Building A Lifelong Bond
By Reyes DeVore
The connection between a mother and child is instrumental to the relationships we have with others throughout our lives. Mine exudes strength beyond what I ever thought I could hold. Like many things in life, it has been a process arriving to this space.
This year I can confidently share that I am an Early Childhood Educator who has just reached her sixth year in the field.
This sense of self-assurance wasn’t always there though.
My journey truly began when I was pregnant at the age of 19 with my son. There were so many fears as to what the future for us would look like. At that time, college was the last thing on my mind; I was focused on just getting by. Now we share a bond that’s incomparable.
Two years of my son’s life went by when I began growing tired of the retail world. This came along with the uncertainty of what road to take next. During this ambition for change, I was blessed with the means to pay for school.
But college? Was it for me?
I was unsure about what to study. While completing the registration process I came across the Early Childhood Multicultural Education program. I thought to myself, this could be interesting learning about the development of a child; maybe this would provide a guide to raising my son?
Excitement grew as this new journey of ours was starting. A few months went by when I began to question my endeavors. A balance in this new world of motherhood and college was a challenge, to say the least. I grew tired and doubt was always there.
It was my son who truly provided the strength to push through.
On the longest days the big hugs from little arms were reassuring to keep moving forward.
After a few semesters, there was this new understanding of how deeply the investment we make with our little ones meant. I often tease and say my son was my “guinea pig” in practicing all the ways to help build a healthy relationship with a child. I’m certain that it was with this education that built the confidence I needed to understand myself as a mother and him as my child.
This past spring marked two years of my journey as an Early Head Start Home Visitor through Native American Professional Parent Resources program.
A work week includes serving pregnant mothers and children up to age three with ninety minute visits that entail parent education on child development and the connection to community resources as they need them. Over time, with this humbling work, I have built a compassion for the families whom I work with. Daily, I get to share the importance of how early connections last a lifetime and create pathways for years to come. The very vital education that helped shape the bond my son and I share today.
Because family dynamics vary, we ensure that there is individualization to our curriculum that keeps culture in mind. We do this by creating family partnership goals to help build the family as a whole. This allows for mothers to begin structuring their relationship with their child that fits their daily environment, which in essence is culture in itself.
Healthy attachments with caregivers are vital because it provides a sense of security to the child when they know they have someone who pays attention to their needs and wants.
When a child’s needs aren’t met their bodies can begin to release the stress hormone which is damaging to the brain, a routine discharge of cortisol can begin to hardwire the brain of a child which can be toxic. When a parent understands the developmental milestones of their child they can better meet both their needs for a healthier environment for everyone. Mom feels confident she can take care of her child and the child feels safe and secure.
My daily goal is striving to share this with families while ensuring them they have it in them to create a positive lasting connection with their child, because I was once at the same place as them.There is so much empathy rooted in the work which drives my passion to help our families.
It is in these efforts where I hope that these investments help break cycles of trauma.
Our children take in everything around them, what they see, hear, and experience shape whom they become. Let’s make sure we continue to raise resilient future leaders in the community.
It’s up to each of us to provide healthy strong relationships with a child.