Highlight: Duckies (Infant) - Milan
Duckies classroom staff illustrated all four elements of connection (eye contact, presence, touch, and playfulness) while a child was taking her first steps. The classroom staff was sitting on the floor, looking at the child on eye-level (eye contact); was focused solely on this child and her actions (presence); reached her hands out when the child arrived and pulled her into her arms (touch); and encouraged the child in a spirited and lively voice (playfulness). The child glowed with accomplishment and pride when she reached her teacher’s arms!
Connection: Elements of Connection
Connection requires four critical elements: Eye contact, presence, touch and playfulness. Eye contact requires getting down on the child’s level to achieve eye contact. Eye contact creates connections in the brain that build attachment and let the child know they are safe and loved. Presence involves joining in the moment and sharing the emotion and connection together. Touch releases hormones that are essential to neural functioning and learning. Appropriate and caring touch build smart, happy children. Playfulness builds a bond based on biochemistry and strengthen dopamine responses. Playful interactions build social development and increase attention spans. This connection deepens the bond and strengthens the attachment that children have with their caregivers. This attachment acts as a security/safety blanket that is the perfect environment for developmental growth.