I Love You Rituals: Conscious Discipline
In light of Valentine’s Day approaching, a day devoted to love and affection, let’s discuss I Love You Rituals, designed by Dr. Becky Bailey, who is the creator of the Conscious Discipline model. Conscious Discipline is the renowned, evidence-based self-regulation program centered in neuroscience, child development research, and psychology. It has been proven to help both a child and parent feel connected in a safe environment, and delineates steps to promote overall tranquility.
The I Love You Ritual focuses on connection, which is essential, as all learning takes place via connection. The Ritual encourages connection and bonding, building the dopamine system in children. Taken together, it is said to positively influence a child’s development via:
- Increasing attention skills
- Decreasing power struggles
- Encouraging care and cooperation
- Strengthening neural pathways
- Building social connection and unconditional love with others
Below is an example of a video demonstrating an I Love You Ritual:
4 Elements of Connection:
It is believed that four elements are needed to enhance the effectiveness of an I Love You Ritual:
- Eye Contact
- Eye contact is often used as a way to foster connectedness within human relationships – it may enhance attention, social development, and emotional health
- With human touch, a hormone is released called the nerve growth factor, which is essential to neural function and learning
- By being fully present during the I Love You Rituals, it creates quality interactions, which result in secure attachments for the child
- Being playful shifts the focus to getting together and valuing one another
How Do I Get Started?
The Conscious Discipline website offers an array of songs/poems to use during I Love You Rituals, seen in this picture below:
However, you may also use your own songs/poems/chants. The ultimate goal is connectedness with your child, so remember to have fun– sing, be silly, be playful, make funny voices, and be yourself. It is also important to stay present with your child, keeping in mind the four elements of connection stated above. Lastly, it is helpful to choose a time that you consistently use the ritual – perhaps before bedtime, after waking up, when saying goodbye, etc.
The more you do it, the more you will feel those feelings of connectedness, joy, security, and tranquility, exuding from your child.
For more information on both I Love You Rituals, and on Conscious Discipline, please visit: https://consciousdiscipline.com/.
Sending love to all your little ones, as we’ve now been reminded how love and connection are key to optimal development.
-Andrea Scola, M.S., CCC-SLP, Exceptional Speech Therapy Blog Writer
I Love You Rituals Resources. (n.d.). Conscious Discipline. https://consciousdiscipline.com/store-category/i-love-you-rituals/