This is physiological aspect which deals with human relationships as well as the existing bond between the involved parties. It is necessary and important for a child to have a health relationship with either one of the parents or the care giver for normal child development to occur. This relationship is essential for the development of the social and emotional aspect of the child. If this does not occur at the early development the child ends up having an impairment which is permanent. Child psychology and the importance of health family relationships are coined up in attachment theory. The behavior of an infant in relation to attachment is attributed to the stressful situations that may be faced by the child forcing him to find some attachment. Children are most attached to adults who socially interact with them either through playing or who are generally sensitive to their needs. This attachment usually occur when this people attend to the needs of the child when they are between six months to about two years (Greenberg, Cicchetti and Cummings 83).
When a child is approaching two years he starts using attachment figures to the people whom he closely associates with. These figures help the child to explore his surroundings because to him it’s a sign of security. The way the parents will respond to the child will play an important role in the patterns of attachment that the child will develop. Through this the child will have internal models that are working and as a result his feelings as well as thoughts and future expectations about the relationship will form. In case the person who is attached to the child passes on the child is in a position to respond adaptively because this is a normal occurrence. Due to these changes at times children tend to develop some behaviors in order to survive the loss. Psychologists have defined a number of attachments which an infant develops with the person associated closely with. The type of attachment which the child develops depends on the existing relationship between the infant and the adult. In this case basing on the relationship between the two; the child may have a secure attachment where the child feels secure when he is with the person who takes care of him. If that is not the case the child may end up having an avoidant attachment where he avoids the adult or an anxious one (Boss, Doherty and LaRossa 284).
The last attachment which was described was the chaotic attachment. All this types of attachments plays an important role on the form of the social relationship that the child will have when they become of age. Therefore it’s important for the child to develop a secure attachment at an early age since this will enable him to feel secure in the relationships which he will have in the future. Through some other interactions the child is able to develop behaviors that are related to the attachments they developed from those interactions. Therefore all the types of future relationships whether romantic, sexual or general care for people will have their basis on the early infant relationships. Through the attachment theory that was developed policies have been implemented to support child care due to the major role it plays in the early development of an infant (Boss, Doherty and LaRossa 286).
This is an affectionate tie between a child and the care giver. Among the adults the bond maybe reciprocated between the involved parties but it’s not the case when it’s between a child and a parent who takes care of the child. To an infant this bond meets the child’s need for security and his other needs. This tie is very paramount to a child during the infancy stage. Through the theory one learns that the attachment between the child and the caregiver comes automatically. This may be as a result of gene replication or because of the need to survive. When this tie is looked at from a biological point of view it becomes apparently clear that it’s meant for the child’s survival. Though when another person examines it from a psychological angle what he discovers is the need for the child’s security.
An aspect of the attachment which reveals love and compassion proves that the bond is present. The bond of the child is attachment while that of the adult is care giving. The child forms the attachment to adult who is consistently there for him and is also sensitive to his needs and insecurities. Some other people who the child develops attachment with are those who play with him. The most important thing in developing this relationship is not the times spend with the child but rather the quality of the association between the two. To an infant the biological mother is the attachment figure though any other people who may behave with the child in a motherly way turn out to be the attachment figure. Another aspect of this theory of attachment is the behaviors expressed through the social interaction. Therefore it’s important for the care giver to respond appropriately to the signals brought forth by the child since through this a strong or anxious attachment may develop. Therefore a father who provides the child with the needed care may also develop this attachment and thus be the attachment figure to the infant.
Some children tend to form an attachment with a number of other people beside the caregiver. This usually happens at age two when they start showing discriminative behaviors towards the first care giver. This is normal because one of the principles of attachment is to develop a bond with the attachment figure that is available. When a child is insecure or afraid he raises an alarm and when this occurs and the care giver fails to respond accordingly the distress of separations is experienced by the infant. This separation that occurs can cause anger and anxiety in the child which eventually lead to sadness. This does not continue to happen after the child reaches three to four years since separation is no longer a threat to the child in relation to the caregiver. Insecurity can only be felt by an older child when there is prolonged absence, communication failure or rejection by the attachment figure towards the growing child (Wilkinson 42).
