How is this so? Is it coincidence? But how is it coincidence when so many adoptive parents are told similar things?
According to Julie Drew, co-founder of Heart of the Matter Seminars, there is actually a scientific explanation for this called “attunement.”
When referring to a child’s brain development, attunement is the act of the parent making the appropriate facial expressions in response to certain events. For example, a parent should smile and laugh with the child when playing games, reading books, and enjoying other fun activities. Conversely, if the child touches something hot, or falls down, it is appropriate for the parent to show sad expressions.
Attunement leads to the child developing “affect regulation,” which helps the child understand the correct facial expressions to match his or her emotions.
And the indirect effect of attunement, according to Drew, is that the child’s facial expressions look a lot like his or her parents’.
“I think that one of the reasons why so many of our children look like us is because they have learned glad, sad, mad and scared from our faces,” Drew said. “We have attuned to them enough times that their glad looks like our glad, and their mad looks like our mad.”
So, next time someone tells you that your child looks like you, you now have a bit of an explanation why!
Click the following to learn more about Heart of the Matter Seminars.