Each of us has our own story as to the amount of nurturing we received very early in life…from parental separation and/or abuse to consistent loving emotional interactions. The fledging ego, like a plant in the seedling stage that is the fortunate recipient of the right nutrients grows into healthy expression. But when the seedling is either denied what is needed for its growth or is actually assaulted in its vulnerable plight, the internalization of nurturing experiences does not occur and the child does not know the repair of shame. Such a child feels separate and disconnected. However, given the right conditions, the ego can and will grow. Here are four behaviors parents can employ in promoting secure bonding with their infants.