Social Maturity & Infants

My wife and I are the types that really, really love our son, but we definitely remember what life was like before having an infant. Infants are needy.

At 6 months old, our son is exploring the world around him. He wants to grab everything, touch everything, taste everything. He notices that things around him exist. All of that stops when his needs aren’t being met. Whether he’s hungry, tired, has gas, or has an itch on his foot (we can’t tell what he needs all the time!), he lets us know that something is wrong by crying. There’s nothing wrong with our son letting us know that something isn’t right – but what he never notices are the needs of others around him.

I believe that beginning signs of social maturity are noticing the needs of others around us, then moving to help meet those needs. Taken a step further, real social maturity begins to set in when we realize that our actions (an in-actions) affect not only ourselves, but the world around us.

Right now I’m in the observation stage. What can we do as parents to help our children mature socially? What is our part in helping them realize how their actions affect the world around them?

I’d love to hear from some of you seasoned veterans out there…

Thanks to Simple Insomnia for the photo above.

One Reply to “Social Maturity & Infants”

  1. I enjoyed reading this, Jason. In a graduate program for future therapists that requires us to dive back into our stories and go to places in our past that we haven't been in awhile… sometimes we feel like your son. It's a weird experience to be a fully functioning adult, completely aware that you have all these needs going unmet, but feeling like an infant and incapable of getting them met on our own. Maybe the answer lies in what you said: realizing that our actions affect the world around us. What would happen if we all made a conscious effort to notice the needs of those around us, and made even one small effort to meet them? Thanks for writing!

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