Attachment is the Work of Both the Caregiver and the Child

AttachmentWhat is a secure attachment?
A biologically based (innate) connection children feel to their parent or caregiver on whom they rely to help them feel safe, cared for, and protected. Attachment is the deep and lasting connection that children form with the people they depend on for care and protection. The work of attachment does not belong to the child. It involves caregiver as protector and the child needs to feel confident that the caregiver will protect them. Children form different kinds of attachment (e.g. secure or insecure) depending on how well their needs are met.

Different types of attachment:

  • Secure attachment – Caregiver reacts quickly and positively to child’s needs-
  • Insecure/Avoidant attachment – Caregiver is Unresponsive, uncaring, dismissive
  • Insecure/Ambivalent – Caregiver Responds to child inconsistently
  • Insecure/Disorganized – Caregiver is abusive or neglectful; responds in frightening or frightened ways

Benefits of a secure attachment:

  • Children learn to self-regulate as they grow older
  • This supports adapting to new experiences, learning new skills, coping with stress, and less likely to develop poor mental health
  • Provides a positive model for future relationships
  • Children with secure attachments generally are happier, more cooperative, have higher self-esteem. They form better relationships and are better able to ‘bounce’ back from difficult experiences

Children develop attachment when the adult is…

  • Available
  • Sensitive
  • Responsive
  • Interactive

Children need their educators to…

  • Support their exploration
  • Watch over them
  • Enjoy what they are doing with them
  • Protect them
  • Comfort them
  • Delight
  • Organize and make sense of their feelings and behaviour

“Every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her”  – Urie Bronfenbrenner

Coming soon… CISS attachment training workshop!

Kendra Ray & Suzanne Roy
CISS Resource Consultants