Observation Guidelines: Assessing Young Children's Attachment Security
- Active, intentional exploration of the environment in the presence of the caregiver
- Protest at being separated from a caregiver; ability to be soothed when the caregiver returns
- Initial wariness of strangers, with subsequent acceptance if reassured by the caregiver
Luis cries when his father drops him off at the child care center in the morning. After a few minutes, he settles down and crawls to a familiar and affectionate caregiver who is beginning to become another attachment figure for him.
It is natural for young children to resist separation from family members. Help them establish a routine of saying good-bye in the morning, and give them extra attention during this transition. Reassure parents and other family members by describing children’s individual ways of settling down and the activities children typically turn to when they relax.
- Superficial exploration of the environment
- Indifference to a caregiver’s departure; failure to seek comfort upon the caregiver’s return
- Apparent discomfort around strangers, but without an active resistance to their overtures
Jennifer walks around her new child care center with a frown on her face. She parts easily with her mother, and after a short time she seems to adjust to her new environment. Jennifer glances up when her mother comes at the end of the day, but she doesn’t seem overjoyed about her mother’s return.
Independence from parents is often a sign of children’s familiarity with child care or preschool settings. For children who seem at ease with separation, support them throughout the day. When children appear indifferent to family members, form your own affectionate relationships with these children, knowing that such relationships could become children’s first secure ones.
- Exceptional clinginess and anxiety with caregiver
- Agitation and distress at the caregiver’s departure; continued crying or fussing after the caregiver returns
- Apparent fear of strangers; tendency to stay close to caregiver in new situation
© ______ 2007, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
Add your own comment
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- First Grade Sight Words List
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Graduation Inspiration: Top 10 Graduation Quotes
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Should Your Child Be Held Back a Grade? Know Your Rights
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- Smart Parenting During and After Divorce: Introducing Your Child to Your New Partner