I’m often asked why do babies and toddlers need a psychologist. Aren’t they too young? On the contrary, often times young children have developmental needs that respond to early intervention and other times young children are placed at risk for emotional difficulties because of troubles that their mother and father are experiencing. Why?
Because relationships matter most to young children.
The field of Infant and Preschool Mental Health focuses on early intervention and the prevention of future emotional difficulties by looking at the child in the context of his or her environment and relationships with his or her caregiver. Parents sometimes do not understand the importance of the things that they do naturally when their infant is young: Looking at her in her eyes, talking to her, keeping her close, encouraging her to play, labeling her feelings before she can speak etc… All of these seemingly trivial behaviors has a profound impact on the young child’s brain development.
So when a parent is experiencing depression or anxiety, is having trouble adjusting to his or her role as a parent or is struggling to handle their own previous negative life experiences, the relationship is at risk-and by default, the young child’s development is also at risk.
To prevent any difficulties, consider having a “check-up” for your young child’s emotional health. Dr. Rhodes will look at your child’s development as well as your relationship and make recommendations to help you and your child continue on the path of healthy development. To make an appointment contact Dr. Rhodes.
Please note that this post is for informational purposes only and does not replace the need for a consultation or intervention with a professional regarding your individual circumstances.