Parenting Guide

Parenting Guide

Nurturing Attachment and Synchrony

It’s All About Healthy Bonds and Healthy Brains

“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”


  • What is Attachment?

    Attachment is a deep, enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space. In a parent, attachment is an urge to protect and nurture. In a child, attachment is a physiological, emotional, cognitive, and social phenomenon. It is critical to a child’s survival. For a parent and child, attachment can begin…

  • Synchrony: An Essential Building Block of Attachment

    Synchrony is the process through which the parent’s physical and mental systems become coordinated with those of the infant. It is like learning to dance with your child. In the beginning, the parent adapts to the infant’s states through repeated closely matched exchanges that include affectionate touch, eye contact, special words, songs, and vocalizations, as…

  • The Importance of Touch and Gaze

    • Your child’s first language is touch. It is through nurturing, affectionate touch that your child feels soothed, protected, and loved. You communicate volumes in how you hold and handle your child—and the power of touch continues as your child grows. • Remember that when you gaze into your child’s eyes, you are promoting the…

  • Activities to Enhance Attachment and Synchrony

    An easy way to practice synchrony with your child is through turn-taking activities. It’s easy. Here are some ideas: • Reflect back. When you are interacting with your child, respond to her action with your own action that reflects her inner feelings. For instance, if she widens her eyes and smiles at you after you…

  • Resources for Further Reading

    Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss: Volume 1. New York, NY: Basic Books. Cohen, L. J. (2002). Playful parenting. New York, NY: Ballantine Books. Feldman, R. (2012, June 14). Bio-behavioral synchrony: A model for integrating biological and microsocial behavioral processes in the study of parenting. Parenting: Science and practice, 12(2-3). Gold, C. M. (2011). Keeping…

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