For Immediate Release Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013
For more information:
Shelley Calissendorff, (509) 592-5626 or
Robbyn Peters Bennett, LMHC, CMHS
(360) 738-6864 or
Please see attached .pdf file
SmileAtYourBaby.org and Bellingham, WA organization
collaborate to help reduce spanking
Pullman, WA based charitable organization, Smile At Your Baby! and Bellingham, WA based charitable organization, StopSpanking.org, release important, new tool to offer parents alternatives to spanking.
A Rampant Problem that Effects Most Children
• 30% of American parents begin spanking when their babies are less than a year old
• 50% of all toddlers are spanked three or more times a week
• 94% of all toddlers are spanked
• 65% Americans still approve of spanking
Spanking is a Precursor to Most Physical Child Abuse
• At least 88 million Americans are physically abused as children
• Most child physical abuse begins with physical punishment
Founders and Executive Directors, Calissendorff and Bennett met online at ACEsConnection.com, a site dedicated to preventing & lowering adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and raising resilience. “We found that we shared common interests, stated Calissendorff. “Educating parents on how to effectively parent their children with love, empathy and compassion while preventing child neglect and abuse.”
The two women came up with the concept to create a one page, easy to read, understand and follow document that parents could print and post on their refrigerator–when they couldn’t find anything else like what they were looking for on the internet. According to Bennett, “We were both surprised and disappointed, so, we agreed to create it together.”
It’s difficult to understand how something so important has been flying under the radar for such a very long time. It’s time we shine some light on it. The FACT that there is a link between the abuse of children and the abuse of animals. This is not a theory or an old wives’ tale. There are stacks of reports full of statistics, and multitudes of organizations committed to education, prevention, collaboration and problem resolution all about “The Link.” Leading the charge today is Phil Arkow. Mr. Arkow is a consultant for the ASPCA and the Animals and Society Institute, is chair of the Animal Abuse and Family Violence Prevention Project with The Latham Foundation, and is coordinator of the National Link Coalition.
Henry Bergh founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in April 1866. Bergh also prompted the formation in 1874 of the New YorkSociety for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC). Bergh is credited with saying, “Mercy to animals means mercy to mankind.”
Many early humane societies had the dual function of protecting both animals and children. The American Humane Association marked this first occurrence at an annual conference in 1895. “The man who was cruel to his beast would be unkind to his wife and child.”
Phil has worked for and/or with SPCAs and humane societies across the U.S. since the early 1970‘s. He discovered that many of the same families that were being investigated by the Bucks County, Pa. SPCA were also being investigated by that county’s local child protective agency. The funny thing was, neither agency was aware of what the other was doing, andthey weren’t talking to each other. In other words, both the children — as well as the companion animals — in those homes were in danger.
It makes sense. People who neglect or abuse their own children will think little of abusing and neglecting Scruffy and Fluffy. But what about vice versa? What happens when the dog and the cat aren’t being loved and tended to? Does that mean the children are apt to receive the same sort of treatment? Not always, but frequently, yes.
What about children who witness Mom or Dad kicking the dog? I think we all know that this sends a strong message to Junior that abusing Scruffy is OK. When Junior starts kicking the dog himself and gets away with it, the odds of Junior growing up as an abuser are high. In most cases, abusers aren’t content for long with being cruel “just” to animals. As the abuser grows older, he will likely “move on” to bigger targets. Violence begets violence.
Perhaps the title of this article should have been, “Smile At Your Baby, Smile At Your Dog, and Smile At Your Cat.” Smile At Your Baby! is all about creating a healthy emotional foundation for baby to help insure that baby grows up to be a well-adjusted, functional adult. Question: Do well-adjusted, functional adults perpetrate acts of violence? Not in our book.
Why do we bring dogs, cats, birds and other animals into our homes in the first place? Why do we want them there? Are they members of the family? Should they be treated as such? According to Mr. Arkow and many other experts, “The way we raise our animals mirrors the way we raise our children.”
Fact: Jeffery Dahmer abused animals as a child. Of course we’ll never know the answer to this question, but if someone concerned had intervened when he was a child, might he and his victims havebeen spared later in life? What if a neighbor had called the local humane society and they had sent out an investigator? What if that investigator had then shared her findings with a social worker?
As the coordinator of the National Link Coalition, Mr. Arkow works closely with dozens of community-based, local Link coalitions. He speaks to city administrators, Child Protective Services, animal control officers, domestic violence groups and anybody else who will listen. Mr. Arkow and the National Link Coalition facilitate collaboration between violence prevention advocates and people who work to protect animals. He gets them to talk to one another and to work together. Here’s the good news: It works!
