It’s the American holiday called Mother’s Day, a time to let Mom know how much we appreciate all the little things she does to help us reach our potential. We’ll start with the reminder that “Mom” upside-down is “Wow.”
Of course, as much fun as Mom is, she also helps us in some pretty serious ways. (Keep your shirt on, Dad, we realize parenting isn’t all about Mom. But we’ll get to you next month.) In any case, maybe the following video will make a point about just how crucial that parent-child bond is to a child’s lifelong mental health:
Attachment is the primary process through which children develop self regulation. Unfortunately, as much as researchers know about the importance of secure attachment, many parents don’t know how to achieve it. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be all that complicated.
As you’ll hear in the following video, “we are basically genetically programmed to seek a secure relationship with a caregiver.”
However, with our hectic lives and scattered extended families, we are steeped in a society that may be more “child illiterate” than ever before. Many parents have no clue about what children need most.
“Events that occur during infancy,” says this next video, “especially transactions with the social environment–much more than with the physical environment–are indelibly imprinted in the structures that are developing in the first year of life.”
“We know more about children and development than anytime in history,” say researchers. “And yet, there is a huge gap between what is known and what is practiced in the culture.”
This might be a good time to point out that no one is expecting mom to be perfect. Even when we try our best to practice what is known, we’re going to fall a bit short some of the time. Maybe even a lot of the time. Fortunately, UCLA Neuroscientist Dan Siegel has some positive perspective:
Children pick up on our positive intentions, even when we fall short, says Siegel. (Whew!) That’s a relief to this less-than-perfect mother.
Here’s to a happy Mother’s Day, moms. Wow.