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Friday, October 28, 2011

Social Animal: #5--Attachment

Attachment: To have socially attuned children, parents need not be trained psychologists; rather, they simply need to be warm, loving, and good enough to model how they react to the world to show their kids good behavioral models to emulate. Attachment theory also helps us understand how children will approach the world. If the parent, especially the primary caregiver (usually the mother), is in tune with the needs and wants of the child, the two are in a kind of harmonic dance and become attached. Such well attached children can face new or strange situations with calm and flexibility. They see the world as welcoming and inviting. They tend to be more truthful and less boastful…not feeling the need to puff themselves up. Thus, strong attachment in early childhood shapes future relationships for the child throughout his/her life. However, when those initial bonds are weak due to detached or emotionally unavailable parents, those children are said to become detached and model a similar behavior to others in their lives. Children who are more inconsistent emotionally with life tend to be raised by inconsistent parents. These children tend to be more fearful than others throughout their lives. Children also often replicate their parent’s behavior when they have their own kids. But life is robust and not deterministic, and all children are not necessarily doomed to replicate their early upbringing.

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