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Attachment
Authors: Lynette C. Magaña with Judith A. Myers-Walls and Dee Love

Attachment is something that happens between a child and his parents or the people who take care of him. Parents and children who are attached to each other want to be together. They feel something is missing when they are apart. Attachment is an emotional connection that usually begins when children are babies. A strong attachment usually lasts throughout a person’s lifetime. When a child is attached to someone, he will depend on this person to take care of him when he is scared, hungry, tired, injured, or just in the mood for love.

Children usually become attached to their parents, but they can become attached to childcare providers, too. Children usually are less attached to providers than to parents, but the relationships are still important. Children who feel safe with their childcare providers will learn about relationships. They will feel safe to explore and learn from their surroundings.

Childcare settings can help strengthen a child’s attachment to his parents, too. Adults in the childcare setting may notice, for example, that a child has a hard time saying goodbye or asks for a particular person when they are upset. Providers also may notice that children or parents are having some problems in their relationship. Providers can help parents recognize these signs. They can help parents be more aware of their relationship with the child. In the same way, parents may give providers some ideas that will make the provider’s relationship with the child stronger. When providers and parents are more aware of their relationship with a child, it helps them to become more sensitive caregivers. Being a sensitive caregiver helps foster strong and secure attachments between the adult caregiver and child.


Go to:  Different types of parent-child relationships
           • How to build a secure relationship with each child
           • Secure base
           • Separation anxiety



For more information, contact Judith A. Myers-Walls, PhD, CFLE at jmyerswa@purdue.edu

Please feel free to link to, print off, redistribute, or reprint
  any of these materials as long as the original credits remain intact.

Parent-Provider Relationships | Supporting Parents | Child Growth & Development | Guidance & Discipline
Children & Learning
| Family-Child Relationships
| Health & Safety | Making Connections

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