However, as Australia has become increasingly multicultural, early childhood educators must also take into account how the cultural background of children may affect their attachment style and relational behaviour. For example, Western culture puts emphasis on independence whereas Eastern culture may value interdependence more. Considering a child’s cultural and social background gives more context and insight into an early childhood educator’s assessment and understanding of a child’s attachment style.
For Early Childhood Educators
As early childhood educators become a necessary and constant source of attachment, they are in a prime position to provide support and a more consistent attachment figure to children in their care.
How to Cultivate a Secure Attachment Style in Children
As previously mentioned, attachment styles aren’t inherently good or bad. Attachment styles are developed as a result of a child adapting and adjusting to their environment and attachment figures’ response to their emotional needs. As attachment styles are developed in early childhood, early childhood educators are in a prime position to understand what attachment style a child is developing and can start cultivating a secure attachment in its stead.
Consistent presence when a child needs comfort and support
Early childhood educators can only be present during a certain time and they may care for multiple children at once so it’s understandable you won’t be watching each child like a hawk every single minute. But being present at specific times when a child is calling for support or comfort is key to providing a child a sense of security and consistency provided by an early childhood educator as an attachment figure.
Providing freedom for a child to explore
Another key factor in cultivating a secure attachment style in children is giving them breaks from the attachment figure and letting them exercise their relational skills. It gives children a chance to forge their secure attachment by testing the boundaries, learning independence, and further strengthening their confidence. When a child commits a mistake, or needs support and gets it from their attachment figure, it reinforces the child’s secure attachment.
Since Dr. Bowlby first formulated his attachment theory, expounded by Mary Ainsworth; it has since experienced a resurgence in modern times to explain how modern relationships work. But more than that, parents and caregivers must learn that whatever attachment your child exhibits, it isn’t good or bad. Rather the attachment style is a coping mechanism based on social and emotional cues the child received in their immediate environment. It is then the task of the parent or primary caregiver to foster a safe and secure emotional environment from which a child can reshape their attachment style.
Learn more about attachment theory and concepts here: https://seasinternational.org/explanations-of-attachment-theoretical-concepts/