Attachment behavior is what brings out the closeness of the child to the attachment figure. At age six the infant would have developed the pre-attachment behavior and that is why during the infants first eight weeks, the child attracts attention by crying, smiling or even babbling. At this age the child can differentiate other people from his caregiver though the child will direct this behavior to anyone around him. From two to six months the child’s discriminatory behavior increases because he can distinguish the people he has encountered from those he’s never seen. During this time the infant responds more to the attachment figure because he feels secure to cling on them. As the child continues to develop he distinct his attachment for instance the child behave in a more organized way towards the caregiver. For example his attention is directed to the things which he needs and those which makes him secure. Therefore as time goes by the child is able to behave in ways which reveals attachment proximity. This is clearly seen when the child cries at the departure of the attachment figure or clings to them with much fear.
At the time when the child starts to learn to move the caregiver is used as a safe base for the child’s exploration. The child explores more when the caregiver is present since there is that feeling of safety as well as relaxation. In the absence of the caregiver the child strongly demonstrates the existing bond between them by either crying or raising a different form of alarm. Attachment behavior is exhibited more in case of the infant being sick or even fatigued. At age two the child begins to understand that the care giver is also an independent person. For this reason a child is able to identify and associate with some of their goals and through this the relationship between the two shifts to goal perspective. Researchers have explained in a rather different way because they believe child’s anxiety stemming from the existing attachment is learned with time and not constructive as the theory show (Wood 329).
Due to the influence of nature the behaviors associated with attachment as well as the emotions are adaptive. Through evolution there is selection of social behavior. For examples the behaviors which enhance survival are selected for while those which make an individual more vulnerable are selected against by the systems operating in nature. For this reason infants who stays with familiar people tend to be safe within those environments therefore they are more advantaged. This is because the child gets adapted to the environment early enough than someone who get to the same place at a later stage. The infant in such an environment has a survival advantage which enables him to oversee any forth coming dangers or uncertainties. The goal to this attachment is the proximity to the caregiver incase of any danger or threat (Wilkinson 39).
The attachment in infants is very wide and that is why at times they even form unnecessary attachments. In spite of this fact some significant separation may cause much havoc in the future when the child has grown up. One of the things which may hinder the development of the attachment is the frequent change of the attachment figure and this is not healthy for the child. During the early months the child is not able to distinguish his parents from other people therefore, there is no any preferences made. The anger exhibited by the infant in absence of the caregiver indicates some kind of enduring nature which is independent of the attachment figure. After this experience there comes a time when the child is expected to make selective attachments as opposed to any attachment. During this sensitive period the effects that will be experienced are not fixed therefore they can be reversed as opposed to the early effects. Therefore the attachment theory helps us to appreciate the fact that early at later relationships affects ones social development (Pasztor, Leighton and Blome 9).
There is need for an infant to have one defined caregiver in order for proper attachment to form at the early developmental stage. In the case where the child has a number of caregivers the child will tend to treat them with some form of biasness because he can only develop a strong attachment towards one caregiver. The experiences with a caregiver at an early age give the infant memories, thoughts and beliefs of the same. Through these experiences an internal working system develops and it’s useful in regulation of the subsequent behaviors. Through this process in the course of development the child is able to reflect and communicate about his experiences as a child which will help him relate well in the future.
This relationships and attachments help the child to relate well with others as well handling new relationships. For example a child learns the similar characteristics which exist between his parent and the teacher as well as the differences in handling different people. This is some of the factors that enable one handle future relationships like marriage, friendships as well as parenthood. Attachment behaviors change with time since it is closely associated with growth and this is as a result of character that was shaped by the early relationships. Therefore the behavior exhibited when the child reunites with the attachment figure is dependent on effects of their relationships on the child as well as the treatment the child received in the hands of the care giver (Pasztor, Leighton and Blome 39).