What does success look like from a baby’s point of view?

What do researchers know about neurobiology and how should that impact parenting practices?

These are two of the questions that are addressed in a TED talk given by Developmental Psychologist Terrie Rose in 2010. Dr. Rose emphasizes the importance of ordinary day-to-day interactions between infants and their caregivers and stresses that paying attention to babies’ cues and signals is the key to healthy development.

According to Rose, synapses and connections in the brain that lay the foundation for growth and development are formed as a result of the early experiences of babies. In other words, babies’ every day experiences are directly connected to the formation of the architecture of their brains.

Babies learn through play and exploration, and when they have a safe and reliable base of a consistent, responsive caregiver, babies are learning to form healthy relationships and to regulate their emotions. When caregivers respond to babies’ indications of needs and desires, their social emotional development is supported and nurtured.

Dr. Rose explains how cortisol (our fight or flight response) is released in children’s brains when they feel frightened and stressed. Children who during their first year of life have received consistent, reliable, responsive care and are securely attached to their primary caregiver have less cortisol released in their brains than children who have experienced inconsistent, unreliable care during the important first year of brain formation.

This TED talk highlights the importance of intervening early in the lives of children who experience Toxic Stress, the triple whammy of poverty, neglect and trauma without supportive mechanisms in place to offer comfort, support and the building up of resilience. However, all parents of infants and young children need to know the information Dr. Rose presents in her speech if only to highlight the importance of developing healthy, responsive relationships early in life, leading to vibrant social emotional development and cognitive gains later in life.

If you recognize that you and your child need additional support and encouragement in the area of social emotional development and responsive interaction, please reach out for assistance.  Use the Need Help tab above and fill out the contact form to receive personalized assistance or talk to your pediatrician or trusted friend.  Do not be afraid to ask for help.

Click on the link below to watch Dr. Rose’s 18 minute speech.

Terrie Rose TEDxTC