The Nurture Science Program’s work is based on emotional connection.
Emotional connection, a newly identified construct, describes a mutually positive nurturing relationship between parent and child that is crucial to modulating and regulating emotions, learning, and behavior.
Emotional Connection is:
- Mutual, Co-regulated - It begins during pregnancy, between baby and mother. Strong emotional connection forms the basis for all interpersonal relationships with family, teachers, and friends throughout the child’s lifetime. Emotional behavior is co-regulated through emotional connection.
- Autonomic - The body, not just the brain, regulates emotional behavior in the individual. A knot in the stomach when we’re nervous or a rapid heartbeat when we’re afraid are examples of the body’s role in driving emotional behavior.
- Measurable - The Welch Emotional Connection Screen (WECS) is a validated tool to measure emotional connection. Measuring emotional connection makes it possible to give children and families the support they need to establish and maintain emotional connection and improve or even avoid, emotional, behavioral, and developmental problems.
- Actionable - Emotional connection is fluid; it changes based on life circumstances. It is interrupted by things such as physical separation and stress, but also can be actively supported and repaired to improve emotional, behavioral, and developmental well-being.