We can be attuned to nature, focusing in on the way the breeze brushes the upper limbs of the trees surrounding a glimmering pond at the beginning of spring. We can attune to surf, crashing waves at the beach or a barren hillside strewn with frost covered stones soaking in the mystery of time & the magic of the being in nature & attuning to its important embrace is crucial for our well-being.

Dan Siegel

Attunement is the ways we take in the internal worlds of others & allow them to shape who we are in that moment; how we focus our attention on others & take their essence into our own inner world. The physical side of interpersonal attunement involves the perceptions of signals from your/the child that reveal their internal world. We need to notice not only the/your child’s words but also their non-verbal patterns of energy &information flow. These signals are ‘right hemisphere’ sent & received elements of eye contact, facial expressions, and tone of voice, posture, gesture, and the timing & intensity of response.

Often a child may say they are happy but their facial expression may say they are sad. To be attuned…be curious, say what you see after accepting what has been said i.e. “I am so glad you are happy, it’s lovely you are happy, you’re really happy eh? But why do your eyes look so sad?” The subjective side of attunement is the authentic sense of connection, of seeing the/your child deeply, of taking in the essence of them in that moment. When the/your child senses our attunement with them, they experience “feeling felt” by us.

Attunement sounds simple. Yet so often we can become transfixed by our own internal notions of what should be, rather than remaining open to what is. In other words, our own preoccupations can limit how we truly take in another.

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