Name of Activity: Holding Loving Spaces with Attunement and Self Regulation
Date and Venue of Event:
- 9th November : Dr. Kalmadi Shamarao High School, Primary Section, Ketkar Road,
- 10 th November KHS Aundh
Kind of Activity: Indoor activity
Resource Person: Sandy Diaz
Objective of Session:
- To understand the role of attunement and self regulation in parenting
- Presentation by the resource persons
- Interactions with participants
No of Participants
The reflection circle, introducing the resource person, note of thanks and feedback circles were all conducted by the parents.
- Reflection Circle
The MPP session in October 2019 was about mindfulness, gratitude and related practices. At the end of the session, parents were asked to take the challenge and practice mindfulness and gratitude till the MPP camp on 8th December and share their experiences during the camp.
Many of the participants for the session on 9th November had not been able to attend October’s sessions due to the rains. So most of the parents did not have anything to share in the reflection circle.
One parent said that one of her most important takeaway was the quote, “When we operate with love, nothing is difficult. Love is the solution for every problem.”
- Presentations by the resource persons
The session started with meditation and sensing the support of the earth through gounding.
- Recap of the previous sessions: We learnt that we need to focus on what’s going on within us. Not so much on the child. Why?
The following illustrate the responses of parents:
- Because parents are modelling a certain behaviour
- To prolong / relish the loving contact with our child
- So that ‘doing’ comes about naturally
- To be comfortable with ourselves as a parent
- Sensing and attuning
- What does ‘sense of attuning’ mean?
The resource person put forth many questions: How do we, as humans, take care of our feelings? How do we, as children, learn about our feelings? How does a baby who is crying, come to calmness? The answer to all the questions was: Through love, compassion, care and attention of the care giver. We are mammals and are wired to ‘take care’. We know how to attune. We don’t need to learn it. At the physiological level we have mirror neurons, which respond to a situation and it is because of them that we pick up what we see. We can pick up and sense emotionally as well. Children too pick up and sense emotionally from adults, sooth themselves and develop a deep belief system in this process: I am loved; I am safe; I am trusted; I am ok.
After this participants were made to stand in pairs for a small exercise in attunement. One person moved his / her hand and the other followed and visa versa.
Why should there be attunement? What happens when we are not attuned?
According to research in neuroscience, only 30% attunement is needed. Though 100% attunement is not needed, parents need to be attuned.
If we are attuned, our capacity of joy increases. Joy and playfulness is very contagious. Tuning into joy and gratitude creates attunement – a cosy space for everyone through resonance.
If attunement is not there, it reflects in our behaviour.
What do we do if attunement is lost?
Connections will rupture at times but hey can be repaired. If attunement is lost temporarily, we can always start all over again.
- How do we come into self regulation?
The stem of the brain is not only responsible for automatic functions but also for survival instincts. Now a days we don’t face any physical threats (such as earthquakes, attacks). The threats that we face are more emotional threats and threats to our sense of social belonging, which today’s times are survival threats. These threats activate threat response and we want to freeze, fight or run away. At this time, the neo cortex brain, which is responsible for rational thinking and planning, shuts down, no logic reaches our brain and we react emotionally. So it is important to first calm down the brain stem first. Once the brain stem calms down, we start understanding, look for solutions and feel safe.
Physiology can self regulate. It only needs some support.
How do we come into self regulation and regain the sense of safety?
The following recommended to self regulate:
- Proper breathing
- Notice the breath and the emotion
- Bring attention to feet, legs and palms
We can similarly help our children to self regulate
Take aways for parents
- I realized that I am doing what I need to do for my child. But I am not looking at myself.
- I need to focus on attunement and physiology is a great mediator.
- Its important not to react immediately
- I will look at things from a different perspective understanding physiology
- I will teach my daughter grounding to help her to react less
- Its ok to ‘feel’. But its important to think about it.
- It’s important to understand one’s own emotions, grounding, coming back and repairing
- Its important to acknowledge and self-regulate
Outcomes and learnings
The following are the lessons learned stated by parents:
Coming back into attunement is important and is what builds trust
It’s alright to be disconnected at times with ourselves. But is important to re-engage.