It has been known for many decades now just how important attachment is for the building of a healthy stress regulation system. Children who have secure attachments will be more emotionally resilient, be more able to make positive relationships, more able to develop empathy and more able to recover from life’s challenges and difficulties.
Positive attachments are inextricably linked to healthy brain development. It is through the repeated experiences of a baby’s stress being calmed by a loving, consistent and reliable adult that ensures the development of strong neuronal pathways from the limbic system up into the frontal lobes thus creating good fronto-limbic functioning. This leads to children who can experience a strong feeling, manage it and return to emotional equilibrium quickly.
Research has shown that children who experience regular empathic listening from their parents are better able to learn, to use life well, to concentrate, to enjoy relationships and to be kind to others.
Thrive draws on the neuroscience research, attachment and its child development model to train workers to understand children’s emotional needs through observation of their behaviour. At all points in the approach, workers are supported to make conscious use of their relationship with children to attune to them, validate their affect state, provide emotional containment and regulate their stress levels. By repeating this experience for the young people in their care, workers will be ensuring that healthy stress regulation pathways are being built in children’s brains. This, in turn will result in children learning how to self regulate.