From the list of topics I have chosen to write on being an advocate for attachment. I am writing this to provide information to families, early childhood teachers and other school staff, and parents. These different groups of people all would benefit from this information on the importance of attachment because all of these groups work with children in different settings or have children in their family. When people understand the importance love and care that children need and why giving them love and care at an early age is crucial to their healthy growth and development children will in turn grow hopefully be successful in education and have successful relationships as well. Many do not realize the crucial necessity of this and because of this do not always show this kind of attention which tends to have negative effects on children. According to Ainsworth & Bowlby (1988), a stable and loving attachment relationship is essential for bringing the child out from the dark place. The child needs a consistent and predictable source of love and care that with time can become strong enough to melt the ice of deep distrust and a fierce resistance for connection. When children feel that they are safe and loved they will have the chance to grow and heal which can in turn build relationships, build trust, and bring joy to children.
I decided to speak as a teacher because that is what I am. I feel that because I am already in this role I will have a stronger voice. The school where I work has children that have come from broken homes, foster homes, latch-key homes, and many other examples of children from unstable homes. I have seen the effects that attachment disorders can have on children. I have worked at the same school for a few years and have seen what this disorder can do to older children. As the child grows up, with continued attachment issues, negatively affects the child and makes it harder for them to form positive relationships. One of my students that I have currently I have known since he was in Kindergarten. He used to carry around this blanket with him. He became very angry when someone would try and take the blanket or tell him he couldn’t have it. I never understood the connection until this year when he was in my class. The little boy was given the blanket and formed an attachment to it and considered it safe. As I was researching I came across a published article from Spitz (1945). He found that there is somewhat of an emotional deprivation when a child loses an object in which they love. He called this “anaclitic depression”. I believe that this is what the boy was going through with this object.
Having had the opportunity to experience this incident first hand I feel that sharing this story with other groups of people will allow them to understand the importance of attachment and help them develop healthy attachment relationships with young children in their life. When people hear a story that they can relate to they are more likely to empathize with the story and act upon it.
One of the things I wish to accomplish while sharing this information is that more teachers will be inclined to learn about their children and their lives. They may not know what a child suffers from because they have not made themselves aware of the issues a child may be going through. Schools today are becoming increasingly less aware of these issues because they are not discussed in schools like they should be. Teachers aren’t always aware of what children have gone through during their beginning years and how those years can impact their future behavior. If teachers are aware of the signs, they can show these kids the love and understanding they need to hopefully have a healthier life.
One more thing I wish to accomplish with this is to make parents aware of their interactions with children and why they are so important and crucial to the child’s development. According to Bernier (2012), there was a study that showed that children who were exposed to higher-quality parenting were able to develop better impulse control than children who did not experience this.
By making parents aware that it is normal to feel overwhelmed while parenting and that if this feeling becomes too much they do have people and resources to help them and to talk with them. They need to know the importance of showing their child love and giving them a sense of safety. They should never show their child neglect or make their child feel that it is not okay to become upset. Parents are often unaware of their impact on a child or how their actions can affect a child’s development (Laureate Education, 2015). A parent should know how crucial their involvement with children can be and they should know that there are also medical side effects of not having this attachment with their children. According to Tayler, et al, (2013) the influence of environmental factors consistently support the idea that substantial genetic and small non-shared environmental influences contribute to the overlap among ADHD, ODD, and CD. Making parents more aware of this will hopefully help prevent this and decrease the number of this.
Ainsworth, M., Blehar, M., Waters, E., & Wass, S. (1978).Patterns of attachment: A
psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.1980-50809-000.
Bernier, A., Carlson, S. M., Deschênes, M., & Matte-Gagné, C. (2012). Social factors in the
development of early executive functioning: A closer look at the caregiving environment. Developmental Science, 15(1), 12–24.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2015d). Early childhood education history and theory
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TAYLOR, J; et al. Common Genetic and Nonshared Environmental Factors Contribute to the
Association between Socioemotional Dispositions and the Externalizing Factor in Children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 54, 1, 67-76, Jan. 1, 2013. ISSN: 0021-9630.
Spitz, R.A. (1945). Hospitalism—An Inquiry Into the Genesis of Psychiatric Conditions in Early
Childhood. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 1, 53-74.