My daughter, who is working on her doctorate (and who also has a two year old and is expecting her second child) sent me this link with some questions, I suppose, on both the accuracy of the information presented here and its usefulness:
My first reaction to even applying my thoughts to this website is that I am tired. I am very, very, very tired of trying to think through to its truth the topic of infant attachment and I am tired of trying to imagine how the facts about this most important topic can be conveyed to ‘the public’.
Trying to see how anyone can write something even slightly intelligent (or useful) about ‘forming an attachment’ with a toddler without considering all attachments this little person either has had or has not had prior to that age makes me so tired I can hardly begin to think about how impossible ‘forming an attachment’ with a toddler would be if there has been no appropriate attachment from at least the instant it was born (actually, since conception).
The first thing I would say to my daughter on the topic is the same thing I would say to anyone else who wishes to begin to think with any intelligence about the topic of early attachment. It is not enough to allude to the early attachment research and theory. In today’s world the beginning light of understanding about human attachment lies in the work of the developmental neuroscientists who are clearly speaking the truth about attachment – though (I would sure be tired if I were THEM) – so very, very few people wish to take the time and apply the effort it takes to understand what these people are saying.
Read these critically important articles by Dr. Allan N. Schore:
And check out these notes taken from Schore’s book, Affect Regulation and the Repair of the Self by Allan N. Schore (Apr 2003)
There is NO EASY WAY to understand what attachment actually is – or what it actually does! In fact, without understanding what Schore is telling us about attachment, we will not really have a workable understanding of what attachment is.
We can say the following with understanding of what we mean without any scientific facts about what we are referring to:
“The sun came up. It is day.”
“The sun went down. It is night.”
If we only wish for a similar simplistic understanding of attachment we can rely on “pop” information such as is presented at this link: Attachment: Why it’s crucial for your baby
If we want the truth, we will have to work for it. Quality of early attachment determines how a human being’s body and brain will develop. If we don’t care what that means – then what more can I say?
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