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Grandmothers’ Brains

Work is love made visible.
Kahlil Gibran, (1883 – 1931), Lebanese-American writer

HealthNewsDigest recently reported on new brain research about the relationship between grandmothers and grandchildren:
"Proceedings of the Royal Society B is publishing the first study to examine grandmaternal brain function, conducted by researchers at Emory University.

‘What really jumps out in the data is the activation in areas of the brain associated with emotional empathy,’ says James Rilling, Emory professor of anthropology and lead author of the study. ‘That suggests that grandmothers are geared toward feeling what their grandchildren are feeling when they interact with them. If their grandchild is smiling, they’re feeling the child’s joy. And if their grandchild is crying, they’re feeling the child’s pain and distress.’

Elsa Chahin, in an article that is part of the Exchange Essentials collection, "Aspects of Infant and Toddler Care," writes about the importance of empathy and gentle touch in how adults care for babies:

"Being touched is paramount to every baby’s daily life. The young child’s well-being will depend, in great part, on the way he is touched by the adult. Through the use of our hands, we bathe, feed, and dress these precious souls. Our hands, therefore, represent everything to the infant, not only by the adult that cares for him, but as an expression of the entire world, thus becoming his first connection with the universe around him."

Want to learn more about working with infants and toddlers? Here's an opportunity to gain new strategies for connecting infants and toddlers:

Nature Explore is offering a live online workshop, "Supporting Infants and Toddlers," on June 23rd.

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