Keys to Building Attachment with Young Children
Healthy attachment provides young children with an experience of the world that helps them develop trust, self-control and problem-solving skills.
This publication suggests strategies that parents and caregivers can use to work toward the formation of strong, secure attachments with young children.
Strategies to Foster Healthy Attachment
Each child has needs, and they constantly provide clues (crying, etc.) that they need attention. Attachment theory essentially explains how infants use adults to teach them how to survive and supplement their functioning until they can do it for themselves. Children need sustenance, protection and regulation to feel safe and able to grow and take care of themselves. Part of what a child's attachment to others provides is a set of expectations from relationship partners. How does the child expect to be treated by others?
When an infant's needs are met in a consistent manner, he or she will develop trust in others. That trust ultimately results in the child's attachment to the caring adult. For a young child to succeed in life, becoming securely attached to a caring adult is of overriding importance. The attention to needs and attachment produce the roots of trust. Without attention and secure attachment in the early months and years of life, the child will have difficulty developing trust.
In the long term, a lack of attention will handicap individuals by interfering with their trust of people, institutions, agencies, churches, schools and government. The vast majority of children form an attachment to others, but the quality of the attachment is critical. Secure attachment helps children see others are trustworthy, while insecure attachment tends to lead children toward seeing others as not trustworthy.
According to researchers, an insecure attachment during the first year of life often is a significant predictor of later difficulties in school, work, marriage and social behavior related to crime or other behavior problems. So, what can parents and other caregivers do to foster healthy attachment relationships with young children?
Reprinted with the permission of North Dakota State University.
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- The Homework Debate
- Social Cognitive Theory
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- First Grade Sight Words List