Attachment is the deep, lasting bond between a child and caregiver. The nature of the attachment bond, established from the beginning of life, has far-reaching implications for the developing individual over the whole life span.
Attachment experience influences thinking patterns, physical growth, emotional capacity, life satisfaction, relationships, and parenting style. Attachment experiences also influence the development of our character style.
We Need Each Other
Studies tells us that babies who do not develop a secure bond with the caregiver are more likely to have difficulties that reduce personal life satisfaction. The human baby is born helpless in so many ways – much of the neural development in the brain is yet to come. Caregivers literally shape the baby’s growth and development. In turn, the caregiver is influenced by the baby.
As with character development, genetic and environmental influences impact attachment. Some babies, for example, are born more sensitive or showing a greater degree of shyness. Others are more lively, tough and active. It’s important to note that having a secure attachment does not ensure a trouble-free life.
Children with a secure attachment history may also experience a range of problems that occur in spite of their positive upbringing. These problems may result from biological, emotional and social influences.
Attachment experiences play a major role in shaping who we are. By bringing non-judgmental awareness toward our thoughts, feelings and behaviors we can compassionately examine ways in which we are limiting ourselves and work toward creating new ways of being.