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Everyday Opportunities for Social-Emotional Development & Bonding

Find out simple ways to develop your child’s social-emotional skills every day and build a bond together.

Parents kissing baby on cheek

Did you know that the human brain produces a special hormone that makes us feel affection and attachment? That special hormone – oxytocin – is produced naturally in our brains when we connect with others. This hormone also helps reduce stress in the body, and helps promote happiness and health. Experiences that help us produce this hormone benefit our emotional and physical health.

So how do you get more of this happy hormone into your child’s brain – and yours? It’s simple: by connecting with your child through activities like talking, reading, and singing. And while you’re at it, take a moment to hug, cuddle, and hold your child, too. These simple actions help you and your child experience a physical and emotional connection. Not only are these easy (and free!) ways to connect and bond with your child, they’re also great brain-boosting activities.

QUICK TIP: Showing your child genuine affection – whether it’s through a cuddle or a kiss – actually causes reactions in the brain. The image below, captured during the tender moment of a mother’s kiss, shows just how the brain connects when you share caring moments with your child.

First 5 California
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First 5 California
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