Interestingly, newborns begin to smile in response to smiles within a few days. Studies indicate that children brought up to be friendly often have an easier time building robust social connections, crucial for their mental and emotional health.
Parents play a vital role in cultivating this trait in children right from the start. In this blog, we will explore actionable strategies for raising a friendly baby.
Also Read: Baby Monitors: Features, Types, Top Picks
Understanding the Role of Genetics and Environment
A baby’s nature comes from both genes and surroundings. Even though some traits are inherited, how and where a child grows up is important for their social behaviours. By providing a warm and responsive parenting style, parents can encourage the expression of friendliness in their children.
Steps to Raise a Friendly Baby
- Model Friendly Behaviour
- Encourage Social Interaction from an Early Age
- Foster Emotional Intelligence
- Provide a Secure Attachment
- Practice Positive Reinforcement
- Teach Social Skills
- Limit Screen Time
- Offer Opportunities for Group Play
- Respect Your Child’s Temperament
- Cultivate a Supportive Environment
- Follow consistent sleep schedules
- Read to them
- Respond to their needs
- Interact more
- Ensure a calm environment
Babies are keen observers and often imitate the behaviours they see in their parents. To raise a friendly baby, it is important to model positive social interactions. Greet your neighbours with a smile, engage in polite conversation, and demonstrate acts of kindness. Your child will likely mimic these actions, learning the value of friendliness through your example.
Introduce your baby to various social situations where they can interact with different people. Set up playdates, visit family and friends, and participate in community events. These interactions will expose your child to diverse social situations and help them understand the basics of human interaction.
Helping your child recognize and understand emotions plays a significant role in developing their social skills. Use books and stories to discuss feelings and teach empathy. Encouraging them to recognize their own emotions and those of others equips them with the ability to form strong social bonds.
Securely attached children are more likely to exhibit social competence and friendliness. Respond consistently to your baby’s needs, show affection, and provide reassurance to help them feel secure and confident when interacting with others.
When your baby displays friendly behaviours, such as sharing or smiling at someone, reinforce these actions with praise and attention. Positive reinforcement will encourage your child to continue engaging in sociable behaviours.
As your child grows, explicitly teach them social skills such as taking turns, listening, and using polite phrases like “please” and “thank you.” Role-playing can be an effective method for practising social scenarios and developing these essential skills.
While technology is an integral part of modern life, screen time can be detrimental to a toddler’s development. The American Academy of Paediatrics discourages any screen time for children younger than 18 months and instead encourages activities that promote face-to-face interaction.
Group settings provide valuable opportunities for your child to practice interacting with peers and learn the principles of cooperation and sharing. Enrol them in activities or classes that align with their interests and are age-appropriate.
Every child is unique, with their temperament affecting how they react to social situations. Some children may naturally be more outgoing, while others are more reserved. Work within your child’s comfort zone, gradually encouraging them to participate without forcing them into overwhelming situations.
Raising a friendly child also includes fostering an environment where they feel loved and supported. With a solid foundation of security, children are more likely to explore social interactions and build friendships.
An exhausted baby is likely to be moody. Hence, let sleep take precedence over everything else to improve the chances of a happy baby during their waking hours. Rate a sleep routine and a place for the baby to sleep. Do not deviate from the schedule as much as possible.
Reading to babies fosters early language skills and emotional bonding. Research suggests that a parent’s voice during story time enhances social interaction abilities in infants making children more socially adept and friendly. The comfort of routine reading sessions contributes to a nurturing environment conducive to positive social development.
Responding to the needs of babies builds an environment that promotes friendly and secure children. Newborn babies and infants develop trust and build secure attachments with their parents. When a baby’s needs, both physical and emotional, are regularly fulfilled, they understand that the world is safe and dependable. This helps them feel more secure to explore and interact confidently with others.
Meeting a baby’s needs sets the stage for nurturing a friendly baby, who tends to be sociable, caring, and able to build strong relationships in their life.
Interactions that involve talking, singing, and playing with the baby contribute significantly to their social and emotional development. Responding with eye contact, smiles, and affection reinforces the baby’s attempts at communication, thereby enhancing their social skills.
It is also essential to recognize and respect the baby’s cues for needing time alone.
A calm environment helps in reducing stress for the baby, vital to regulating their emotions. Caregivers must be conscious of their emotional state, as babies are adept at picking up on stress and emotional cues from those around them. A calm and positive demeanour greatly influences a baby’s mood and disposition.
In cultivating friendliness in your child, it is important to remember that personality development is a gradual process. Patience and consistency in your approach will yield the best results. At EuroSchool we ensure a supportive and engaging environment, modelling positive interactions, and consciously teaching social skills, setting the stage for children to grow into friendly and empathetic adults.