Contrary to popular cultural beliefs, close attachment to the mother remains crucially important to children through the toddler and early childhood years. While the needs shift, the attachment remains key. In toddlerhood, children make great strides in physical ability and locomotion but are still at an early point in the development of necessary self-protective skills. As the child grows, he becomes more autonomous and self-reliant, but remains vulnerable to a wide range of dangers. Thus, attachment behaviors, such as seeking proximity to mother, evincing anxiety when mother moves away, and protesting separation are adaptive mechanisms, not regressive ones.
This adaptive pattern is largely unappreciated by our Western culture and is unfortunately and wrongly labeled "controlling," "attention-seeking," or "spoiling. As children continue to age and develop, their needs evolve but their reliance on the attachment system endures. Even adolescence, often viewed as the pinnacle of developmental challenges, has its focus in attachment.
Adolescents struggle with the tension between their connection to family and their formation of independence. The foundation built in the early years is the groundwork for this phase of life; if the attachment is secure and established, child and parents can negotiate the events of adolescence with little struggle. What is also highlighted in the research is the importance of nonmaternal caregivers in the child's life. While the mother-child dyad maintains primacy because of its psychobiological underpinnings in survival and optimal development, the child cultivates an array of "affectional bonds" 3 that include, most important, the father or partner, as well as other members of the network of close family and friends.
Attunement in each of these relationships is intensely important because the child is always taking in new information and being shaped by the world. While attachment theory centers on a primary figure, typically the mother, as the bedrock of the child's health and wellbeing, this does not occur in a vacuum, nor to the exclusion of fathers and partners. Often, in the progression of infant development, the initial role of fathers focuses on support of the mother in her attempt to care for their baby.
But it does not stop there. As the baby gains in abilities, the father becomes more central, and his role often evolves into the safe launching point for the child's accelerated forays into the external world. In the implementation of attachment theory, the baby is connected to the mother and embraced by the support of many people who influence growth and development differently at each unique stage. What does all this mean? Healthy attachment via healthy attunement is the key to healthy babies, and healthy babies are the key to healthy adults.
However, while the research may be illuminating, it can also sound frightening. It is crucial to remember that the mother-baby dyad is a mutual system. No system functions flawlessly all of the time; each of us will be faced with times when we are out of sync, or in emotional disregulation, with our babies. The good news is that these periods of misattunement, as long as they are brief and not chronic, appear to be a positive thing.
Because the baby is learning self-regulation, short periods of misattunement followed by re-attunement have the effect of teaching resilience. Further, it is speculated that such interactive repair may also be the underpinning of empathy. Long periods of disequilibrium, or consistent and repeated short exposures, however, are not beneficial.
The long-term effects of such environments are as disheartening as the short-term stress reaction. Research now directly links the early experiences discussed with a predisposition to mental illness of all kinds and impaired functioning over a lifespan. Yet another body of hopeful research also exists.
There is expanding and exciting study on the impact of positive emotional and play states in the mother-child relationship. This research shows that the capacity to create joy, elation, interest, and excitement together with your baby is a key to early healthy development and lifelong physical and mental health.
Thus, the focus is not just on the negative impact of stress and the importance of stress avoidance, but also recognizes the central importance of happiness and joy. The child attaches to the regulating mother, who helps maximize opportunity for positive emotions and minimize opportunity for negative emotions, thus creating optimal health.
What this means for parents raising children in today's world is sweeping. We need cultural changes - changes in expectation, in our view of parents, in our definitions of feminism and masculinity, in our economic systems and medical understandings. In its broader applications, attachment theory requires us to rethink most of what our society has taught us.
We must let go of old learning and erroneous information in order to re-attune to our own connective instincts.
While this cannot be accomplished quickly, what we can do is apply this new knowledge to our own lives. Sources that advise the use of formula, bottles, and feeding schedules when on-cue breastfeeding is possible can be dismissed. The understanding of breastfeeding as an attachment behavior that not only meets the nutritional and emotional needs of children but helps to fortify the mother-baby dyad is clear.
