Over the last few months I took a developmental psychology class online.
I have always been so fascinated by the effect that an intentional mother can have on her children, and decided to get to work doing a little research as to how attachment in infants and toddlers affects their development.
In my class I learned all about the famous developmental psychologists from Freud and his eros vs. tantos unconscious desires to John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth (my favorites) and their theories about how the quality of attachment in life begins from infancy.
Studies upon studies show that caregiving systems (families) dramatically influence the development and emotional well-being of children.
To me this reaffirms the the beauty of ‘BEING THERE” for our children, emotionally, physically, mentally.
Mothers are incredibly powerful. (Sometimes I need a good reminder of that when I’m feeling invisible…does anyone else feel that way sometimes??)
Oh, I have lots more to say about that attachment theory at some point, but for now I just want to talk about one of my favorite take-aways from the class:
I LOVED the theory of the “welcoming response.”
My class talked about how important a positive “welcoming response” is for children: for caregivers (usually a mother) to light up when their child comes into a room.
This led me to think about how my own personal “welcoming response” is going. I mean, if a welcoming response is that important for the development of a baby, it is probably pretty darn important for a teenager as well, right? And what about for a husband? Gosh, that welcoming response can change the tune of a whole day. (I will add here that Bo Jangles is particularly talented at the “welcoming response,”…sometimes I think she just may spontaneously combust she is so over-the-moon excited when we walk in the door!).
Anyway, all this made me think I should probably bump my “welcoming responses” up a notch or two. Sometimes when my kids walk in the door I am so busy doing x. y. or z that I neglect to light up to show them how awesome it is to have them around. That they matter. That they are important.
I love this picture of Claire exhibiting the perfect welcome response:
Of course, we may not all be able to be quite as exuberant as Claire is all the time (or Bo Jangles for that matter), but I have made a more conscious effort to welcome these people I cherish more than anything else in the world appropriately when they walk into the space where I am. And I think I really like where it’s taking us.
Just some random thoughts for a Tuesday.