SHOW UP AND PROVE IT
This is an excerpt from Zero to One by Kristen Ivy
You love your kid. You might even be surprised by how deeply you love her. In fact, there is a good chance this past year redefined how you think about love entirely. But if you want your child to grow up knowing you love her, you will have to prove it over time. Every kid needs adults who love them in a way that convinces them they are worth something. And the way you consistently prove love over time will give your child a healthy sense of worth. One way to prove your love is to show up.
It’s hard not to show up—especially when your baby is utterly dependent on you just to eat, sleep, and stay reasonably clean. Besides, if you don’t show up fast enough, your baby’s built-in alarm system may activate and alert the entire neighborhood.
Don’t underestimate the significance of your physical presence. It’s more than just de-activating their crying. Even though your three-month-old may not say “thank you” or make you a special card to celebrate your efforts, the attention you give now is making physiological and a psychological difference that will impact her future.
Brain research shows the more consistently a baby receives loving support—especially during times of stress—the larger and more developed the social portion of a baby’s brain becomes. Psychological studies show that the more consistently a parent shows up and responds to their baby, the more trusting the child will be in later phases. Spiritual development suggests that establishing trust in early years lays a foundation for later faith.
Simply put: You cannot give your baby too much love. So keep showing up. You are giving your baby the love they need every time you . . .
»» smile and make eye contact.
»» touch your nose to their nose.
»» make silly faces.
»» wiggle their toes.
»» imitate their babbles.
»» sing a lullaby.
»» give them a shoulder to sleep on.
»» pick them up when they cry.
»» show up to let them know you care.