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Attachment, feeling safe and secure

In this chapter we examine the secure loving attachment between Orson and Mum. We take an holistic look at how a secure attachment really supports and is integral to healthy development and how his emotional development is becoming regulated. We see him happy at this stage to be left with a stranger.

Good for looking at

  • Attachment
  • Brain development
  • Emotional regulation
  • Babies
  • Parents
00:07
The crucial thing that happens
00:08
in a baby's development is they begin
00:11
to make a very special relationship with their carers
00:14
and that's known as attachment
00:16
and attachment has got a great deal to do
00:19
with how we feel safe and secure in our environment
00:25
and it begins right back in these early months of our lives
00:30
when we begin to make those relationships with our carers
00:33
and it's specifically about how our carers respond
00:38
to us, and in particular, how they deal with our distress.
00:42
They get to know that somebody at some point
00:44
is going to come and sort them out
00:47
and soothe them and comfort them
00:49
and that's how attachment, which is
00:52
a biological process, really, which is to do
00:55
with feelings of closeness and security,
00:58
actually begins to form.
00:60
This secure attachment relationship
01:02
and advancing development in the brain
01:04
helps Orson begin to manage his emotions himself.
01:09
Through the consistent and sensitive responsiveness
01:12
of the parents, Orson learns that it's all right
01:15
to show his feelings when he's distressed,
01:17
frightened, or angry, and that his parents
01:19
will help him regulate these feelings if they overwhelm him.
01:24
His prefrontal cortex learns to control
01:27
the emotional impulses in a balanced way
01:30
so that he can feel his feelings,
01:32
but they won't run away with him.
01:35
He cries while sitting with his family.
01:42
They try to comfort him.
01:44
What's up?
01:48
What's a matter?
01:54
Do you wanna cry?
01:55
Time for cuddle.
01:56
But he manages it on his own
01:57
by sucking his finger.
02:01
Are these from your set?
02:03
Uh-huh.
02:04
Well, they look like a saw.
02:06
Most of the time, he's now able
02:08
to get himself off to sleep.
02:12
Of course, he'll still need a lot of help and support
02:14
for a long time, but slowly, he'll become
02:17
more independent and be able to manage
02:19
more and more situations himself.
02:26
At six months, although Orson has a preference for mum,
02:29
he's generally sociable with other people
02:32
and he's happy to be left with a stranger.
02:34
Look.
02:36
Put that one inside.
02:38
You want to go to Allison while I go to the toilet?
02:41
Come on, then.
02:42
Oh, he's a big boy, eh?
02:45
Shall we have a look at this, eh?
02:46
Yeah, what have we got here?
02:49
That's on there.
02:56
When mum returns, Orson is still happy
02:58
to sit and play with Allison.
02:60
There, ray!
03:02
You've done it.
03:04
You took it out.
03:09
You been playing?
03:10
You were a clever boy, weren't you?
03:13
Yeah?
03:14
I don't know how clean this is, I'm sure.
03:24
The way Orson is learning about the world
03:27
is largely mediated by communication
03:30
from and with his mum and dad.
03:32
They're communicating with each other
03:34
in a rich holistic way.
03:37
This is enabling him to make sense
03:39
of the varied experiences they've provided for him.
03:43
They've given him objects to find out about,
03:46
sensations to experience, and varied games
03:49
to be involved in.
03:51
He can now sit up, can grasp, and is investigating
03:55
objects and their properties.
03:58
He's eating solid food,
03:60
experiencing new textures and tastes.
04:03
He's forming an attachment to his mum and dad
04:06
because of their sensitivity to his needs
04:09
and their caring responses, giving him
04:11
a sense of emotional security.
04:15
It's the repeated day-to-day experiences
04:18
we've seen with mum and dad that enables
04:20
the brain to gradually put together all
04:22
the physical and psychological messages
04:25
in an integrated way.