Thursday, August 6, 2009

Attachment Basics

The relationship with the parent is the template for all future relationships. This attachment is essential for survival. Without it an infant dies. The attachment is directional, from child to parent. It is driven by the parent's commitment to meet the basic needs of the child. And, because it is a one-to-one relationship, it develops differently with each parent and primary caregiver. We have a different relationship with our mother than our father. Each one is unique, and there is no competition. A person can and does have many attachments over a lifetime. The child's role in attachment is to make his or her needs known. When a parent meets those basic needs; for food, comfort, touch, or soothes the distressed child, the attachment grows stronger. The prime time for attachment is pre-birth to the first three to four years of life. The attachment relationship is brain based. When a parent meets a child's needs, he or she is building brain cells. Baby cries, mother holds, and a brain connection forms. In the same way, if an infant cries but a parent does not respond, a different brain connection is made. The child either feels powerful or powerless. So, attachment contributes to self esteem, identify, and behavior. A child who is securely attached to a parent can make friends, get along with employers, maintain an adult relationship, and facilitate secure attachment of their own child.

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