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Attachment is the deep and enduring emotional bond between two people. A secure attachment is the feeling of closeness and safety we feel when we’re in the presence of our attachment figure. As caregivers, it’s our job to provide safety and security for our infants. This is a biological drive, it’s in the evolutionary interests of our species – secure attachment enhances an infant’s chance of survival.

Importantly, our mere presence is not enough to establish a secure attachment with our infants. Babies form attachments with those who respond accurately and appropriately to their signals, not the person they spend the most time with. There is so much research to support the benefits of a secure attachment.

After more than 60 years of research we know that the more securely attached children are, the more they are able to:

- Experience happiness with their parents

- Feel less anger toward their parents

- Turn to their parents for help when in trouble

- Solve problems on their own

- Know that most problems will have an answer

- Have lasting friendships

- Get along better with friends

- Solve problems with friends

- Have better relationships with brothers and sisters

- Know how to be kind to those around them

- Trust the people they love

- Trust that good things will come their way

- Have higher self-esteem

So, what can we do to help form a secure attachment with our child?:

- Follow our child’s lead

- Support their exploration

- Watch over them

- Delight in them

- Help them

- Enjoy with them

- Be present

- Protect them

- Comfort them

- Help them process their feelings

References: Cooper et al 2011; Hoffman et al 2006; Marvin et al 2002; Powell et al 2013

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