In child development language, to be attuned means to be in harmony and compassion with the child. Attunement allows the caregiver to know and respond to the child’s emotional state.
Some caregivers are so attuned that they can tell from a child’s cry whether he or she is hungry, tired, needs a diaper change or is sick.
By being attuned to the child, the caregiver provides a model to the child for the early development of empathy.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. When we are empathically heard and understood, we are more apt to feel accepted as who we are.