In the previous articles, we discussed the probability that being in tune with your child’s emotional cues helps your child develop good and healthy attachment. The ability for your child to understand how you, the parent, will respond to their needs facilitates secure or insecure attachment development.
When the child cannot count on what the mother’s responsiveness will be to his/her needs, then there comes the possibility of developing an insecure attachment. There is the possibility that when unresponsive parenting is demonstrated the results can be unfavorable. If attachment parenting is not performed effectively or consistently then social-emotional issues could cultivate.
Inappropriate cues, insecure attachment and research
Some examples of what can be said to a child when not giving assuredness or positive cues are seen here: http://icp.psych.udel.edu/parents/attachment_types.htm. Infant Caregiver Project shows that there are several responses a mother can give her child to facilitate insecure attachment. One example is if a child falls and gets then the mother says, “You’re a big boy, you don’t need to cry,” the mother is demonstrating that the child will not be reassured when he gets hurt. If this happens over and over again, then the child understands the mother will not be there for him when he gets hurt and the expectation for her lack of responsiveness is set. Therefore, the theory suggests he does not feel reassured and develops avoidant attachment.
Professional researchers have put much effort into learning about attachment and the brain. They have discovered that the pre-frontal cortex development and the amygdala (emotional center of the brain) are responsible and negatively affected when healthy attachment does not take place in early development. Evidence suggests pathology is related in the interactions amongst the pre-frontal cortex and the amygdala.
When talking to Brooklyn resident, who remains anonymous, she expressed she has been friendly with adults who grow up to have relationship issues and often wondered if it can be attributed to insecure attachment. Research suggests that if there is insecure attachment developed in childhood it can be correlated to being either too clingy or having negative interactions in a relationship, for example. One major reason is because the individual might not feel safe with their partner as they did not feel safe with their mother/caregiver.
We can already see the importance of healthy attachment development in more ways than one. If this is not provided, healthy emotional development may not occur thus predisposing the individual to a lifetime of difficulties. (Pathology and other information on insecure attachment and brain-based interventions will be discussed in the next articles.)