Children prefer spending more time with some people and feel safe with them. Separation causes distress, and death or betrayal causes grief. Such a form of attachment is known as liking or love.
Attachment is the Basis of Relationships
Emotion is the most important aspect of attachment. Anxiety, devotion, grief, jealousy, love and mourning are emotional experiences connected to attachment. Feelings connected to attachment can be characterized as disturbing, poignant, powerful and gratifying emotional experiences. Attachment thoughts are beliefs and ways of thinking about relationships with other people. Emotions and thoughts connected to attachment form the internal working model for relationships.
Making Wise Attachment Parenting Decisions
Attachment develops during infancy and changes as a consequence of experience and age. Attachment emotions, thoughts and behaviors are characterized by age. Infants and toddlers display stranger anxiety and separation anxiety. Toddlers use a familiar person as secure base to explore new people or environment as they get better at crawling and then walking. In the absence of a secure base, they use a transitional object such as a pacifier or stuffed toy for comfort and/or exploration.
Young children display strong attachment feelings, prefer being near a person they love, and avoid unfamiliar people. They fear loud noises, strange places, dogs and unfamiliar people including relatives. Crying, fear, laughing and snuggling are common behaviors. They display reunion behavior when a familiar person has been away and display mourning for permanent loss. Children respond to perception of loss or separation of contact with temper tantrums.
Anger, frustration, resentment and sadness are negative feelings associated with the loss of an attachment figure. Children exhibit more control over emotions as they grow older and become more mature.
Knowing about emotional connections helps you, as a parent, to deal with demands placed on you by your child. This includes decisions about matters such as child care or adoption. There are many practical situations where you’ll have to apply an understanding of attachment, which will have an impact on the development of your child. For example, sleep related problems among infants and toddlers are connected with attachment issues.
If you’re unable to care for the child for some reason, the situation could be worsened. If you work and decide to put your child in day care, for example, you’ll have to make a decision about the care provider based on factors such as the number of staff and how they interact with children. Understanding attachment will ensure that the parenting choices you make will have the best outcomes for your child.