Building emotional contact between mother and child is of great psychological importance for the child’s development. What does it mean? This is shown very well by the popular “still face” experiment.
In the initial phase of the experiment, mother and child play, are attuned to each other, followed by the “still face” phase, in which the mother stops expressing emotions and her face remains stationary. The child notices very quickly that something “is wrong”. He tries to attract attention to himself, by using all available means, he wants his mother to come back to contact with him. When nothing works, the child starts crying and screaming, and experiences anxiety and helplessness. The moment the mother “comes back into contact”, the child calms down and tunes in to her.
The experiment proves the importance of mutual reflection, facial expressions, emotional expression, tone of voice and interaction in the relationship between mother and child. This provides the basis for experiencing a sense of security and regulating stress in contact with another person or the outside world.
However, if a child often experiences a “still face” in his everyday life and the caregivers do not respond to his need for contact, the memory of this loneliness, stress and helplessness can be very deeply embedded in him. Making itself known later in life.
*This post was prepered for tre-pomagamy.pl