4 Learning and growing
We hope that after completing Activity 4 you will be more aware of how babies have the ability to communicate, initiate conversations and show a range of emotions. Adults and other carers have to interpret what babies need, and provide it. We may not always get it right so need to keep an open mind and be able to change our interpretation and our behaviour if required. In addition, without adults or older children to refer to, a baby cannot learn how to get on in his or her own particular family, community and society.
The help babies need is in many forms; as you have seen already, relationships with other people are vital for babies right from the start. They also need to be provided with food and warmth to keep them comfortable, and things to do and think about to help their minds develop. The Family has lots to say about how they help Mia to learn and grow.
Acitivty 5: Helping Mia learn and grow
Read through the comments of Family members below. As you read make notes of examples where people are helping Mia's development. Then write a brief note of how you think each example might help her. Here they are looking back to when Mia was nine months old. You can add any notes you make to your existing notes for future reference.
Did you pick out some examples and think of how each might help Mia? Here were our ideas as authors.
Daisy sings, laughs and plays with Mia – this interaction will help Mia learn about communicating and taking turns. She is also learning how to develop speech and language and may even have potential as a great musician!
Eamon is helping Mia learn important lessons about morning rituals, eating and social skills. She is learning about eating as a social activity and through copying her daddy will eventually learn to eat by herself. She is also learning to stop, take stock and reflect on the day she has had, which is a very useful way of ‘letting go’ of a day, dealing with stress and learning from your own experience. It is good for improving the memory too!
Eamon and Michael are providing Mia with examples of men being carers – an important memory to hold on to as she grows up with images of women caring for babies all around her. She is also learning that wheelchairs are fun and a normal part of her life, which may help her to accept wheelchair users playing a full part in her own and other people's lives.