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Erikson and Bowlby, theorists, agreed that the association between an infant and caregiver is the child's first social partnership. It establishes the fundamental basis for subsequent social relationships in life. Attachment is described as a strong emotional bond between two people, in this case, the child and their caregiver. It is the bond that connects them. Thesis statement: Ensuring a stable bond between the caregiver and the infant during the early years of development allows the child to gain beliefs and awareness regarding relationships and social experiences (Bowlby, 2008). It also allows them to develop and strengthen their internal working model and it allows the children to form a trust system, so they have someone to rely on.
Rationale for Undertaking Investigation
The primary reasons behind undertaking the investigation are to ensure that there is a secure attachment between the children and caregiver in the early developmental stages for the children. The key purpose is to form the expectations as well as an understanding of the social interactions and relationships that facilitate the development of the internal working model of the children, which allows them to develop a system that they can seek for help on from caregivers. The investigation reveals different types of attachment and assesses how they impact the development of children.
Children Develop Expectations and Understandings about Relationships and Social Interactions
Attachments are formed between the child and the caregiver mostly within the first two years of the life of the child. The social, emotional and intellection development of the child depends highly on the nature and quality of this relationship. From the time a child is born, the first thing they learn is whether to trust their parents or their caregivers for provision, stimulation, and security (Meins, 2013). According to research done on the development of children, attachments between the child and the caregiver are the basis of life, growth, and development. The significant of attachment goes beyond the social need to relate and goes deeper into the entire growth and development of the child. The nature of the relationship between the child and the caregiver is evident in their response to cal and smooth. Parents who have a secure attachment to their children have noted the positive response to calm and sooth (Bowlby, 2008). At this stage of their development, children’s brain has not developed enough to calm themselves and hence the need for a patient and secure attachment with the caregiver.
After birth, the child’s brain is built with survival instinct. They, therefore, use the surrounding to the environment to sustain them both emotionally and physically. During this stage of development of the child, some nerve circuits have specific functions. For instance, there are nerves for exploring the environment, avoiding harm, for response to pleasure, affection, and warmth. These systems are however not well coordinated in the child, and therefore they need to concentrate on one activity at a time. According to Bowlby & Ainsworth (2013), the brain is the main focus of research when examining the attachment between a guardian and the child. The work done on these research areas has indicated that those children who have sensitive, attuned and responsive caregivers have a better capability of handling their emotions as well as proper negotiation skills through their lives.
Secure attachments between the guardian and the child are very delicate to develop. The best ways to create one is to identify the cues of their children and giving them a warm response. The study shows that the daily activities of the parent or the guardian and the children determine the kind of bond between them. Examples of activities that enable children to create an attachment to their caregiver include, napping bathing them, soothing, feeding them and response whenever they cry (Ainsworth et al., 2015). This bond brings in trust which gives the baby a healthy growth and development environment.
A secure attachment allows the child to develop expectations and understandings about relationships and social interactions. Learning social interactions at the early stages of life is crucial to children as they can create healthy relationships as they get older. However, Children learn essential qualities from a young age (Siegel, 2015). Subsequently, this strongly influences how they begin, and progress in building character for who they are, and who they will grow into one day.
The outcome is securely based on their earliest introductions to life. They recognize and repeat a diverse variety of things coming from any environment they are exposed to. From words to the demeanor of others, these things are a basic foundation in the child’s early perspective and expectations of life. These conclusively determine a child’s later behavioral traits, ultimately creating their personality and giving them the confidence needed to face daily interactions (Colonnesi et al., 2011). Most children that are not given the opportunity to learn how to properly connect with others almost always, unfortunately, end up struggling with baggage such as social anxiety, depression, and unhealthy relationships.
Developing and Strengthening Internal Working Model
The internal working model between the caregiver and a child provide security to the child that facilitates healthy development. The internal working model plays a significant role in creating secure attachment relationship between the caregiver and children, which has been difficult as time and opportunity pass. Based on Noom (2011) argument, the internal working model is used to mean both physical and chemical system with like structure that can be imitated by a process. The internal working model provides secure attachment which has been used as a protective factor in reducing signs of anxiety as well as depression in young children of about four years old. However, the studies indicate that significant changes a seen in girls. Nevertheless, secure attachment at the age of 44 months is associated with a reduction in psychological and social skills. The studies indicate that when a boy child forms a secure attachment with a caregiver at 44 months may show a sign of reduction of anxiety as well as depression (Pittman et al., 2011). Internal working model is associated with high care network that is used to create part of the attachment process.
