From birth, we develop a close bond with our main caregivers (usually our parents). The attachment a child forms to its carers helps them to learn and develop in a trusting environment, and even at such a young age, to know their parents will be there for them.
For some children, however, a safe and secure attachment bond is not formed. There are a multitude of reasons for this, but typically there is a situation where the caregiver is unable to provide the care and attention required to form a close attachment. Whatever the cause, the effect of not forming this secure bond can lead to attachment difficulties which can vary in severity and the way they present. A child may have been abused, neglected or separated from their parents for other reasons such as being born prematurely or parent/child ill health in infancy.
There may be other reasons why parents were unable to provide the security the baby needed to develop their attachment such as:
- Postnatal depression
- Not feeling secure (money/ housing worries)
- One or both parents in a violent or frightening relationship
- Feeling alone and unsupported
- Unhappy memories about their own childhood.
Find out more about attachment difficulties in the dropdown boxes below.