CONNECTING THROUGH EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES

Doing an activity together is not the same as feeling connected. 

In this series, the Nurture Science Program provides a new perspective on what are frequently called “joint attention activities.” Joint attention is an important marker of social and cognitive development. But when we start from a place of emotional connection, we’re helping kids get into an optimal state for learning, and we’re both reaping the full benefits of the relationship. 

Here we offer manageable ways to nurture whole-family health, by connecting through the activities we do together every day, such as eating, sleeping, bathing, getting ready, going places, playing, and cleaning up. We can work together to make joint attention joyful, and by fostering a state of body-to-body emotional connection, we set our families up for health, wellbeing, learning, and developmental success.

The Nurture Science Program at Columbia University Medical Center is a unique research program rooted in a new, evidence-based understanding of the critical role emotional connection plays in healthy child development.

Our multidisciplinary team is committed to rigorous research, and continues to develop and test nurture-based therapies that support emotional connection to help children and families address, and even avoid, emotional, behavioral, and developmental challenges.

THEORY

Emotional connection and autonomic
co-regulation drive behavior and development.

RESEARCH

The power of nurture is evident from molecular biology to clinical research.

PRACTICE

Translating research findings to evidence-based care can help children and families everywhere.

What We Hope to Achieve

Millions of children suffer from emotional, behavioral, and developmental disorders that can be addressed or prevented. Current treatment strategies often are not effective. The Nurture Science Program’s work can help children and their families.

For more than a decade, the Nurture Science Program has amassed considerable evidence to support interventions that advance the child-family emotional connection that is critical to healthy child development. Imagine the possibilities when all children and families have this kind of support.

We’re all dealing with big challenges right now. Stress levels are high, and many of our support systems are disrupted - disconnecting us from family, friends and colleagues.

Nurture Science Program research has shown that when we don’t connect with others, our brains can’t develop optimally, or function well. That makes us more likely to have conflict, behavioral problems, anxiety and depression.

But there are things we can do to establish and maintain emotional connection during this difficult time. We are sharing tips and exercises to strengthen emotional connection, to help calm your body and mind.

We’re all dealing with big challenges right now. Stress levels are high, and many of our support systems are disrupted - disconnecting us from family, friends and colleagues.

Nurture Science Program research has shown that when we don’t connect with others, our brains can’t develop optimally, or function well. That makes us more likely to have conflict, behavioral problems, anxiety and depression.

But there are things we can do to establish and maintain emotional connection during this difficult time. We are sharing tips and exercises to strengthen emotional connection, to help calm your body and mind.

Connecting Activities: Joint Attention through a Nurture Science Lens

12/13/2021

Throughout our connecting activities series, the Nurture Science Program has provided a new perspective on what are frequently called “joint attention activities.”

Traveling with Kids: Disarming the Gremlins

12/07/2021

How do we help our children (and ourselves) have a better—dare we even say fun—travel experience? By tapping into our biology.

Seven Ways to Make Family Movie Night Good For Everyone

11/30/2021

Watching TV or a movie together can be a wonderful opportunity to co-regulate, especially for families! It’s something many of us already do on a regular basis, so why not get the most out of it that we can?

How Chores Make Kids Resilient

11/11/2021

If we make chores activities of connection, we can turn the mundane into something meaningful, while protecting our children’s futures.