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.

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.

Over the past 10 years, 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.

The Tantrum Cycle (and How to Get Out of It)

10/21/2021

Tantrums alert us to our child’s need for more connection, more feelings of calm and regulation. This Nurture Science lens offers a simple approach to tantrums that not only helps children potentially avoid a meltdown altogether, but also helps adults in the process.

Strategies for Promoting Healthy Bedtime Habits

09/22/2021

Humans are social beings, and our bodies really benefit from learning to fall asleep in the calming presence of someone who loves us.

The Social Reflex: Approach and Avoidance

09/15/2021

As we grow, and throughout our lives, our interactions with each other are informed by our approach/avoid reflex: we either approach or avoid someone as a result of repeated positive or negative interactions with them.

The Orienting Reflex: The Foundation of Relational Health

09/08/2021

In order to have a social response to a person, you first have to notice them. That is why we call the orienting reflex the foundation of our social reflexes. We orient when any of our five senses detect something significant in our environment. And that includes each other.