Human beings do not come with instruction books. Perhaps they should because the need for an individual’s emotional care begins before birth and, in truth, well before conception. Ideally, all of our needs — for the structure and function of our bodies and the daily flux of interpretations, decisions and interactions with others — would be met. In reality, nourishment, education, self-control, and wisdom are just the beginning of a lifetime of supporting and fine-tuning the human estate. With every challenge, our emotional needs could be neglected or relegated to chance but that does not have to happen. Awareness of and attention to these requirements can enhance our lives at every stage.

In the womb, safety and basic needs are set on automatic though the care and emotional state of the mother (and father) are important in maintaining this balance. Throughout this amazing period, care can be given by practicing grace, understanding, and encouragement through talking or singing, with good thoughts and by actions designed to bring peace and nourishment to each child. This “love” often comes naturally to us and continues after birth — unless it doesn’t.

That’s where instruction books could help, and there are many references and resources that parents often seek out. Generally, we have a high regard for our children. Critical development continues; so should exquisite care and guidance. Showing affection for a child fosters a sense of trust in caregivers and the larger world. Social growth begins here as a child learns to interact with others and form relationships. Emotional development is not only about controlling one’s own emotions but also how a person feels about himself and the world. According the National Academy of Sciences, a child…


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