Your child can feel Nothing is more important than providing for your child’s development in a happy & healthy environment. Love’s expressions and the rest of the world are introduced to your baby the first time your eyes meet and continue through every experience after it. Your smile and warm embrace signals their security from which to grow and thrive. And like the conductor of a train, you’re in control of your little one’s journey, thoughtfully, lovingly maneuvering every turn.
Good night’s sleep
It was only last year when it was discovered that being stressed just after birth can affect our sleep all the way to adulthood. Epigenetics demonstrates that environment is everything with respect to how our brains develop and how cells express themselves in health or disease from birth throughout life. Lots of love and positive energy, manifested through all its forms and various ways of doing family, is the key to a healthy, balanced child and happy maturity. Conversely, negativity and volatile surroundings are equally influential. As a family lawyer, and divorced mom, I appreciate the impact of the lifestyles that children both witness and experience as a result of their parent’s choices. Both positive and negative. But even if families become fragmented as a result of divorce, a child can grow beautifully. Parents must make thoughtful decisions about their care.
The “best interest” standard routinely used when considering children’s needs in court suddenly takes on new meaning for parents and caretakers. For divorcing parents with kids under the age of three, we realize that standard periods of visitation and access for the non-custodial parent may not be workable under certain circumstances. So, a court may order phased periods of visitation. This offers a way to protect stability and monitor influences up until age five. That said, if you’re the one with the majority of time with your child, you get to make the most of your child’s development.
Here are a few tips for doing just that…
• How can you best support and encourage your baby’s next best impression of the world? Can you include a variety of indoor and outdoor activities that create colorful experiences to see, touch and smell?
• What more can you do to make your lifestyle safe, predictable and satisfying? Your child can feel even the slightest change in your mood. Are you taking care of yourself, too, and doing things that create joy and make you feel happy?
• Is your home and day care full of benevolent caretakers? How will you know?
• Even if you’re in a stressful child related legal proceeding, it’s important that you consider how you and your spouse are showing up through the eyes of your child. What is being seen and experienced? Are you careful to keep animosity and disagreements out of their field of influence?
Of course we cannot monitor every second of experiences for our children. But, the hours we do have together need belly laughs, giggles and wiggles. And if your baby could speak, I’d bet you’d hear: “Your smile matters the most.”
Thorp, JR (2020). How Does Stress Affect Your Body? The Latest Research Shows It Can Vary, referencing Stress & sleep: A relationship lasting a lifetime. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.08.024