The explanation of babies’ crying is a field of interest of many psychological theories and schools. Different researchers and scholars have attempted to provide various interpretations of the crying of infants and reactions of parents. The aim of this paper is to discuss ways of such situations and types of parental responses, and to explain mechanisms, principles and the significance of the attachment process between infants and mothers.
Behaviorism is a theory, which claims that children learn through rewards and punishments. According to it, when parents feed or pay attention to babies when they are crying, the latter will soon learn to imitate a cry to satisfy their actual needs and demands. The behaviorism theory suggests that parents should respond to the cries of infants promptly and appropriately, since such actions will help to form the personality of babies. In the given case study, such a reaction to crying will lead to positive effects, because an appropriate response to baby’s dissatisfaction will evoke positive associations and reaction of the infant.
The attachment theory, developed by J. Bowlby and considered as prominent during a continuous period, claims that children form a special kind of attachment to caregivers, while crying helps to strengthen this connection and makes babies feel secure and safe. The representatives of the attachment theory state that parents should react to the cries of infants warmly. In this case, the mother should provide tactile closeness with the baby and let the infant feel her presence with the help of touches, kisses, and others. It will help to calm down the crying child in order to satisfy the need in the tactile connection and attachment to the mother.
The psychoanalytic theory suggests that the nature of crying is mostly emotional rather than purely physiological or physical. In these terms, it reflects emotional conditions of people and helps them reveal stress. Thus, crying is a signal of psychological dissatisfaction as well. In such a way, the baby appeals to the emotions of the mother and requires her to react promptly. Therefore, in the situation under analysis, the mother should provide an emotional feedback to the child by claiming her closeness. Because of such actions, the baby will stabilize emotions and feel secure in the presence of the mother. The psychoanalytic idea strongly depends on the attachment theory and claims that crying appears in case of separation or detachment between parents and children. Therefore, an optimal solution for parents is to react to babies’ cries and prove their close presence and availability.
For a long time, the attachment theory had suggested that babies formed connection to mothers because the latter provided them with food. However, the recent investigations show that attachment calls for tactile relations, feeling of warmth and support. Therefore, in this case, since the mother has not shown enough tactile connection with the infant, the one should focus on its maximization. She may amplify the feeling of attachment with the help of her voice, smell, kisses, and touches among others.
There are some reasons and characteristics, which cause attachment disorder in infants. In such cases, children cannot form an appropriate level of connection with caregivers and feel negative consequences of detachment and isolation. Potential reasons for attachment problems in the given situation may be long-term separation with the parents, caregivers’ ignorance of crying, lack of parental responses in case of necessity, mistreatment of babies, and incomplete satisfaction of needs among others.
In order to solve the above-mentioned problem, researchers suggest that the mother should pay sufficient attention to the child and react immediately to any signs of dissatisfaction or worries. A permanent connection between the infant and the parents helps to eliminate attachment disorders and other problems connected with the further socialization of the child. Thus, the attachment theory warns against neglect in relations with infants and emphasizes the importance of opportune and relevant reactions to crying.
To conclude, different theories explain the nature and origin of babies’ crying. However, all researchers agree that the establishment of solid, stable and permanent relations of attachment between parents and children promotes their healthy development and socialization.
Chloe Mendez, writer at https://specialessays.com/ and a blogger