How can we show understanding?
Holistic communication between a child and a bonding person means much more than language-based communication. In order to communicate effectively, one has to understand mutual signals. Communication is an exchange of information and emotions through signs, signals, verbal language and physical body language. One becomes a bonding person through building a solid emotional bond and having the ability to send signals which are understood and to read signals of others. This bond can only fully occur when the child can decipher the sign or language of their bonding person. In the bonding-theoretical context, this means that the child must be able to classify and read the signs of the educator.
A child without a sound metalinguistic understanding may initially experience difficulties with communication due to the fact that he or she does not understand the signals that the attachment person is sending. The physical & emotional (verbal) signals of the bonding person must therefore be clear and have an inner congruence (Juul, 2011).