Children and Secure Attachment

  • Why hasn’t my child bonded securely with me?

  • My child cannot stand without me for 5 minutes, he starts crying the moment I leave the room.

  • I cannot calm my child down, I feel inadequate as a mother.

  • I was separated from him for months when my baby was born, now he is constantly restless when he is with me.

  • WHAT SHOULD I DO?

The emotional bond that one person forms with another person is known as ‘attachment’. The bonding process begins not from the moment the baby is born, but from the moment it falls into the mother’s womb. This bond is a strong bond that develops between the primary caregiver and the baby, especially in the 6-12 months of life, and creates a sense of trust in the baby. According to psychologists, a child’s early bond with his mother, father and caregiver has far-reaching consequences throughout his life. For this reason, the attachment characteristics of infants and the factors affecting these characteristics have attracted the attention of many researchers.

  • Ainsworth’s Attachment Classification

Secure Attachment:The baby is comfortable with his mother and plays comfortably in the playroom.

Insecure – Resistant Attachment:When the mother leaves the playroom, the baby becomes extremely uncomfortable and the observer cannot soothe the baby.

Insecure-Avoid Attachment:When the mother leaves the playroom, the baby seems unaffected.

Disorganized Attachment: When the baby is with his mother, he is fearful, confused and in conflict. This is an indication that the mother and the baby have a problematic relationship.

  • According to psychologists, when considered periodically;

0-2 months:Behaviors of the baby such as breast-seeking, dizzying, sucking and swallowing are “attachment precursors”.

2-6 months: The baby begins to smile and maintain prolonged eye contact with the caregiver. This period is the “formation phase of attachment”. The baby has not yet chosen the attachment figure, but recognizes and reacts to its parents.

7 months: Babies choose the person to be attached to and begin to limit their very wide social circle. This is the period when foreign anxiety begins. At 7-24 months, attachment becomes clear. Now the baby directs his attention to the person who meets all his needs. This person is called a “primary caregiver”. The relationship between the primary caregiver and the baby is different from everyone else.

For healthy development, the physical and emotional needs of babies must be met. Meeting basic needs contributes to healthy physical development as well as a healthy and secure attachment between the infant and the primary caregiver. The more sensitive the primary caregiver is to the baby’s wishes, the more he listens to it and the more he tries to understand it, the more a healthy attachment develops between the baby and the caregiver. Babies who can develop healthy attachments develop a basic sense of trust.

Children who have a secure attachment to their caregivers know that the caregiver is always there to meet their needs and is accessible. is comfortable with the caregiver. Children with a secure attachment react in the absence of parents but calm down when they return. The confidence of the child, who feels understood, valued, accepted and attached securely, will be positively supported both in himself and in his environment.

  • Why hasn’t my child bonded securely with me?

Mothers of insecurely attached infants have low self-esteem, inadequate parenting tasks and coping strategies. Some mothers may experience postpartum depression or have a serious psychotic disorder. The baby may have developmental delays or medical problems that may prevent him from bonding. It is known that most of the babies with attachment problems have a difficult temperament, their feeding and sleeping habits are irregular, they are irritable and difficult to calm down. Sometimes, mothers try to breastfeed their babies who are crying because they are hungry, instead of holding them in their arms and comforting them. Sometimes the mother may act negligently or display an overly intrusive attitude towards the baby. All these behaviors are behaviors that hinder the attachment process.

  • So is there any way to fix this problem?

Play Therapy, between the ages of 0-12, helps the child to re-establish attachment relations and to re-make the process by coping with the traumatic process, helping children to re-explain the process, traumas, depression, anxiety and obsessions, sexual abuse if they have experienced it, the problem of incontinence, sleep and feeding problems, emotional It is the most successful psychotherapeutic method that can reveal disorders and thought problems. In this way, a therapy process is passed with the inner world of children and a professional support process begins so that they can overcome the problems they experience.

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