Nurturing Environments: Supporting Safety and Compassionate Connections From the Preconception Through Early Parenting Period
Science and medicine are now showing us that our experience of our internal and external environment greatly impacts our health and behavior. Nurturing environments support growth and health. Children are deeply impacted by the environment in which they grow from the time of conception.
Individuals who are moving towards parenting and those who are already parents have the opportunity to contribute to the creation of nurturing environments for developing children from conception through childhood.
This workshop focuses on the foundation upon which nurturing environments are built–safety–and its positive impact on growth and relationships.
When a nurturing environment evokes a feeling of physical and emotional safety in adults and children:
- The complex systems of their minds and bodies physiologically prepare for connection with each other;
- The preparation for connection they experience supports growth-enhancing interactions between them and optimal child development; and
- They are able to use their internal resources for growth, restoration and healing, rather than protection, defense and survival.
It is crucial for individuals to be able to recognize when they feel safe, when they don’t, and how these different feelings are expressed in their behavior. This workshop is designed to help individuals recognize feelings of safety, danger and threat in themselves and behaviors in others, especially children, that are signs that they may also be experiencing these feelings.
In addition, this workshop is designed to increase participants’ awareness of:
- How their perceptions of the verbal and non-verbal (body language) communications of others impact their own feeling of safety, danger or threat in interactions; and
- How their verbal and non-verbal (body language) communications with others may evoke feelings of safety, danger or threat in them.
In light of recent research that demonstrates how a pregnant woman’s emotions affect her physiology, and how her physiology in turn, affects that of her developing child, it is especially important that a pregnant woman be able to recognize her experience of safety, danger or threat in her internal and external environment.
The knowledge that a baby’s developing systems are influenced by its mother’s physiology provides women with an opportunity to contribute to the optimal development of their children through the cultivation of nurturing environments that evoke feelings of safety.
In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to learn:
- The importance of cultivating nurturing internal and external environments from the preconception through early parenting period
- To recognize how our minds and bodies tell us when we perceive the environment as safe, dangerous or life threatening
- To recognize signs in children’s behavior that tell us whether they perceive the environment as safe, dangerous or life threatening
- How our perceptions of the verbal and body language communications of others evoke feelings of safety, danger or life threat in us
- How the verbal and body language communications we express to others evoke feelings of safety, danger or life threat in them
- How feeling safe supports compassionate connections that enhance relationships between women, their partners and their developing children