Attachment is a funny thing. I am amazed how much can change over a short span of time and how a 16 month year old toddler can be so perceptive towards this.
All it takes is the quality and quantity of time spent with Kyle. I have heard many mothers telling me (esp working mothers) that the quality of time spent is important to build a bond with your child. But the not so pleasant truth, according to child attachment studies is that quantity of time is equally important as well.
Fundamentally, attachment is the affectionate tie that the child will have for the special people in their lives. This is built through being responsive to the child's needs, especially when the mother's or caregiver's physical presence for the child is needed. Or whenever the child experiences times of stress, even the nearness of the mother is enough to comfort him. So just think about number of hours that you are physically present for your child, especially during those times when he needs you.
So what influences attachment security? A consistent caregiver, prompt, responsive and appropriate caregiving and even family circumstances. There are ways to measure attachment, just compare the behaviour patterns that your child will display after you leave and then return. Read more about it in my post here http://parachutetime.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-secure-is-your-childs-attachment-to.html
When I think back about Kyle's attachment to me when I went back to work after maternity leave, it was quite clear that he was exhibiting traits of avoidant attachment. He often ignored me when I came back from work and that was rather heartbreaking for me.
Thank God that things have changed so much since then. I am blessed to be able to spend more time with him and be physically there for Kyle during times of need. Most importantly, be there when he needs someone to play and laugh with. I will never want to be the object of this question, 'Where were you when I wanted to share my joy or during those times when I needed you?'
I will surely want to be the parent that promotes these aspects of positive development in my child; confident and self assured, advanced emotional understanding, effective social skills, stronger sense of moral responsibility and higher motivation to achieve in school.
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