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 reveal the Lovie, give a big smile and coo, “There it is! You’re happy to see it!” Remember that synchrony is not merely imitation, so don’t just mimic your child’s actions. Show, through your expressions and actions, that you are reflecting her inner experience.
• Play peek-a-boo. Games like peek-a-boo, hide-and- seek, and tag all play with the idea of closeness and distance. Peek-a-boo is especially beneficial with infants and toddlers. It reflects the delicate balance of connection, loss of connection, and reconnection. Play peek-a-boo with the Lovie… “Now you see me, now you don’t, now I am back again.”
• Listen to music together. Watch how your child responds to the music, and dance together simply by copying each other’s movements while saying, “my turn,” “your turn.”
• Read to your child. It’s never too early to begin enjoying simple picture books with your child. Point at the pictures and talk about them. Watch and follow what interests her. That may mean slowing down, skipping pages, or repeating the same book many times.
Any way of reading together in these early stages is effective when there’s warmth and mutual reflection between you. When your child is older, take turns turning the pages and commenting on each picture or describing each page.
Attachment isn’t just about being physically near one another. Healthy attachments start by being in the moment during your interactions. So take these moments with your child to have fun, laugh, cuddle, and learn together!