Friday, August 10, 2018

My Reading Thoughts, Summaries and Connections: The Social Animal by David Brooks - Chapter 5 (Attachment)

This chapter was loaded with information and also sparked a lot of thoughts and connections for me. This post might be a bit all over the place as I try to sort through it all.

This chapter starts with a story of Harold and his mom (Julia) engaging in the process of trying to get Harold to do his homework during his grade 2 year. The following video shares the story... 

As I started to read this story I found myself immediately putting on my "Self-Reg glasses" and looking at the situations through these lenses. Self-Reg is a framework for understanding stress and managing tension and energy. One of the foundational premises of Self-Reg is that our many body systems are always working to maintain a state of balance. Stressors are simply those things that require our body to burn energy to return to a state of balance. We can organize those stressors into five domains - biological, emotion, cognitive, social and pro-social. When our systems get overstressed we are unable to do tasks that can quite easily do when not stressed. The story at the beginning of this chapter illusstrates an overload of stress as Harold starts his homework that is eventually resolved by his mother connecting with him and, in so doing, bringing down his stress level to the point where he is finally able to engage in his homework. Although Self-Reg is not mentioned at all in this story it is a story that I cannot separate from Self-Reg in my mind so when I made my notes I combined the two. 

The second half of this chapter goes on to explore attachment and attachment styles. It speaks to the impact different attachment patterns can have on one's life. Several times throughout this section, the author does state that although attachment forms working models that we operate from, trajectories are fluid so people are not bound by their original attachment style. This is an important, and hopeful, point. I've included the highlights of the different attachment styles in the summary visuals below.

During this chapter, I found myself coming back often to the orignal reason I started reading this book. It was tied to a Dr. Stuart Shanker lecture on resilience at the Self-Reg Summer Symposium (2018) that I listened in on through VoiceEd radio. In that lecture, Dr. Shanker made a statement about how some children come to school securely attached and then become insecurely attached and then others come insecurely attached and become securely attached. He questioned the why of this. I releived to hear him say this as it is something I have seen over and over again in my personal and work life. During the lecture, Stuart Shanker talked about the idea of "fragile secure attachment". Through his lecture he built toward a balanced red brain/blue brain definition of resilience and spoke of the impotance of the dyadic brain within that. It seems that we are coming to a time when we will no longer think of brains in isolation. There seems to be a move toward research that looks at how brains are interacting with each other rather than just how they are functioning in isolation. We are talking about behaivours that arise out of a network of brains interacting with the environment and with each other. We are no longer thinking of brains as passive recievers. The implications for this are exciting, particularly for education. I felt I needed to include even just a glimpse of this connection to what struck me from Dr. Stuart Shanker's lecture even though it might take some time for me to understand or articulate the magnitude of the thoughts (consious and unconsious) it sparked. 

Below I have included the visuals of what jumped out at me while reading this chapter. Clicking on each graphic should make it larger and easier to see. 

1 comment:

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