What Is Synchrony in Child Development?

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The technical definition of synchrony is “a co-ordinated interaction between caregiver and infant, who respond to each other with split-second timing.” The caregiver, whether it is mother or father, can react to a baby’s emotion instinctively. The baby feels the connection between facial expressions and emotions and synchrony between caregiver and child is achieved.

A caregiver’s emotions should be emphasized, making them bigger than they would with adults, in order for the child to understand and respond. Synchrony is important in the development of babies, and they can spend a lot of time staring at a caregiver’s face, trying to copy and understand what it sees. Playing with the child is an important time for synchrony between babies and their parents. When a baby receives a new toy and is excited about it, the parent can reflect its emotions, and enable the baby to see what he or she is feeling. Through Synchrony, the baby can learn feelings, emotional connections and the wonder of exploration.

Caregiver-infant synchrony affects verbal IQ, behavior adaption and moral cognition. There are direct associations between mother-infant synchrony and the learning of empathy in the child, according to studies done by the Department of Psychology at the Gonda Brain Sciences Center at Bar-llan University.