LIFESTYLE NEWS - Dr Natalie Solomon, Clinical Psychologist and Director of Research at Bellavista S.H.A.R.E added that the way we respond to these challenges is through resilience. She tells us more about the impact of parental attunement and attachment on developing childhood resilience.
Resilience, simply understood is the capacity to engage with and respond to the experiences and challenges of life with flexibility, competence, and efficacy.
Research has found that there is no single best way to cope with difficulties. Being able to adapt to a specific challenge is in fact the skill.
The attachment relationship programmes us to seek proximity to caretakers. Through this relationship we develop an internal schema of the self with the other, this is called an “internal working model”. Secure attachment is the strongest inoculator against future trauma.
When our children learn that calls for help are answered and solutions to problems exist, we create neural circuits that stabilise around a trustworthy sense of competence and mastery. This becomes the brains first template of resilience and serves as a lifelong buffer from stress and trauma.
Through parental attunement, we develop the child’s ability to calm down their nervous system, and in time remain calm and level-headed in a crisis. Through parenting, we teach our children to reflect on and make sense of experience, and as such maintain clarity during times of stress. The attachment relationship teaches children to establish trust in relationships with others and promotes the capacity to connect with resources both internal and external. Attuned parenting develops a sense of competence through experience, that one can draw on in times of stress and trauma.
Parenting for resilience involves qualities that both protect the child’s developing brain and stimulate brain growth. Attuned parenting sculpts the child’s brain for emotional resilience. It develops the child’s capacity to trust and to sustain positive relationships.
The words of Diana Fosha ring true as she notes “the roots of resilience are to be found in the felt sense of existing in the heart and mind of an empathic, attuned, self-possessed other”.
Details: Visit www.bellavista.org.za