And the not-so-good news? Today, in the U.S., only two states require veterinarians to report suspected child abuse, and only 13 states require them to report animal abuse.
Sadly, of the 20-plus communities around the country that have local Link coalitions, not one exists in Smile At Your Baby!’s home state of Washington.
For the sake of our children, we must break the cycle of violence. Like children, dogs and cats don’t come with an instruction manual. Make companion animals members of your family and treat them as such. “When animals are abused, people are at risk, and when people are abused, animals are at risk,” according to Phil. We are linked together. Treating animals humanely IS a big deal. They are NOT only animals. “Boys will be boys” is not a valid excuse.
Pick up your phone and make some calls. Build a coalition in your community. Help animal protection and child protection organizations become partners. For more details on how to create a Link Coalition in your community, visit: www.NationalLinkCoalition.org
And at this time of year, let’s all keep in mind that companion animals are responsibilities, not rights, so let us choose to not give them as gifts. We wouldn’t give a child as a gift, would we? Let there be peace, empathy and compassion on earth for all of our family members, two-legged AND four-legged.
Written by Shelley Calissendorff
“It’s a constant flow of info, it’s always different, you’re easily accessible, it’s the total package. Everything is on the right track.” According to author Jessie Hogsett, Smile At Your Baby! seems to be doing something right.
He should know. He was the youngest of four children born to a woman with a long history of substance abuse. His birth mother put him and his siblings up for adoption—they were all separated. He didn’t even know about two of them until years later. Jessie was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder or RAD at the age of 12. He spent two years in a residential treatment facility. But he is one of the lucky ones. Jessie defied the odds and came out on the other side a functional, emotionally stable adult, husband, and father. Jessie’s story is a beacon of hope for parents of children with RAD. According to author Stephen Rayburn and SpecialNeeds.com, “The prognosis is poor for children with RAD who don’t get the help they need as they reach adulthood and are released from protective care. Approximately 20,000 foster children age out of the system each year, often with no familial connections and nowhere to go. Too often they end up homeless, incarcerated, institutionalized and dead. And, they’re raising the next generation of attachment-compromised children. Inadequate mental health care is one of the primary reasons for such dismal outcomes.” What was different for Jessie? Was he born more resilient? Was it the influence of his adoptive parents? Was it something else? We may never know.
Jessie Hogsett is the author of “Detached ~ Surviving Reactive Attachment Disorder ~ A Personal Story.” He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Smile At Your Baby! and we couldn’t be more honored or thrilled to have him.
Jessie’s birth mother just passed away at the age of 54. Before she passed, Jessie told her he had forgiven her. He hopes that knowing that gave her some sense of peace. Surely, it must have.
In addition to being a self-published author, Mr. Hogsett has worked with troubled teenagers in residential treatment centers, and welcomes opportunities for public speaking. He says that sometimes he looks at himself in the mirror and asks why he keeps doing this. The answer is always the same, “In order to see change, somebody has to do it.” He was insightful enough to realize that the cycle needed to end and it needed to end with him. He knew when he was a teenager that he would be a father one day, but that he had work to do before he could be a successful parent. His anger lost him his first love and he learned from that. Writing the book was the very best therapy for him he says.
Jessie believes that in 1980 when he was born, that there were far fewer resources available on parenting and that there just wasn’t much information out there about bonding and attachment. He’s encouraged by the increase in public awareness about RAD, thanks to resources including his book, “Detached;” Smile At Your Baby!; the movie, “The Boarder;” author Toni Hoy’s book, “Second Time Foster Child;” and the Nigliazzo Advocacy Center for Attachment Disorders. He thinks these are all signs of great things to come. If only change would come faster. But just as Rome was not built in a day, eradicating RAD will take time.
When asked if he believed something like Smile At Your Baby!’s BABY BIT daily parenting tips via text message program could have influenced his birth mom he replied with an enthusiastic, “Absolutely!”