However, at the age of 54 months, internal working model may be incorporated into formal intervention to boost the quality of caregiver. The improved quality is realized by developing a strong relationship between the child and caregiver. The impact of the secure attachment can be assessed by comparing the children who have been receiving parental care and those that were abandoned at birth. The internal working model promotes a strong connection between the caregiver and a child from the womb along the first years of development. The model r5eciprocates physical and psychological survival conditions of the child (Davies, 2010). Through the model, there is a strong attachment between caregiver and the child which result in an instinctive system in the brain that evolves safety and survival of the child.
The internal working model has been playing a significant role in regulating emotional and behavioral relationships between caregiver and a child. The model may incorporate checklist dysregulation, disruption as well as disorders associated. Through the internal working model, both child and caregiver learn critical tools and techniques that enhance attachment reparation during therapy. The security of the attachment helps in providing an emotional reaction space that reduces stress and fear. The child expresses these reactions through crying, frustration, clinging and showing signs of anger. The sure attachment acts as a foundation for emotional regulation created in the context of the secure attachment relationship (Nolen-Hoeksema & Watkins, 2011). The security in attachment reduces exploratory behavior with the caregiver, which promotes environmental interaction as well as individuation.
Allowing Children to have a Reliable Source
Secure attachment between caregiver and the child during early years of development enable children to have a reliable source of behavior which serves different functions in their lives. For instance, the development of signaling behaviors such as cooing and smiling helps in alerting the caregiver that the child requires interaction. On the other hand, Aversive behaviors such as kicking or crying attract quick response to resolve the problem facing the child or give safety and protection (Davies, 2010). Secure attachment is also the main source of active behaviors such as clinging reaching for that promotes the secure base of children growth. The studies have identified secure attachment as a fundamental aspect of promoting cognitive components such as the formation of brain structures as well as the arrangement of a nervous system which improve the mental ability of the child. The secure attachment is also the main source of language development that enables children to attain full intellectual potential in acquiring a conscience and boosting competency.
Nevertheless, secure attachment experience is closely related to activation of genetic potential among children. However, the potential genetic results in unique kinesthetic components such as gazing, rocking, holding, stroking as well as puzzling. The secure attachment figure of a caregiver should be physically and reliably present, which is a source of personal growth of the child through the creation of secure environmental reliability. Again, the secure attachment creates a substantial individual to whom the child attaches to along the developmental stages (Noom, 2011). Notably, human beings are social creatures with brains designed to attach to others and develop mutual interaction and relationship. Therefore, it is important for the caregiver to understand that child function according to the personal living relationship, which needs to be expressed by the caregiver. The secure attachment has been playing a vital role in developing a foundation of the relationships between the children and adults. Thus children can develop subsequent relationships through their childhood to the adulthood.
The primary caregivers are the children’s biological mothers, but the father, non-relatives or relatives can also play the role of primary caregiver as long as they can sustain the critical role in the life of the child. The care should be constant for four or five years to enable the child to develop crucial components of the human state (Ainsworth et al., 2015). For instance, the mind is highly influenced by the secure attachment, which incorporates how children think and perceives the world’s situations. Another significant component is the body, whereby secure attachment has been associated with less physical illness, sensory integration as well as good hygiene. On the other hand, secure attachment has been playing a crucial role in controlling and regulation of emotional states among children, which enhance current and future relationships. Other significant child’ elements that originate from secure attachment are values, spirituality, and morals that impact social values, remorse, faith as well as child's life meaning (Ainsworth et al., 2015). Finally, secure attachment enables children to learn basic trust as well as reciprocity which act as a key template for future emotional states.
In conclusion, the findings in this paper reveal that attachments between a child and caregiver are formed within the first two years of the child’s life. The social-emotional as well as the intellectual development of the child is determined by the secure attachment, which leads to quality relationships. The paper suggests that the child’s brain after birth consists of survival instinct, whereby the use the surrounding environment to sustain both emotional and physical conditions. Developing and strengthening internal working model between the child and caregiver helps in ensuring the security of the child. The internal working model promotes physical and chemical systems and acts as a structure that should be imitated by secure attachment process. The model works together with formal interventions to boost the quality of the caregiver’s services to the child. The secure attachment has also enabled children to have a reliable source of significant components such as language development skills that positively influence their developmental process. The process develops child’s genetic potential as well as kinesthetic components that are vital for growth and development.
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