Parenting in context

Koa Whittingham

Epstein׳s (2012) paper posed the following question: “how should a parent respond to a crying baby?” Although Epstein׳s (2012) behavioral account of infant crying is excellent, I also find it to be incomplete. Building on this, I present my own contextual account of infant crying and parental caregiving, propose an early developmental pathway to psychological flexibility, and provide my own answer to Epstein׳s (2012) question. Further, I call for an end to piecemeal behavioral accounts of infant behavior. In order to develop a truly contextual understanding of a particular infant behavior and give appropriate advice on parental responses, we need to look beyond the behavior, beyond the child, and beyond infancy.

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