More information on the resources mentioned above:
Jessie Hogsett’s book, “Detached” is available on Amazon.com for $13.99
Toni Hoy’s book, “Second Time Foster Child” is available on Amazon.com for $17.95
To subscribe to BABY BITS text SAYB to 760-670-3144 or get more information at www.SmileAtYourBaby.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 26, 2012
RAD Mom to Travel to Branson, Missouri to Meet Other RAD Parents and Promote Prevention
Executive Director of Pullman based organization, Smile At Your Baby! will be in Branson, MO to participate in the first ever, Branson Power Advocacy Intensive Retreat organized by the Nigliazzo Advocacy Center of West Plains, MO. Calissendorff’s goal of meeting and trading stories with other parents of adopted children with Reactive Attachment Disorder or RAD will finally be met. Ms. Calissendorff’s organization was born out of a desire to help to prevent Reactive Attachment Disorder in other families.
Pullman, WA The mother of a foster-adopted 10-year-old daughter who was diagnosed at the age of four with Reactive Attachment Disorder, or RAD, has made it her life’s work to educate others about the disorder so common in adopted children. She will travel to Branson, MO to meet with other parents of children with RAD, and to participate at the Branson Power Advocacy Intensive organized by the Nigliazzo Advocacy Center of West Plains, MO. Shelley Calissendorff also looks forward to meeting author and Facebook friend, Toni Hoy, whose best-selling book, “Second Time Foster Child” has really hit home for the Pullmanite. “Living with children effected by RAD is more difficult than anyone can imagine,” says Calissendorff. “I’m not the only one who had no choice but to turn to the state for assistance in meeting my child’s very special needs. When I read “Second Time Foster Child” my jaw dropped! At long last, someone who understands what we’ve been through!”
Even before meeting author Toni Hoy and event organizer Michele Nigliazzo (who also has an adopted daughter with RAD) online, Calissendorff founded her organization, Smile At Your Baby! in an effort to educate those new and soon–to-be parents that need it most on what it means to bond with a baby, why it’s so very important, and precisely how to do it. About two years ago Calissendorff says she realized that there is no cure for RAD, though it can be treated—even with treatment the odds of life success for a child with RAD are not good. There are many great organizations like Attach and the Attachment Trauma Network (ATN) that work hard to help families find resources and learn to live life as a therapeutic parent, but so far as Calissendorff could tell, no one else was actively working to reach out to parents and specifically prevent Reactive Attachment Disorder. Calissendorff will have a table with literature at the event Aug. 2-4 at the Lodge of the Ozarks.
Michele Nigliazzo and Toni Hoy will be speakers at the two-and-a-half-day event, as will be Julie Beem, Executive Director of ATN.
“It will be so fantastic to talk to other parents who already know where I’m coming from,” says Calissendorff. “Often times, school administrators, teachers and even counselors are not familiar with RAD and trying to get special services for these children can be an uphill battle, to say the least.” Event attendees will expect to leave Branson with a whole new set of tools for advocating on their child’s behalf. “We all want the word to get out about RAD, the more folks that know about it, the better,” stated Calissendorff.
# # #
Take a little time to look
In this fast moving world where technology overwhelms us and as parents we have so much to do I want you to take time away from Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook etc., to simply look at your baby.
While in your ‘tummy’ your baby’s presence is very much felt and when she appears you may well be a super busy mom or dad but looking at your baby will give you and them so much.
Through observation of your baby’s body language and facial expressions you will be able to gather more information than you possibly realize. It is possible for you to gather information about your baby’s:
- level of comfort
- level of hunger
- possible signs of ill-health
- expressions of gas and constipation
- signs of tiredness
Baby Sebastian pictured below is experiencing tiredness and has a little gas. You can see we’ve captured this in the photograph. His eyes look heavy and his lips look ‘full’. Such simple observation allowed Cat, his Mom, to burp him and after this he soon fell asleep. If Sebastian’s needs remained unmet he would have gone on to reach the crying stage.
Using a simple three-step approach with your baby of observation, mirroring-back and responding to their needs she will experience you, their world and themselves. You will be able to understand them and oftentimes you will be able to meet their needs before they begin to cry.
The benefits to recognizing what your baby is ‘saying’ are many. Here are just a few:
- You will quickly learn what your baby wants, needs and desires
- Your baby will feel ‘heard’ in your observation
- You will experience their satisfaction
- Their satisfaction and happiness will be mirrored right back at you
- Your anxiety will be minimized and you will both benefit from this
So Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter etc., will all be there tomorrow, for today (and every day) socially connect with your baby through the power of observation, mirroring-back and responding to your baby’s non-verbal cues and clues!
Vivien Sabel UKCP MBACP ScPTI
Author of The Blossom Method™ The Revolutionary Way To Communicate With Your Baby From Birth (Random House June 2012)
Relational Psychotherapist/Clinical Supervisor/Researcher/Advisory Board member with Smile At Your Baby and Brain Insights.
