“Each of us has a spark of life inside us, and our highest endeavor ought to be to set off that spark in one another.” Kenny Ausubel

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Did you know that early social interactions, and how children are coached through sharing and discord, can set their trajectory for healthy friendships?

Here are some things experts have found to be true:

  • Parental sensitivity (i.e., appropriate reciprocal social exchange), mutuality, synchrony, stimulation, positive attitude, and emotional support are related to secure attachment.*

What do those terms mean and how can you practice this?

Mutuality = sharing. Mutuality focuses on how you are the same, what you have in common, and the things and experiences you can share. Emphasizing mutuality helps a child feel safe and not alone.

Synchrony = connecting and reacting. Synchrony starts from a child’s very first days as you spend time gazing into one another’s eyes, making and mimicking facial expressions. This makes a child feel connected to you.

Stimulation = capturing interest. Go beyond providing your child with stimulating or “active play” toys… be involved in their active play through peek-a-boo, pretend, hide-and-seek, and more!

Positive Attitude = cheerful problem solving. Whether your baby is frustrated with physical limitations or your toddler is frustrated with their lack of vocabulary, as your developing child encounters frustrations you can be a cheerleader and model positive problem solving!

Emotional Support = allow feelings. Prompt your child to use “feelings” language to describe their state of emotions! Model this by describing your own moods and reactions.