Child and Child Communicate

Delivery Method: 

As two infants sit across from each other, notice that the boy seems to be calling the girl in some way. He’s excited to see her, so he waves his arms. He’s not necessarily trying to get her to do what he does. Perhaps, like a hand wave, he wants her to know that he recognizes her. His actions may be a precursor to a more formal social greeting. Notice how the boy pauses his action as if waiting for the girl to respond by doing something. The girl replies by waving her arms. Her arm waving is imitative. As the infants exchange another round of arm waves, the girl leans forward and makes a little noise (01:18) as if to say, “I’m with you. We’re doing the same thing. We’re together.” Their interaction is social, and the level of hand movements shows they are excited. The attractiveness of the light moving on the carpet captures the interest of the girl. The infants fall out of sync, as the boy works to regain the attention of the girl by repeatedly waving his arms (00:34), and then later the girl works to engage the boy (00:59). Why do you think the boy waves his arms but does not make a sound? Could this behavior be the origin of the greeting? In what ways might you help the infants’ ritualized banging become a wave?

Keywords: Infants, Child-Child, Body, Gestures, Communication, Attention
Length of video: 1 minute 16 seconds