The Bonding Reflex

One of our foundational needs as humans is to experience true connection with others; to be seen, accepted and loved. As parents, one of our biggest hopes is for our child to feel their needs met through our connection with them. However, they may have a hard time accepting it or maybe we have a hard time giving it. There are many reasons why this occurs, but often at the core of it is the lack of our bonding reflex being integrated. The lack of a true bond with a caregiver is believed to be registered as a trauma in our body. The current estimation is that 60% of the population has not experienced this bonding. In this light, we are a very wounded and disconnected world.

The integration of the bonding reflex begins immediately after birth. The baby ideally would be place upon the mother’s abdomen and the reflexes to move up towards the breast while taking in the scent and sound of the mother initiates the bonding reflex. This is then cemented when the mother would look into the baby’s eyes while talking to them. This hasn’t occurred for most of us. One of the wonderful things about reflexes is that they can be integrated at any point in our lives. Even if this didn’t occur as an infant, a nurturing relationship with a caregiver can integrate this reflex. If we as parents did not integrate this reflex, then it can be difficult for us to offer to our children what they need to integrate the reflex. The great news is that you can give this gift to both of you.

Here’s a simple activity to integrate the process of bonding for both of you. Sit across from one another with a ball. Each time the ball is rolled or passed, the person moving the ball looks into the others eyes and says a statement. It can be the same one repeated or variations of a theme. Examples are: “You are loved.” “I am accepted.” “I am safe.”

The base of brain integration is safety. If this most basic need isn’t met, then we are coping in some manner to navigate the world. Coping means we are unable to thrive at our optimal capability. So, give the gift of bonding not only to your child, but yourself and may all of you be the Optimal You!


Join GPS and Optimal You for a discussion with Adele Schiessle on The Missing Link, MNRI® and Neurodevelopment

October 21, 2017 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center
300 E 7th St, Charlotte, NC 28202

All workshops begin at 10:30am in The Round in ImaginOn Library, 300 E. 7th Street, Charlotte, NC, and end about noon. Snacks are provided. Children are welcome. Spanish translation is available. Free parking in the garage under the library for the first 90 minutes with validated ticket.

For More Information Contact
Vonetta Blakely
Guiding Parents to Services 704.943.9416 ~ [email protected]