“We are in a perpetual state of being created and creating ourselves.” (Daniel J. Siegel)
As infants, developing our capacity for regulating our emotional states is determined by whether we experience the feeling that our parents/caregivers are simultaneously undergoing an analogous and consonant state of mind.
Research has highlighted the human brain’s plasticity. In order for a child to develop to his/hers full potential, we need to foster the creation of connections inside his/her whole brain which will improve their interpersonal relationships, safeguard their mental health and promote a sense of meaningfulness in their lives. You could picture this process as a form of brain nurturing, invaluable and crucial. Because the words we use (as parents/adults/caregivers) and the actions we take, mold and sculpt children’s brains, as they undergo new experiences.
We now know that the way to help a child develop optimally is to help create connections in her brain- her whole brain- that develop skills that lead to better relationships, better mental health and more meaningful lives. You could call it brain sculpting or brain nourishing or brain building. Whatever phrase you prefer, the point is crucial and thrilling: As a result of the words we use and the actions we take, children’s brains will actually change and be built, as they undergo new experiences.
At the most basic level, secure attachments in both childhood and adulthood are established by two individuals’ sharing a non-verbal focus on the energy flow (emotional states) and a verbal focus on the information-processing aspects of mental life. The matter of the mind matters for secure attachments.
When we begin to know ourselves in an open and self-supportive way, we take the first step to encourage our children to know themselves.