steffanie rivers

Steffanie Rivers

*I’m glad Zoey, the 3-month old daughter of Kasandra Perkins and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher will get the financial support she needs from the NFL. That’s one less thing her caretakers have to worry about. But judging from the way her parents died there’s no telling what she already has been exposed to in her short life and how it might affect her future.

Belcher shot Perkins multiple times killing her before he committed suicide by shooting himself. People who knew the couple said they split up at least once in recent months due to prior disagreements.

Most people think infants are oblivious to their surroundings, but psychologists say by the time a baby is 3 months old she has developed a sense of joy, fear, anger and other emotions based on her mother’s temperament and experiences. If the baby has been cuddled and comforted, or left to cry for extended periods of time, that  also could alter her personality.

Raising a self-confident, smart, loving child who respects others has little to do with money. It has everything to do with how much time, attention and guidance  she receives especially in her formative years.

I grew up with a mild stutter, I was told, because my parents used to argue in front of me when I was an infant. Although it’s more pronounced when I’m nervous, it didn’t stop me from becoming a TV reporter and public speaker. If its one thing I learned first hand is that love, support and discipline are important in a child’s life.

In just three months little Zoey has experienced a range of emotions and her mind’s eye probably has seen things most of us don’t realize. I pray that she has the love and support she needs to become the person that would have made her parents proud.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. For comments, questions or to book speaking engagements email her at [email protected].