Social Referencing

Your baby is showing a huge cognitive leap when she begins to respond differently to strangers than familiar people. She may seem more serious, or less relaxed with strangers; maybe even show very apparent discomfort. She’ll be looking to you for emotional signals to know if something is safe or not. This is what psychologists refer to as social referencing.

Throughout this time, your baby will look to you for reassurance in confusing or unfamiliar situations. For example, when an unfamiliar person approaches, your baby may cling very tightly until she sees your kind, relaxed interaction with the stranger. Another area social referencing plays a huge role in, is when dropping off your child at daycare. He will pick up on your fears and become upset. During this time, be reassuring, comforting and patient, while he develops a sense of trust and understanding for his environment and unfamiliar guests.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *