Emotional mirroring with babies

Parenting Expert Wendy Walsh, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to teach young babies and young children emotional intelligence, and the benefits that teaching them early has later in life
Emotional Mirroring with Your Baby
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Emotional mirroring with babies

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You know, before a child is verbal, they have all kinds of emotions – they feel fear, they feel hunger, they feel tired, they feel angry, they feel frustrated – but to them in their perspective the world is bad, the world is angry, everything is bad, until you help them get a verbal discourse from what they're feeling. And what I mean is this: if you see a baby crying you say, "Oh, I see you're feeling sad. Baby's sad." So they're starting to make a connection between the word “sad”. Remember, they're understanding everything by about 9 months of age, even if they don't verbalize it until 2 years. So they're starting to get a verbal language for their emotions. And you teach them the key emotions: sad, mad, angry, frustrated, happy, excited, surprised. You give them words to describe what they're feeling. So then you don't get a 5-year-old saying, "I hate you!" which is the only word they know to describe how mad they feel. Instead, you get a 5-year-old who says, "I'm really quite frustrated that you couldn't give me that ice cream now!" And it helps them have a healthier emotional life and more self-awareness.

Parenting Expert Wendy Walsh, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to teach young babies and young children emotional intelligence, and the benefits that teaching them early has later in life

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Wendy Walsh, PhD

Relationship & Parenting Expert

Dr. Wendy Walsh was nominated for an Emmy Award for her work as co-host on The Dr. Phil spinoff, The Doctors TV show. She also hosts Investigation Discovery Network’s “Happily NEVER After,” as well as being part of Dr. Drew’s Behavior Bureau on HLN Network. On CNN and 9 Network, Australia, she breaks down the psychology of sex, love, gender roles, divorce, parenting and other human behaviors. Dr. Wendy is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at California State University, Channel Islands. She holds a B.A. in Journalism, a Masters degree in Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and is the author of three books and numerous publications, including The 30-Day Love Detox. She appears regularly on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, The Steve Harvey Show, The O’Reilly Factor, Inside Edition, The Katie Couric Show, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and The View.

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