 Observation, mirroring-back and responding are the three key features of The Blossom Method The Revolutionary Way To Communicate With Your Baby From Birth.
By Guest blogger Toni Hoy
What did Dr. Emese Nagy, from Dundee University, find when she studied infants from 3 hours to 4 days old?* She found that newborns had a desire to communicate with others, were soothed by human emotion and baby talk, and were stressed by lack of attention and facial contact.
Psychologists at the University smiled at the infants, speaking in soft, high pitched tones, mimicking “baby-talk.” The infants responded by looking at the adults, smiling, and paying attention. They seemed content and happy as long as they were engaged.
Once engaging the child, the researchers froze, stopped smiling, and stopped responding to the infant. The babies soon became visibly distressed, turning away, and crying. After a few minutes, the researchers once again, smiled at the infants and resumed baby-talk. Did the infants respond immediately respond positively to the newfound attentive activity?
No. The researchers found that the babies didn’t immediately trust the adult to respond to his needs. It took some time to rebuild that trust. According to Dr. Nagy, “This study showed that even newborn infants come to this world with a powerful sensitivity to the other person.” Dr. Nagy proved that newborns have the skills to relate and are eager to respond with emotion, as well as showing protest when being ignored.
Dr. Nagy’s study showed how infants and toddlers develop bonding and attachment deficits including full-blown Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), which can affect a person’s ability to establish healthy relationships for a lifetime. This is why we are seeing large numbers of children in the adoptive population with disorders like RAD, PTSD, and other anxiety-based disorders.
Smile at Your Baby! is more than an organization. It’s more than a slogan. Smiling at your baby can make the difference between a child having the ability to express empathy, sympathy, compassion, and other emotions that are vital to healthy well-being. Smiling at a baby benefits the smiler and smilee equally and it costs virtually nothing.
Smile at your baby! It can make a world of difference.
*Dr. Nagy’s study was published in Developmental Psychology, the journal of the American Psychological Association.
Toni Hoy’s book “Second Time Foster Child” is now available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com
Visit her website at: www.scopeandcircumstance.com
What is KEY to reducing childhood behavioral disorders?
What is KEY to reducing childhood animal abuse?
What is KEY to reducing high school drop out rates?
What is KEY to: reducing teenage pregnancy, alcohol abuse, domestic violence…
reducing substance abuse, mental health issues and finally,
What is KEY to reducing the rate of imprisonment?
Well, that would be an awful lot of keys, now, wouldn’t it? Or, would it?
What if there was one common denominator—one key—to all of these issues? If there was, would we be investing money, time, energy and creativity into educating people about “the KEY” and how to use it to prevent this startling array of social problems? Well, SURE! Right?
But, we’re not. We’re not.
Well…okay, there is one organization that is actively educating new and soon-to-be parents on the whats, whys and hows of bonding with baby. One organization in Pullman, WA that is aggressively thinking outside of the box and working diligently to help prevent all of these debilitating social issues.
Education and prevention, they are the tools. Infant bonding and attachment are the KEY.
When a parent successfully creates a healthy and secure bond with baby, baby attaches to that parent in a healthy and secure way in response. So, when baby cries, and mom or dad respond, baby learns to trust. When baby cries and nothing happens, the natural cycle of bond and attachment is in danger of not happening. When the bonding/attachment DOES happen it’s almost magical. Baby will have better self-esteem, will learn how to trust others, will NOT be enraged at mother, self and world. Baby will bounce back from life’s trials and tribulations with less effort. Baby will be far less likely to have the social problems listed above. Baby will be a better parent one day herself. And the cycle will continue.
So, let’s do it! Let’s use that KEY to educate and prevent and lets do it NOW.
Text SAYB to 760-670-3144 to subscribe to the FREE, daily BABY BIT. Sent to your cell phone each Monday through Friday (except U.S. holidays), BABY BITS are little daily-sized nuggets of parent coaching—specific to bonding and attachment.
Visit www.SmileAtYourBaby.org to learn more.
Mail a check to: Smile At Your Baby!, P.O. Box 1517, Pullman, WA 99163
Volunteer by emailing Shelley@SmileAtYourBaby.org and saying, “I want to help.”
Ask about joining our Board of Directors—help us GROW.
Shelley Calissendorff, Founder/Executive Director
Smile At Your Baby!
