Aligned and Attuned
Over the course of the day we all pulse through the various emotional states that comprise the rhythm of our life. We are continuously moving through alternating states of arousal, dysregulation, and regulation. We are working towards a place of balance. Often, we think of balance as a space in which we feel calm and serene. Rather, it is a place in which you are conscious of your emotions and are empowered to express them. Alignment occurs when you feel safe enough in your own skin to let who you truly are shine. Nurturing a sense of self-regulation in children sets the stage for an authentic life in which one can feel attuned to inner feeling states.
It is impossible to feel singularly serene and never deviate into dysregulation. Rather, we want to decrease the amount of time spent in dysregulation and regulation and have an abundance of time in alignment and attunement.
This is accomplished through attuned parenting and the modeling of self-regulation strategies.
Use it or Lose it
The process of learning, from a neurobiological standpoint, is a process of building, strengthening, and pruning neural connections. Once a neural pathway has been established it is called a synapse. It is these neural connections that enable alignment in the brain.
Brain development in infants begins with a minimal amount of neural connections. An infant has no independent self-regulation strategies but rather relies on a caregiver to learn these skills. Within the first year of life, as a baby gains experiences, neural connections begin forming rapidly. Infant brain development is booming with the blossoming of neural pathways. For brain development in children, these pathways resemble a mass of tangled roots. It is in the second and third year of life that these roots are pruned and organized. The neural pathways that stay in place are the ones most frequently used. If a connection is no longer actively utilized, it is pruned away; our brain employs a use it or lose it strategy.
Babies depend upon their caregivers to cope. The baby-caregiver bond is the primary means for self-regulation in children. This intimate connection also acts as the foundation for future learning and the development of self-regulation strategies. A baby borrows the parasympathetic nervous system of his or her caregiver to regulate. It is in moments of attunement that a baby will learn how to reg...
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