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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: "Self Esteem & the Ability to Love Begin When an Infant Learns to Smile" Dr Barbara Lavi


Thought for the Day: I saw a photo on facebook yesterday which said, "Smiles need no translation." It got me thinking about the universal language of smiles and laughter. Knowing that today would be Wednesday and it would be time for my Words of Wisdom post the photo and saying lead me to today's words of wisdom:
"Self esteem and the ability to love begin when an infant learns to smile." Dr. Barbara Lavi


Smiles are one of the basic building blocks of communication between every infant and their parents. Before infants learn to smile they mainly communicate via crying. Crying brings out the urge to care for and comfort the small helpless child, but it can also be a frustrating interaction when the parent has trouble quieting the child. Fortunately, infants add smiling to their repertoire fairly quickly. Infants learn to smile long before they can speak. By smiling in response to their parents' smiling faces, they build a bond which helps parents through the sleepless nights, dirty diapers and countless chores related to launching an infant into this world during the first year of their lives. Regardless of your religious belief, how adorable infants are, seems to have been part of nature's plan to help infants survive, thrive and be loved by their parents. Even if an infant is not your own or a family member, it is hard to look at a infant's face and not smile. The smile reflects the parents' joy in viewing their precious child. It says to the child, "you are beautiful and give me joy." The infant responds with a smile that says, "You are beautiful and give me joy, too." The parent-child  exchange of smiles is the precursor of all loving relationships. In addition to helping a child begin to feel loved, it also gives them a sense of being valued and, therefore, it is the first step toward building self esteem. 
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