Interactional Synchrony

Interactional Synchrony

In developmental psychology, the term “interactional synchrony” refers to a parent responding to her infant’s behavioral and affective signals in an accurate and appropriate fashion.  Good interactional synchrony is associated with optimal developmental progress in many areas from emotional stability to self-regulation to language.  Since a baby cannot verbally express “I’m scared,” “I’m tired,” “I’m confident,” “I could use some help,” or anything else, it is critical that the parent be well attuned to what the little one is expressing through his physical movements and expressions. In my experience, most parents do an adequate job when it comes to this.  However, superb performance is relatively rare.  It is hard to miss the obvious signals that an infant is often sending.  But it sometimes is difficult to detect the more subtle cues he is emitting from time to time. That is another reason why I highly recommend enrollment in a Babies class at Romp n’ Roll.  The constant physical contact with the infant combined with the steady focus on what he is doing and how he is responding gives the parent an opportunity to become finely attuned to her child’s non-verbal communication and learn how to provide reassurance, encouragement, or whatever is being requested most effectively.

Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D. (a.k.a. “Dr. Mike”) is a member of the management team at Romp n’ Roll.  After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he also held a position as a researcher with the Harvard Preschool Project.  He may be contacted via e-mail at drmike@romproll.com.

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