Developing Attachment Strategies

 By the time we are toddlers we have developed strategies that help us navigate relationships.  We learn from interactions with our caregivers that behavior brings forth different responses.  A baby cries out, communicating distress: “I’m hungry, my diaper needs changing, I need to be held” - mom responds with reassuring tones: “It’s OK, I’m here, now let’s see what you need.” Mom feels warm and touched as her soothing responses help the child relax.  They feel a secure attachment. Both feel joy and comfort in the pleasure of being known for what they experience. 

Getting Secure

 The concept of a “secure base”, introduced by developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth in the 1960’s, reflects the empathic and interested responses of caregivers to a child's attachment needs.  With security as a foundation exploration of the environment follows.  "Safe haven" (John Bowlby)  is a term which describes the consistent acknowledgent and soothing  a child can return to when she feels tension.  For example, a toddler expresses excitement discovering that she can make a ball roll.