How to “Tune In” to your child

Everyone is probably familiar with the phrase “tune in”. What does this mean really? The definition of the figurative phrase means “to associate oneself with what is happening or one’s surroundings.” 

Attunement is our ability to read & accurately respond to the needs, feelings, interests, strengths, and temperament/personality of our children.

Attuned communication involves:

Attention — noticing — careful observation—what do you see or hear?

Activation of mirror neurons—“connection” to their actions or expressions

Empathy—understanding what child is feeling and experiencing

Responsiveness—showing your understanding in a way that child feels noticed, heard and understood

Another way of putting this might be to say one is “in sync” with another. Simply put, this means being aware of and mindful of the other person you are with. It requires some active listening, some watchful watching. It helps us feel connected.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 3-2.jpg

The following are some non-verbal skills to aid with tuning in: skills that communicate with gestures, body language, facial expressions and tone of voice that “I’m here, I understand, I care about you”

  • Soft/loving eye contact (and looking away when necessary)
  • Shared looking (looking at what your child is looking at)
  • Smiles, nods
  • Emotional gestures and expressions that reflect child’s feelings
  • Open body posture
  • Getting down to eye level
  • Matching energy levels and changing as child changes
  • Sitting nearby
  • Providing full attention (turning off devices, tv, etc)
  • Being approachable
  • Following child’s lead
  • Warmth and affection

Tell us some ways you tune in to your child or partner!



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