What is mirroring?
Mirroring is getting cues from from another person, not your five senses. These mirror neurons fire up for things such as: when we watch someone else laugh, enjoy something or show visible signs of stress.
Why is important?
Kids get their cues from us parents. They get approval in a smile. Disappointment in a frown or angry glare. Kids learn about themselves by mirroring how we handle the world around us. They mirror our reactions.
What does it mean for kids from hard places?
Kids from hard places are mirroring what they have been taught before they came ‘home’ to stay with us (whether forever or temporarily). They have beliefs based on what they have observed. They may believe that they shouldn’t exist or they have no value. They may believe that lashing out or shutting down is how you handle life. We can help these kiddos find help and healing by projecting our acceptance. We can handle situations with love, grace and mercy. Eventually, they will learn to do the same. It’s tough, but we can:
Faith it ’til you make it.
(Thanks, Jessica for the saying!)
What is the science behind mirroring?
This is a scientific principle discovered by Giacomo Rizzolatti and his team in 1995. “Through these neurons we literally fire up activity in the brain without actually using our five senses through the normal sensory-cognitive cycle.” (Dr. Caroline Leaf)
Here’s a short video about the subject I filmed for The Whole House Adoption/Foster Support Group Page.