Connection Precedes Learning and Self-Regulation: Why Relationships are Foundational in Learning and Life

“Born with limited capacity for self-regulation, human infants are dependent on the externally mediated interactive regulation of their primary attachment figures…“ ~ Pat Ogden, Trauma and the Body

“Human connections create neuronal connections.” ~ Daniel Siegel, The Developing Mind

It’s easy to point at the child, but the real work begins within.

As most teachers and parents know, children act out and reflect their primary caregivers’ energy. Whether in the womb, home or classroom, their behaviours signal the stress or chaos in an environment. Before any learning can take place, a child needs to feel safe. Where there is resistance in a child, the first question must be, “Where is more safety needed?”

Connection is at the heart of the matter, here, between caregiver and child. Yet, for this connection to feel secure, the caregiver must first be regulated, or connected to themselves. 

Trauma compromises our ability to engage with others by replacing patterns of connection with patterns of protection‘. ~ Steven Porges (founder of Polyvagal Theory)

In this interactive and practical workshop:

  • Remember that for children small is BIG!
  • Learn communication and awareness skills that support you to better connect with and engage a child
  • Discover more about the nuances of trauma and how, in child / brain development, co-regulation precedes self-regulation
  • Understand more clearly why connection, including safety and trust, is more important than academic agendas
  • Learn the importance of slowing down and present-oriented language to assist children and others be with their emotions
  • Most importantly, you will learn through experience—through your own self-reflection and personal sharing; by embodying the principles children need to feel in their caregivers.
“Putting your students’ emotional needs first is important because without feeling safe and understood, no instructional strategy will be effective.” ~ Jasper Fox, Sr.

For more information email

Related reading:

Connection Precedes Learning and Self-regulation ~ Why Relationships are Foundational in Education and Life
Resting in Connection ~ Slowing Down Enough to Heal and Form Secure Attachments