Monthly Archives

October 2015

Secure Attachment: Tips for Creating a Secure Attachment

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In this final post we will briefly go through some tips for secure attachment.

Nonverbal cues are a key part of emotional communication related to secure attachment. Some important nonverbal cues and how to use them include:
• Eye contact: look directly at your child affectionately so they pick up on the positive emotions
• Facial expression: keep your facial expression calm, and attentive as best you can
• Tone of voice: even though your child may not understand words yet, they can distinguish between the emotional communications conveyed by tone, keep your tone tender, and calm and make sure your tone matches what you are saying
• Touch: use touch to reassure your child and convey support and love
• Body language: keep your body language open
• Pacing, timing, intensity: try to maintain a child pace to your care, keep it calm and moment by moment

For further resources on understanding and creating a secure attachment watch the video at:…/creating-secure-infant-attachmen…



Secure Attachment: Obstacles in Creating Secure Attachment

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This weeks post on secure attachment is about the obstacles that may come up when trying to create a secure attachment bond.

These obstacles may first appear when your child is an infant. Things that can affect the bond at this age are very strong related to the nervous system and may include
• Difficulty in the womb or the birth process
• Adopted babies who spend time in hospital neonatal units
• Infants who never seem to stop crying
A child can overcome any of the above difficulties when primary caregivers are still focused on their emotional needs

Obstacles may also appear in older children. The environment plays a big role here, and things that can affect the bond can include
• A child only gets attention from acting out
• Child’s need are not consistently met
• A child is hospitalized, separated from their parents or moved from one caregiver to another
• A child is mistreated or abused

A caregiver’s wellbeing can also influence the secure attachment bond
• Caregivers who are stressed, depressed, traumatized or overly busy and unavailable can have a harder time developing a secure attachment for their children

In our next and final post on secure attachment we will talk about some tips for creating a secure attachment bond.



Secure Attachment: Bonding versus Secure Attachment

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This is the second post in our series on secure attachment. In this post we will be discussing the difference between bonding that creates love and bonding that creates secure attachment. Both are important but your child needs more than love to build a secure attachment.

To build a secure attachment, there is a distinct need to practice nonverbal emotional exchange with a primary caregiver. This creates an emotional connection between the child and the caregiver that helps the child feel not only secure, but understood and confident in communicating with their caregiver. 

In terms of bonding versus secure attachment bonding…
• Is a parent’s desire for a connection with their child which begins even before they are born
• Is oriented at children’s needs, and attending to these needs
• Often is adult-paced, because of being need oriented, it focuses on getting the tasks done in caring for children
• Interaction between parent and child is initiated by the parent most often
• Focus is on long-term future goals of children being successful and healthy

Secure Attachment Bond
• Is a child’s emotional connection with their primary caregiver that begins at birth
• Requires focus on children’s emotional states and cues to this state in the moment
• Is child-paced as it requires time spent attending to, and deciphering these emotional cues as they are usually nonverbal
• Interaction is initiated by the child and it is the parents job to pick up on these initiations
• Focus is on the experience of the moment rather than preparation for long-term goals

There will be more information to come next week on secure attachment and bonding.



Secure Attachment: What is Secure Attachment and Bonding

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This post is the first in a series of post we will be putting out over the next couple weeks in relation to secure attachment and bonding with your child.

To begin with, it is useful to define secure attachment and bonding and discuss why these things are important to early childhood development. A secure attachment in early childhood is evident in children who display some distress when their parent (or primary caregiver) leaves them in a new setting (such as their first day of preschool) but is able to calm down and start interacting in the new setting. Children with a secure attachment feel secure because they have a strong and positive relationship with their primary caregiver (usually mom).

Secure attachment has been found to predict how well children do as they navigate through years of school, through new life situations and stressors as they grow up, and even how they conduct themselves in relationships as adults.

Secure attachment is build through attachment bonding which is the emotional communication between parent and child, most of which is nonverbal, and this bonding is best done at the infant age but can be formed at any time.

An important thing to keep in mind is that the attachment bond itself is not an indication of perfect parenting or a presence or lack of attachment. Children and parents naturally create an attachment and a loving bond. But the strength and nature of the attachment can vary depending on the consistency and style of emotional communication between parent and child. A secure attachment ensures that the child feels secure, and understood.

There will be more information to come on secure attachment and bonding.



How Reggio Emilia Activities are Set Up

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At Parkland Players we pride ourselves in taking a Reggio Emilia approach to childcare and early childhood learning, however, we recognize that understanding what this means for the activities we plan at our centre can be a little fuzzy.

What is most important to understand about Reggio Emilia is that the interests of the students direct it. So when teachers are setting up an activity, the central question they must ask is “What have the children been curious about?” Teachers then will look to interactions with students over the past little while where students outright asked questions about things (such as the insects they found on a log on the playground), or to statements they have made about their discoveries (such as simply showing the teacher insects they found), or even activities that they seem incredibly focused on (such as following the insects they found on the log to observe what they do).

From here, teachers can begin to plan an activity that builds on the interest children have already expressed. Teachers will find out the extent of understanding children already have about the subject (to go with our existing example: insects). Maybe they know that insects have six legs and some fly. Maybe they think anything smaller than their finger is an insect. Maybe they think that all insects live outside. Whatever the case may be, it is the teacher’s task to find the jumping off point.

Next, they can begin to plan an activity to build on (or correct) the knowledge that children already have about their current interest: insects. This activity could come in the form of a provocation table filled with items that are related to insects: a book on flies, an ant farm, pressed butterflies, places where insects live (like logs and branches), etc. Children would then be tasked with examining the table and making connections between the items they see there to further their understanding.

Activities could also come in a more natural form. Teachers may simply facilitate the inquiry that is already taking place when children are following the insects on the log they found outside. They can gather the group and ask questions to start a discussion and further understanding.

Lastly, activities could come in a sensory or artistic form, this medium is slightly more open to interpretation but for an example, children could make insects out of clay and then talk about the parts of their clay insect.

Of course there are many more types of activities that can be conducted but hopefully these few give a better understanding of what Reggio Emilia education can look like.