The Power of Bonding
The Power of Bonding and Touch
Monkeys choose a terry-cloth mother vs milk providing mother. A famous study conducted by Harlow on Rhesus monkeys in America goes even further in demonstrating the primary importance of bonding and touch.
In the experiment, infant monkeys raised in the laboratory were given a choice of two surrogate mothers. One was made of soft terry cloth and lit from behind with a light bulb for warmth. The other mother was made of wire mesh, but possessed an artificial nipple which supplied milk.
Time and again the monkeys clung to the terry-cloth ‘mother’ for comfort rather then the milk-providing ‘mother’. Only when the infants were extremely hungry would they be forced to make a brief dash for milk, scampering back to the comfort mother afterwards.
As babies, our most powerful experiences come through the communication of touch. Through bonding and touch we reach out to explore the world around us. We are also held, touched and cradled by people that love us.
The experiment also demonstrated that the power of bonding and touch is to healthy personality development and social skills. These laboratory-raised monkeys were introduced to other monkeys of similar age but were totally unable to co-exist peacefully with them.
Bonding and touch is essential for stimulating our nervous system and promoting healthy physical development. A large part of our self-definition and the way we feel about ourselves comes from the way we are held and touched by our parents.
Children who come from families where there is insufficient physical contact and tenderness may find it difficult to accept and value themselves. They may have difficulty expressing themselves emotionally, and find it hard to form long-term, intimate relationships as adults.
Bonding and touch connects us to the outside world, brings people closer and weaves intimacy.
To find out more, check the article here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Harlow[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]