Monday, August 17, 2009

Attachment Theory

Own photo, july 2005. nl:User Magalhaes and da...Image via Wikipedia

Attachment theory is the theory of how early relationships between infant and caregiver (baby and mom or dad) affect the child's developing patterns for understanding his or her relationship to others and the world at large.

In attachment theory, children are seen as completely dependent upon their parents, on whom they rely for getting all their needs met. If the parents are able to notice and respond to the baby's needs - whether for food, warmth, loving interaction, etc. - the baby will develop a "friendly" picture of the world, in which it is possible to be satisfied and have needs met, and a "friendly" picture of his or her self as lovable and worthy of being cared for.

Unfortunately, when this is not the case, other views of the world and self can develop which tend to persist later into life, a view where the world is not a place where needs can be met and connection can be found, and where the self is unworthy of having this kind of fulfillment.

What this means, and why it is important:
As an adult, you have certain views about the world, some of which may be the result of the way your parents related to you as a child. Other people may have different views of the world. If you accept that your subjective view of the world is not necessarily the way the world really is, but just what you've learned in your limited experiences, it opens up a little bit of room for exploration.

If you're stuck in with unsuccessful patterns in your relationships, knowing that these patterns just developed because of your past, and they're not "you" - just like the fact that 2+2=4 is not you, but just something you've learned - can give a little bit of space for exploring new and more satisfying ways of relating from this point forward.

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  1. I like the question "How do you know?"

    I think this fits in well here... If the babies don't get the oppertunity to know... then "How do they know?"

    I also like the question "What do you want?" Some people still are looking for Mommies or Daddies to answer that...

    Of course it's hard for anyone to be perfect... so I would find it hard for any human being to have the perfect mommy or daddy. Yet the question appears again "How do you know?" and a simply presup might be that it was perfect and that in the early stages "How do you know it not?"

    Now here is a neat double bind... The baby doesn't get breast milk or a bottle when they cry out... and the seek it in the future behaviors... or the think it's perfect cause "how woul they know?" and they seek re-living that in the future...

    And of course there is the third choice and like you said notice the oppertunities in the world as live unfolds discovering how everyday we see the world through new eyes... like a baby.. or not... or... (wink)

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  3. It takes time to become attached to your infant - after all, you've just met - but as you engage in techniques that foster physical and emotional closeness to your baby, you'll learn to anticipate his needs and to respond to them quickly, making your child secure in the knowledge that he can rely on you for comfort and security.

    Mr. Martial Arts