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.