Emotional Attachment: What a-year-old infant can feel?

Two days ago, my sister-in-law suddenly fell limply onto the floor. She said that she was very weak so she could not stand up by herself. When we – my mom and I – lifted her up, my baby niece spontaneously cried! She screamed because she knew that something was wrong with her mom. At first I thought it was a coincidence, but then I realized that it was not. My baby niece walked to the door and knocked while calling her Mom. She wanted to go inside her room. When she finally there, she kissed her mom and gently massage her arms. I was so touched!

According to John Bowlby, attachment forms during six months and two years of age. This first social interaction happens when parents and caregivers continually give attention, emotional support and physical touch (hugging, kissing, holding) as a way of being sensitive and responsive to the needs of an infant. As in adults relationship, infants expect that the relationship builds will be reciprocal, two-ways and deep. It is scientifically proven that infant needs a secure relationship with adult caregivers, or else the social and emotional development will not develop well. Infant expresses his/her affection by hugging, patting and kissing the people that he/she loves (Hurlock, 1980).

Many experts have contributed numbers of researches into the understanding of attachment forms. The behaviorist believes that attachment formed when affection is given continuously and permanently to the infants. Meanwhile, in psychoanalytic point of view, Bowlby believes that attachments form depends on the interaction between the infants and the environments. Many pros and cons still ongoing in this issue (for further reading: Attachment_theory).

However, as an adult, I believe that infants will understand the love and the affection that we share sincerely to help them to develop trust, love and ability to dwell in larger social environment.

Way to go, Parents!

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