Bowlby himself saw the dual purpose of breastfeeding and viewed the attachment as primary. At about eight weeks of age, a baby's vision improves, and these early visual experiences play an important role in development. The mother's emotionally expressive face is the most potent visual stimulus a baby encounters. This emotional circuit causes the mother's endorphin levels to rise in turn, resulting in an emotional synchronization. Cosleeping is another important extension of attachment theory.
Because of mother-baby proximity, cosleeping allows for a quick response to disequilibrium. Firmly established regulatory aspects of bed-sharing parallel and echo the self-regulatory learning taking place within the attachment framework. As the work of Dr. James McKenna illustrates see Mothering, no. Perhaps most important, behavior-based techniques of child raising, such as sleep training, must be shunned. Given the new body of sophisticated, cross-discipline research on attachment and brain development outlined in this article, it is clear that a baby's willingness to accept sleep training after reportedly brief periods of protest is no less than a cycle of hyperarousal and dissociation responses that is damaging to its development.
To think that since the infant has passively accepted the new sleep system, the sleep training is thus "successful," is to misunderstand the workings of the infant brain. No longer can we accept the conventional wisdom that babies are merely "exercising their lungs" when they cry; nor can we tolerate interpretations of babies' cries as "manipulation. It is an attempt at communication, not manipulation. Their goals are survival and optimal development. This is achieved through secure attachment.
Perhaps the most difficult application of attachment theory lies in our own childhoods. Two skills that are useful at any age. Each level is a little harder than the last and it is easy to become frustrated. The object of the game is to slingshot birds at pigs sitting in small structures in order to kill all the pigs. No one knows what the pigs did, or even if they are evil, but for some reason, the birds are not happy with their presence. Levels are like puzzles and each one is harder than the last, but along the way, you unlock different birds with new abilities.
The app encourages kids to draw an animal on the iPhone screen based on the letter they choose. The app lets kids practice the alphabet, promotes curiosity for new technology, and, most importantly, teaches children to think outside the box.
Artkive is the refrigerator door of apps. Artkive offers child-friendly navigation and lets anyone easily edit pictures for brightness or filters. You can also upload artwork you like onto the Artkive website and create calendars and books, which could be used to embarrass your children for years to come. Artkive can be used to preserve school work and projects as well. If your child likes to sing and listen to music, Little Fox Music Box is the perfect app. Each song is paired with a different scene with interactive animals and backgrounds.
If your little one is tired of the standard basic songs, head to the fox studio where you can record original songs while Little Fox dances along. Musical Me! This relic used to be found in every suburban home, but now it has gone the way of Pogs and fuse beads. Art of Glow brings back the national past time digitally — without the choking risk.
Every creation begins with a blank black screen and children choose which kind of brush stroke to use, such as stars, hearts, and circles. Choose a color, all of them neon, and draw away. Some of the shapes are animated and will come to life, but all of them are bright and eye-catching, perfect for a young child. After the masterpiece is completed, you can then save them to enjoy later.
Bee-Bot free Bee-bot is very simple app that helps children develop skills in directional language and programming. Shapes Toddler Preschool free This app gets kids ready for preschool with puzzles and games involving shapes, colors, numbers, and letters. BrainPOP Jr. Ubooly free Ubooly, which can be described as a less terrifying Furby , is essentially a far more advanced version of a Teddy Ruxpin. Super Why! Artkive free Artkive is the refrigerator door of apps. Artkive can be used to preserve school work and projects as well Android iOS.
Then they handed their subjects Dixie cups with pills inside them -- 30 milligrams of amphetamine sulfate, better known on the street as speed.
Swallow, wait for it, woo! Flex: Then they got their subjects drunk, or at least buzzed, on grain alcohol.
Flex: no improvement. Then they took a big syringe and injected their subjects "intramuscularly" with half a milliliter of adrenaline. How did this make their subjects feel? Who knows? Those details went unrecorded. But the flex numbers were, and the results were surprising: A literal shot of adrenaline produced a statistically insignificant rise in muscle strength. What did it all add up to? Ikai and Steinhaus thought their findings showed that "psychologic rather than physiologic factors determine the limits of performance.
Chalking something up to "psychologic" factors is, in science, the equivalent of a shrug.