Smiling when a baby smiles
Serve and Return Interactions: The brain is built by an interactive process known as serve and return because it’s very much like a game of tennis or volleyball. A child begins a gesture or sound – the “serve” – and you respond with the “return”. A baby smiles at you and you smile back. You gurgle and he gurgles back. A toddler pulls at your leg for attention and you bend down to reassure her. When parents or other caregivers respond sensitively, a child is surrounded by positive serve and return exchanges – are the building blocks for a healthy brain.
Parental engagement with children in such activities as reading to them, playing games with them, or simply talking and laughing with them has positive effects on their development.
Source: Apple Magazine Fall 2012 Issue 8 published by Alberta Health Services, pages 14 & 17