Observe the child with peers if possible. When crying or fussiness starts as a result of tiredness or sadness (not as a result of joint interest in a toy), observe the child’s reaction.
If no other infants are present, the adult can pretend to be hurt or sad.
The infant is aware that the situation is making him feel uncomfortable. So he comforts himself. If the person who is upset is near, the infant reaches out to pat him.
Learning to care for others means learning how others feel. Now as children watch facial expressions they begin to experience the associated feelings as well. As a result they may need to self-comfort. Provide the needed comfort with holding or a comfort object. Comment positively on a child’s actions to touch or pat someone who is in distress.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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