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Behaviour is an element of inborn traits and socialisation factors; at birth, an infant behaviour is influenced by hereditary factors from its parents. As the child grows, some behaviour are developed and reinforced by beliefs, culture, and societal norms practiced in the community the child lives. Reinforcements of behaviour can be positive or negative; when positive, certain behaviour is encouraged whereas when negative, certain behaviours are discouraged. The result of inborn traits and socialisation reinforcements results to one’s behaviour (Robertson, 2010). This paper traces the origin of cognitive behaviour and one social-emotional-behaviour from infancy to pre-natal stage; it will use attitude and emotions as examples of cognitive and social-emotional-behaviour respectively.


Attitude is an enduring perception that a person has regarding certain things. At birth, a child is objective to the world around him, as he develops to prenatal stage, he gets a chance to listen, see and touch those things that surround him. At the toddler age, he has the power to listen, recognise touches and can read and understand different moods of the parents. What he is introduced to shapes the attitude he will develop toward such a thing. For example, in most case, when parents want to stop breast feeding their children, they create a feeling that breast milk in not good and the child develops such a feeling, at extreme case parents may have pepper on the breast to have the child get the bitterness. The result is a negative attitude for breast milk. As children grow, they want to be emotionally attached to their parents; skin contacts communicate and give confidence and high self-esteem to toddlers.

If positive cognitive behaviours are reinforced where the child is shown how to respect those people around him, then such traits are likely to follow and form part of his behaviour to adulthood.


At birth a child, have some traits that he inherits from the parents; every family have some factors that are deep in their system and they have little they can do to them. A child from such a family is likely to have the same traits. For example, there are families that are emotional and cry fast while come families hardly cry. As the child breast-feed and grows to prenatal stage, there is skin contact with the mother and this creates a repo and emotional attachments; at this stage the child gets emotionally attached to people around him and wants to spend time with them. Father is encouraged to ensure that at early ages they have skin contacts to develop emotional attachments with their children. Psychologists recommend that father should hold their children with a bare chest so as they can create needed attachment.

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The emotional attachment developed determines the “role model” or the person whom the child will follow for guidance and whom the child will consider right. With the emotional attachment, the child is likely to take up behaviour of the person whom he is emotionally connected. For example, id the child is attached to the mother, he is likely to have repellence behaviour to the father at young age and probably the same will follow the child to adulthood. For morally upright child both parents should ensure they create emotional attachment to their children (Jansen, 2007).


At birth, the behaviour of children is influenced by inborn traits inherited from their parents. Between infancy and prenatal stage, child’s behaviour is shaped by values, believes, culture and attitudes of the people around, mostly care givers. Socialisation has an effect on children emotions and attitude.


Jansen, G.

(2007). Child Development: Its nature and course. New York: McGraw- Hill Hayes. Robertson, D. (2010). The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy: Stoicism as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy. London: Karnac.

Categories: Emotions


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