March 28, 2012
“Until recently, I was still rebellious,” states nineteen-year-old Trevor. Stealing and vandalizing have only recently stopped, Trevor reports, because he’s discovered that, “If I keep myself busy doing things that are important, it helps. I just recently got a job. It makes me feel better. I like to feel appreciated.”
Trevor, a very bright Caucasian male is a survivor of Reactive Attachment Disorder, or RAD as it’s commonly known. He recognizes there’s a cycle that repeats itself, when parents don’t bond with their children and yet, recently, when he and his girlfriend got pregnant, he was disappointed when she decided to have an abortion. He says he’s really into caring for little kids these days and has a fondness for children. Astonishing, when you consider what HIS childhood was like.
Born the second son of an eighteen-year-old mother who had three more boys and a girl after him, Trevor didn’t start his life on Easy Street. Catherine was gone much of the time, off with her friends, still wanting to play the role of a typical teenager. Breakfast and lunch meant fending for yourself. Dinner was usually fast-food take-out. Trevor has no recollection of either parent ever reading to him. As an older brother he remembers making up bottles of formula for younger siblings and propping the bottles. Trevor’s biological dad did his best to care for and bond with his three sons, but also worked full-time to support the family. Aunt Veronica stepped in when she could. So did the State of Illinois. “As far as I can remember, we were always involved with C.P.S. (Child Protective Services), but we didn’t go into foster care until we were around four, five and six.”
Birth mom Catherine had moved on to an older man, Clark, with whom she had the second half of her six children. All six children lived together under one roof for a brief time-as Trevor recalls, but only three were moved out because of their bruises. The three Clark did not father. Catherine relinquished her parental rights. That day, she told the boys she loved them-that is the only time Trevor remembers Catherine saying those critically important words out loud. Trevor, and his brothers, Steve and Adam were sent to three different foster homes. Once a year or so they’d get to see one another when the caseworker could coordinate a get-together. Trevor missed his brothers terribly.
When asked about his early years Trevor says, “I remember a few things…but most of it’s bad stuff. My mom, she’s still irresponsible. I don’t trust her. To this day, she makes promises she doesn’t keep.”
The RAD diagnosis came when Trevor was 10 years old. After twenty or more foster care, kinship care, group home placements, and hospitalizations he and his older brother finally landed with adoptive dad, David. When Trevor was younger he used to like to lie down with his head in his adoptive dad’s lap and drink out of a bottle or sippy cup and would let his dad stroke his hair. He couldn’t have known it at the time, but he probably did himself a huge favor by allowing that to happen.
Looking back now and recognizing what happened to him, he admits, “The manipulation was huge.” When kids bullied him at school he’d sit for hours and think about how to get them back-usually using violence. Then there was the fire starting and the drugs. Marijuana was his drug of choice, though many were tried. He smoked so much pot that he ended up with MRSA, was coughing up blood and had to go see the doctor. He says he’ll never forget the look on that doctor’s face, “The doctor looked at me like I was a total piece of ****.” He says he quit taking drugs because he needed to get a job. He couldn’t get the job he really wanted because they drug tested potential new employees there.
Through it all he finds himself fortunate. Trevor claims many children have died in foster care in his state and he feels lucky just to be alive.
We wish him the very best of luck and pray that things really are on an upswing for him. They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. If that’s true, this young man must be a behemoth! Be all that you can be, Trevor. The world is in the palm of your hand. Your adult years will be what you make them. Be a force for positive energy!
All names and places have been changed. Smile At Your Baby! would like to thank “Trevor” for allowing us to interview him and for sharing his story.
By Shelley Calissendorff
By Shelley Calissendorff
Jan. 24, 2012
Who’da thunk it? Poot, from HBO’s award-winning series “The Wire,” a role model for fatherhood? As a matter of fact, yes. And a darn good one, too. Just last month, Tray Chaney and a couple of very talented buddies got the idea to make a video about how important being a good dad is to Tray. A few weeks later, it has more than 8,500 hits on YouTube. It’s all over Facebook and Twitter and today I learned some spectacular news. BET (Black Entertainment Television) has agreed to premiere the video, “Fatherhood,” the end of this very month — Jan. 30, to be precise.
I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Tray yesterday over the phone. He at his home in Maryland with his family in the background, and I at my computer in small-town Eastern Washington state. How did we meet? Twitter.
What is Smile At Your Baby!’s current educational method of choice? Text messaging.
How is Tray Chaney educating young fathers about the importance being a good father? Music video.
