"The law of love could be best understood and learned through little children"
~ Mahatma Gandhi
With Valentines Day in February we put a lot of
attention on relationships and love.
The symbol we associate with this day is the heart. But, most people do not realize how
much the brain has to do with relationships and the love we experience in our
lives. Additionally, only a small
number of people realize the
impact the first 18 months plays on the love of self and others.
Scientific research demonstrates that a child's early development is
determined by his daily environment and experiences, rather than genetics
alone. Through this research we know the brain will then adapt to a negative
environment just as easily as it can adapt to repeated positive experiences.
Love is one of our primary needs. Our survival depends on our
attachment to a caregiver. Warm, responsive caregiving not only meets an infant's
basic, day-to-day needs for nourishment and warmth, but also responds to the
child's preferences, moods and rhythms. Recent research suggests that this kind
of consistent caregiving is not only comforting for an infant, it plays a vital
role in optimal mental health. The way that parents, families and other caregivers
relate and respond to young children, directly affects the formation of the
brain's neural pathways. Dr. Harry Harlow demonstrated this in a dramatic way with his
famous experiment with monkeys. View a video on this research here.
This does not end in childhood. As adults
these early experience create our expectations for relationships. Those of you
that are signed up to receive my blog may have read the post titled, Providing Predictability and Love.
The impact this can make is the primary reason I started
braininsights, and my favorite packet in The Brain Development Series is, Love Your Baby. Due to this I am offering a way to spread the love even further
this month! You can purchase, Love Your Baby at a 50% discount with the coupon code LOVE. This way you
can purchase one and give another to a program or individual at the regular price of one packet!
For further information on learning about relationships and the brain:
Learning from Interactions Right from Birth - Imitation 10 minutes old
Oxytocin- The Brain's Love Hormone
Happy Parents, Happy Kids
Social Cues Learned Early