises, which can only reinforce an infant’s sense of insecurity. Providing a caring environment and a relaxing atmosphere will help Charlotte not to be anxious. To promote a relaxing environment, Mahi can sing or play soft music. Another strategy is to speak softly in a gentle, warm voice and describe the emotions she seems to be going through. Even if Charlotte doesn’t yet understand the words spoken to her, she senses that she is being listened to and that attention is being paid to her. Mahi can also describe to Charlotte what she’s doing or what she is going to do, because children feel secure when they anticipate what is going to happen. For example, changing her diaper or saying “ After you finish your lunch we are going to get ready for nap time because you are starting to get tired”.

Fourthly, Mahi can establish routines so that Charlotte can find her bearings in her day and anticipate the different moments that will punctuate her daily routine. Creating routines and rituals helps babies feel less anxious and insecure. Finally, by being involved with Charlotte, Mahi creates favorable conditions for the development of attachment, enabling Charlotte to feel reassured and to accept changes more easily. If Charlotte feels secure and confident, she will be able to interact and cooperate more easily with Mahi.

In order to work best with the parents to continue promoting self-regulation at home, a relationship of trust needs to be established to meet Charlotte’s needs. To establish this relationship it is important that Mahi always welcome parents with a warm smile and positive attitude. Also, Mahi can share some pictures with parents throughout the day and share some moments about Charlotte’s day. Working on a consistent schedule for Charlotte for both Mahi’s place and at home is a good way for Charlotte to predict things and that way feel secure because she will know that this new environment is the same as her home. Indeed, it is important that Mahi takes into consideration Charlotte’s parents’ preferences on her education and their culture. Regular communication and collaboration can help reinforce positive behaviors and support Charlotte’s development.

Ressources:

ZERO to THREE. Early connections last a lifetime. 2010,
Help Your child Develop Self-Control.

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