Safe and Secure Relationships – Part 1 of 3

Photo1_BC.jpgSafe and Secure relationships are the result of adults and children engaging in successful exchanges of bonding and attachment behaviour. Adults are responsible for initiating opportunities for bonding through responsive caregiving. Children become receptive to attachment through their engagement with the responsive adult. Creating Safe and Secure relationships in Early Learning environments results in children, who are confident and curious to learn, are more able to problem solve and have increased levels of frustration tolerance.  Safe and Secure relationships are essential and the foundation in reducing behavioural challenges.


Image2_BC.jpgWhile examples of bonding and attachment happen frequently throughout the day, often we struggle to identify the ways in which this happens outside of early childhood. In infancy, we can easily identify bonding opportunities with infants when caregivers feed and cuddle their babies. Attachment forms when the baby is receptive to the caregiver’s nurturing and seeks them out as a source of comfort. As infants grow and children become more mobile, vocal and independent, bonding and attachment start to look different.

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Throughout development children strive for belonging, but they cannot mature among peers alone. Throughout development children strive for independence, but they cannot thrive in isolation. As children grow they require the guidance of adult mentors who understand their needs and who can help facilitate peer interactions. By satiating the attachment needs of the child, adults give them the confidence they need to explore and become capable and competent people. Children need to trust that our bond with them is bigger than any problem they can encounter. In the upcoming article we will examine adult attachment versus peer orientation with regard to stages of development.

Read Part 2 and Part 3.

Team of Behaviour Consultants
Children’s Inclusion Support Services