Scientific psychological studies confirm what parents know instinctively: that the mother's eye contact and facial mimics are important when it comes to the development of her childrens' empathy, communication and feeling of security. One important example is mothers with post-partum depression. Depressed mothers tend to have less eye contact and a less lively facial mimic, and the result can be delayed or even dysfunctional development in the child, emotionally and socially.
Children need eye contact and to be able to study the mother's facial expressions for many reasons. Among them are:
1) The child learns to read and understand the emotions of others (empathy).
2) He or she learns about non-verbal communication (which is necessary for developing social skills).
3) They can see on their mother's face if they are loved and safe, and if a situation is dangerous or not (which is necessary for the child's basic feeling of security).