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SYNCHRONICITY AND ATTUNEMENT

  • 1.  SYNCHRONICITY AND ATTUNEMENT

    Posted 14 days ago

    Synchronicity and attunement are two similar words currently being used in child development research. Synchronicity has been used to described being in touch with a person's readiness to add to their knowledge, and attunement describes being in touch with a person's, especially an infant's, immediate needs. Not being in touch with an infant's needs including readiness to learn has been called invasive by one research team.

    Researchers found that synchronistic mothers of infants had developed the regulation of emotion and impulsivity in their child by the age of three when mothers with behaviors called invasive had not. The regulation of emotion and impulsivity is crucial for the successful development of social skills. That means early childhood educators must pay attention to this information.

    For example, consider teaching a child to wait in a line to go somewhere. The first issues needs to be questioning if they are ready to do this. We can assume they are not ready if they are pushing others or getting out of line, or otherwise resistant to the task. Brain science has taught us that what the child hasn't learned is the problem, not that he is being obstinate. 

    The next question is what is the child ready to learn that will led to knowing how to stand in line? For me, the answer to the question is delayed gratification. In terms of a famous experiment, the child needs to have more pleasure emotions of anticipation of the second marshmallow if she can wait ten minutes than the pleasure emotions she has for eating the marshmallow right away. There are terrible consequences in adulthood for children who don't learn this task.

    The example can go many ways at this point, but a simple and convenient one is to make standing in line a brief experience that is easily successful and rewarded when accomplished. This may mean that short lines, even with just two or three children, might be used for practice. If this approach discovers what the child is read to learn, we have been synchronistic and attuned. When we succeed at this task, we have been significantly helpful with the progress of a child's life.

     



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    Jack Wright
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT
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  • 2.  RE: SYNCHRONICITY AND ATTUNEMENT

    Posted 14 days ago
    Thank you for this, it's amazing how deep even the words "synchronicity"
    and "attunement" are when thinking about small children.

    Both also can be used as a lens when thinking of how we work as a
    staff team, and also in our relationships with colleagues and parents.

    Can you suggest any further reading on this, both on definitions of these
    concepts with regards infant/toddler/preschooler relationships and learning,
    and also how to build our own capacity to embody these?

    Best wishes,

    Anna Stacey Sherman
    Early Years Practitioner
    Bristol, England

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    Anna Sherman
    Student
    Open University
    Bristol
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  • 3.  RE: SYNCHRONICITY AND ATTUNEMENT

    Posted 12 days ago

    Anna, thank you for your response to my post on synchronisity and attunement. You seem to clearly understand its importance for having effective relationships with children and adults. I don't know of any book that would help you develop these ideas. I have gained this information reading research, especially some found in Developmental Psychology. I'm seeing these words more and more in research. My favorite article presented that the children of "synchronous" mothers had developed the regulation of emotion and impulsivity by the age of three, and that the children of "invasive" mothers had not.  The "invasive" behaviors were the mothers trying to force their infant's attention to a bright object when the "synchronous" mothers waited for the infant to notice it and then reinforced the attention to the object. I'm hoping that there will be some discussion of this post in order to further clarity this important information.



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    Jack Wright
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT
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  • 4.  RE: SYNCHRONICITY AND ATTUNEMENT

    Posted 11 days ago
    Hi Anna and Jack,
    I appreciate your posing these important ideas and questions about synchronicity and attunement in the early childhood years. Attunement and synchronicity are concepts that we are familiar with in ECE, perhaps by different names such as intentionality and mindfulness as they pertains to our interactions with others. A book that inspired me to think about and adjust how I tune-in to children and their readiness for experiences that I can facilitate is Powerful Interactions by Laura Dombro, Judy Jablon and Charlotte Stetson. The authors guide us to be present, intentionally connect and extend learning during our everyday interactions with young children.

    Thank you you so much for your post.

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    Gina Medrano
    Lihue HI
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  • 5.  RE: SYNCHRONICITY AND ATTUNEMENT

    Posted 10 days ago
    Gina, thanks for the reference to what looks like a helpful book regarding our relationship to children that is a core of effective education. Your comparison of attunement to other factors of attention was also helpful. I didn't agree about comparing synchronicity to these other factors. Synchronicity is about finding Vygotsky's  zone of proximal development or Dewey's growing edge. In my experience many educators, early and others, don't seem to understand this issue and attempt to teach things that end up being splinter skills that don't generalize, aren't flexible enough to work for new demands for understanding.

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    Jack Wright
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT
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  • 6.  RE: SYNCHRONICITY AND ATTUNEMENT

    Posted 4 days ago
    Hello,  I am really appreciating this discussion and the awareness of others--especially young children as it is really more essential in my opinion--as we strive for synchronicity and attunement.   These are so fundamental to our building relationships that can support development, growth, and learning.

    I have one other element that I would like to toss into the mix.  This is based on my opportunities to observe and interact with teachers and children in other countries.  I believe there is a third leg to these processes.  I propose that we consider expectations, both personal and cultural, as part of this outreaching and understanding of those we interact with.  However, I am cautious to realize that expectation divorced from both other elements becomes disfunctional.  In the reverse, I believe that all the interactional elements need to be present and functioning for best possible outcomes and relationships.  I would love to hear how this idea settles in your thinking.

    Cary

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    [Cary [Larson-McKay, PhD]
    [Past President, California AEYC]
    [Consultant, Wonder Strength]
    [Morro Bay] [CA]
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  • 7.  RE: SYNCHRONICITY AND ATTUNEMENT

    Posted 3 days ago
    Cary, thank you for adding to our discussion. Expectation adds a nice element. I think of expectation as important to paying attention and a core issue of mindset. A growth mindset leads to expecting mistakes, including disruptive behaviors, to be seen as education. We are dealing with some big ideas here, and for me that means that we will learn more by discussing them.

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    Jack Wright
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT
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  • 8.  RE: SYNCHRONICITY AND ATTUNEMENT

    Posted 21 hours ago
    We discuss the concepts of Synchronicity and Attunement in leadership courses with adults, particularly related to Emotional Intelligence. I am excited to explore a parallel application with young children. My understanding is that it involves keeping an open mind, open heart, and open will. It requires us to pause and become aware of our expectations and intentions before acting. I believe it is a key to changing our behavior from reaction to thoughtful interaction. However, it is easier said than done. It seems a critical element is giving ourselves permission to take time for that "reflective pause".

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    Linda Boss
    Instructor
    University of WI - Platteville
    Lewistown PA
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  • 9.  RE: SYNCHRONICITY AND ATTUNEMENT

    Posted 20 hours ago
    Linda, yes, bring that adult training to our relationship with children. Thank you for your great response to our discussion. I glad you also recognized how hard attunement and synchronicity is to do. We need to use this thinking with ourselves. Understanding breeds patience.

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    Jack Wright
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT
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