Role of the Attachment Person
By Judy Arnall
from S. Landy 2002
Pathways to Competence:
Encouraging Healthy Social and Emotional Development in Young Children.)
the child and give them a sense of trust in the world. Inform children of dangers and make sure
their home and environment is free from danger as much as possible. Protect their minds and spirits from
overwhelming input from media, people, and situations.
the child learn to control his behaviour, sort out his emotions and manage
them, and explore his thinking. Help the child learn appropriate
behaviour and inappropriate behaviour, as well as empathy and
consideration for others. Use
discipline methods that encourage attachment, respectful teaching, and
problem solving, rather then detachment methods such as isolation,
physical punishment, humiliation and consequences.
exploration and curiosity of his environment within a web of
safety. Provide age-appropriate
stimulation for intelligence and creativity.
a source of comfort and nurturing when the child is distressed. Children often feel afraid, lonely,
angry, upset, ill, hurt or jealous.
A nurturing parent will name the feeling,
comfort the child with soft words, hugs and holding, and time spent helping
the child sort out their intense feelings.
This does not have a time limit and may occur day or night as
out relationship problems when they come up. The attachment parent takes the
initiative to talk and problem solve issues as
they come up in respectful ways.
to and notice children often and as needed, so they learn that they
are important. Encourage their capability.
a safe outlet to talk about feelings and experiences that may be
frightening to the child.
joyful and happy memories, rituals, and celebrations of family life to
give children a sense of predictability and fun.
children know when you leave and when you will be back. Avoid threatening phrases that the child
will be left behind, as it can foster insecurity. Trust is built when good-bye rituals are
established and by making the child feel as comfortable as possible about
the good-bye. For a child that has
difficulty when separation, consider leaving him as least as possible
until he can developmentally handle it.
to be as predictable and positive as possible in reacting to the child’s
provides security. Children and
adults look for patterns in the world and learn to expect them. When children feel that they can predict
patterns, they feel more secure, capable and a since of mastery over their
Many parents and caregivers carry out the role of the
attachment person by standard attachment parenting behaviours such as long term
breastfeeding, co-sleeping, wearing baby in a sling, not letting the child cry
it out, practicing gentle discipline, and nurturing children with time,
attention, immediate response, empathy, and kindness.