I read posts and articles by leading early-childhood education experts and psychologists bemoaning the plight of infant mental health. Talking back and forth to each other. Wondering and wishing for answers. How, they wonder, can they reach young, new and soon-to-be parents and educate them on the importance of bonding, of good parenting, of nurturing children in their first three years of life? How can they prevent bullying, teenage pregnancy, dropping out of high school, violent crime, substance abuse and incarceration? They know that prevention is less expensive than rehabilitation. But nobody seems to have an answer on how to reach those parents and to educate them when it’s needed the most.
If Smile At Your Baby! had the resources, we might have created a video with a message similar to Tray’s “Fatherhood” video. Somehow, he on the East Coast and we on the West Coast seemed to be on the same wavelength. Tray did it better than we ever could have. Thank you, Tray Chaney, for what you have created. With any luck, it will serve as a beacon of enlightenment to young fathers everywhere. Fathers who otherwise might have abandoned their children, fathers who might now return to their children, fathers who would have not given a second thought to changing a diaper, giving baby a bath, a hug, a cuddle … an “I love you” to their children.
Communication. The messenger. The way a message sounds and looks and acts — these are the things we who care about children, their families, our communities and our future MUST take into consideration. No matter how well-intended or well-written a message may be, if it doesn’t sound, look or act like a message the young adults in today’s world WANT to receive, they won’t hear it.
Thank you, too, to BET. The decision to air “Fatherhood” is a decision they may well be thanking themselves for making for many years to come.
“Hello? MTV? VH1? Are you listening? You need to be next! You need to make room for a POSITIVE message, NOW.”
It’s no wonder that Tray Chaney adores his son Malachi the way that he does. Tray’s father adored him. And his grandfather adored Tray’s father. The cycle is continuing. It’s the kind of cycle Smile At Your Baby! is tickled pink to see continue!
There is a cycle of parenting we’d sure like to see end, though. And THAT is why Smile At Your Baby! exists. To end the cycle of ignorant, unengaged, thoughtless parenting. The kind of parenting that breeds victims of Reactive Attachment Disorder, schoolyard bullies, violence, crime, mental health disorders and anti-social behavior.
Education and prevention are the answers, and timely, tech-savvy tools are the way to do it.
Tray is eager to get his message out, in person, too. Sponsors are needed to make this possible. Visit http://youtu.be/EJfaDhrM4k4 to view this critically important video. Tray can be contacted via Twitter at @TrayChaney.
“My son is everything to me.” Words I heard multiple times during our conversation. Words that need to come from the mouths of fathers everywhere. Please urge MTV and VH1 to air “Fatherhood,” too. The more fathers that are impacted by this video, the happier those families will be, and in turn those happier families will create healthier communities. Healthier communities mean a brighter future for us all. We are all one on this planet.
Please support Smile At Your Baby! by making it possible for us to educate those who need it most! Donations to Smile At Your Baby! can be made online at www.SmileAtYourBaby.org, or by mailing a check to Smile At Your Baby!, P.O. Box 1517, Pullman, WA 99163
“If infants learn what love is, they can go through life with sanity and happiness.”
– Dr. Herbert Ratner
Did you see 106 and Park on the BET channel Mon. Jan. 30th? No??? Lucky for you, you can see Tray Chaney’s segment right here!
(The hyper link doesn’t seem to be working, you may have to copy and paste the URL into your brower.)
Those of us who were blessed to have a least one parent who held us, smiled at us, read to us, and loved us like crazy are luckier than we probably realize.
More and more, infants are being born to parents who either don’t understand the concept of bonding with their children, or they are unable or unwilling to invest hugs, kisses, playtime and long gazes.
Being a parent is so much more than giving baby a bottle and changing diapers! But, it shouldn’t be intimidating either. It’s actually not overly time consuming or difficult to make bonding with baby a top priority.
Parents must understand that bonding with baby is absolutely critical to their child’s future success! Infants and toddlers who feel unloved, unconnected and who don’t have anyone in their life they know they can trust no-matter-what, often grow into very angry, fearful and untrusting children and adults. These same children are the “bad kids” and bullies at school and might even engage in animal torture. As these children grow into young adulthood their chances of graduating high school are much lower and their odds for teenage pregnancy are higher. Even obesity can be linked to a lack of attachment in those first three critical years. Often undiagnosed, and still angry, fearful and untrusting, as adults they may self medicate with drugs and violent acts may shift from being animal cruelty to domestic violence.
If you are happy, well adjusted and productive, you probably have at least one adult in your life to thank for that. Don’t forget to thank them this week And please, Smile at your baby!