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 this segment we will examine adult attachment versus peer orientation with regard to stages of development.
When children solely seek out other children to help solve problems, understand emotions and determine their values and beliefs they receive an unreliable and often volatile support system. However, when adults understand and accept children for where they are developmentally and emotionally, they nurture a strong attachment desire from the children. When adults develop strong, safe and secure relationships and respond to challenges with empathy and understanding, they demonstrate to the children that they are the answer to any problem that may arise. And this is the desired outcome.
In the third and final article, we will provide strategies to foster Safe and Secure Relationships.
Team of Behaviour Consultants
Children’s Inclusion Support Services