The first two years of a baby’s life are spent very close to his mother. That is why they are so often called the nursery years. By the time
the child is three he will be less tied to his mother and will show interest in playing with children of his age in the neighborhood. If he has had a brother or sister only a year or so older to imitate, he will be less dependent on his mother. But at first, his mother is his closest person. Through her he feels his environment; it is either kind and friendly or impersonal and negative.
Baby’s welcome begins before birth
Sometimes during the months of waiting before the birth of a child, parents unknowingly prepare the wrong kind of welcome. They may have set their hearts on a blue-eyed girl or a brown-eyed boy and are disappointed when their long-anticipated daughter is a son, or Junior is a little girl. Some parents hopefully plan a life for their coming child long before his arrival. Philip will like what his father likes, be a credit to him, be a real boy, and advance even further than his father in a business or profession. All parents want to live again in the lives of their children. There is the little daughter who must become the singer mother longed to be, or the son who is to be a football hero. There will be disappointment if the little daughter grows up to be a nurse with no ability to sing, or the son becomes a dreamer, who dislikes football.
Even before the child is born, parents should establish a habit of thinking of him, not as a possession to be made into this or that but as an individual with his right to grow in his own way and according to his own abilities. Parents will then really welcome the baby for himself and find delight in looking for their baby’s own pattern of growth. (Continue below to page 2)