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talk 2 me Promoting Secure Attachment. Healthy Starts Committee. Outline. Alignment Rockford Case example Attachment How can we model and promote pro-attachment behaviors? Resources to support secure attachments Case discussion. Alignment Rockford Healthy Starts Committee. RPS 205 Goal

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talk 2 me promoting secure attachment

talk2mePromoting Secure Attachment

Healthy Starts Committee

  • Alignment Rockford
  • Case example
  • Attachment
  • How can we model and promote pro-attachment behaviors?
  • Resources to support secure attachments
  • Case discussion
alignment rockford healthy starts committee
Alignment RockfordHealthy Starts Committee
  • RPS 205 Goal
    • Create a preschool program that gives families access to the resources neededto properly prepare their children for their educational experience.
  • Tactic: Develop ‘train-the-trainer’ workshops for all youth-serving organizations and promote the Talk2Me behaviors
  • Children are healthy, feel safe, and are ready to learn when they start Kindergarten
  • The path to graduation starts in infancy…and Attachment is the key!
case example
Case Example
  • Medical professionals
    • Hospital and medical office
  • Social service and public health providers
  • Childcare providers
  • Faith organizations
what is attachment
What is attachment?

“An emotional bond to another person that gives lasting psychological connectedness between human beings.”

John Bowlby, 1969

A relationship between a caregiver and an infant that starts before birth and continues to develop over time.

why is attachment important
Why is Attachment Important?

Influences the infant or child’s physical, neurological, cognitive, & psychological development

Basis for trust/mistrust

Shapes how the child will

relate to the world, learn,

and form relationships

secure or insecure attachment
Secure or Insecure Attachment
  • There is a continuum between secure and insecure attachment
  • Multiple factors influence

cognitive and emotional


    • Primary caregiver
      • Environmental factors
      • Situational factors
securely attached child behavior
Securely Attached Child Behavior
  • Confident
  • Curious
  • Able to pick up on social cues
  • Aware of others’ and their own emotions
  • More eye contact
  • Less anxious
  • More connected to their caregiver
  • More ready and open to learning
insecurely attached child behavior
Insecurely Attached Child Behavior
  • Fearful
  • Anxious
  • Not aware of others’ emotions nor social cues
  • Avoids people
  • Withdrawn
  • Angry
  • Contradictory behaviors
  • Not as ready to learn
the early catastrophe 30 million word gap by age 3
The Early Catastrophe: 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3

Compared Language Development of Children Whose Parents Were Professionally Educated to Children Whose Parents Live in Poverty

B. Hart & T. Risley , 2003

american academy of pediatrics
American Academy of Pediatrics

“As trusted authorities in child health and development, pediatric providers must now complement the early identification of developmental concerns with a greater focus on those interventions and community investments that reduce external threats to healthy brain growth.”

American Academy of Pediatrics, January 2012

attachment risk factors
Attachment Risk Factors
  • Poverty
  • Birth complications, prematurity, or infant health problems
  • Unwanted child
  • Lack of caregiver education about child development and interaction
  • Caregiver mental or physical health problems
  • Family conflict
  • Social isolation
  • Impaired child-caregiver relationship (difference in temperament)
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Time constraints: working parent(s) and/or single parent
  • Substance abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Caregiver with history of childhood trauma/adversity
attachment protective factors
Attachment Protective Factors
  • Understanding development milestones and importance of interaction
  • Strength of family system (stable home environment)
  • Supportive child-caregiver relationship
  • Good coping strategies and readiness for change
  • Children are wired to attach!
  • Strong social/emotional support network
  • Economic stability
  • Spirituality, cultural roots, and community connections
attachment benefits
Attachment Benefits
  • Happy and healthy relationships
  • Children enter school prepared to:
    • Adapt to change
    • Self-regulate behaviors
    • Manage difficult experiences
    • Have positive interactions with others
    • Learn
  • Success in Life!
who can help promote attachment
Who Can Help Promote Attachment?
  • Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
  • Child care providers and teachers
  • Medical professionals
  • Faith communities
  • Social service and public health agencies
  • Everyone who interacts with children!
call to action
Call to Action!
  • Talk to me!
  • Play with me!
  • Cuddle me!
  • Encourage me!
talk to me1
Talk to Me
  • Have a conversation with me about anything!
  • Sing to me
  • Read to me
  • Respond to me
  • I understand more than you think I do!
  • Remember: Baby talk is smart talk!
play with me1
Play with Me
  • Interact with me
  • Engage me
  • Smile and laugh with me
  • Spend lots of time with me
  • Get down on the floor with me
  • Make a safe environment for me
  • Be a kid again with me!
cuddle me1
Cuddle Me
  • Hug me
  • Kiss me
  • Look into my eyes
  • Cradle and cuddle me
  • Hold me when you feed me
  • Comfort me
  • I like to be close to you!
encourage me1
Encourage Me
  • Create a stable bond with me
  • Be there for me (reliably and consistently)
  • Pay attention to me
  • Give me lots of encouragement
  • Get to know me
  • Tell me positive things
  • Praise me!
what can my organization do
What Can My Organization Do?
  • Model healthy, realistic attitudes, beliefs, and expectations about pregnancy, childbirth, childrearing, and the parent-child relationship
  • Promote understanding of child development and realistic expectations for child behavior
what can my organization do1
What Can My Organization Do?
  • Promote positive relationships and quality learning experiences through:
    • Parent education
    • Family support
    • Early child care and education
    • Early intervention services
  • Remember: Non-judgmental approach will assist in ability to influence change
teaching strategies
Teaching Strategies:
  • Model appropriate behavior with infants
  • Create a newsletter/bulletin board of information
  • Provide educational sessions/family activity nights
        • Tailor the message to your audience
        • What is attachment and how important is it?
        • What is baby feeling or thinking?
        • Communication with babies
        • Coping with anxiety and stress
        • Developmental milestones and activities, including take-home activities
coaching strategies
Coaching Strategies:
  • Spend regular, quiet, face-to-face time with infant
    • “Watch, Wait, and Wonder”
  • Encourage sensitive, predictable responses to baby’s cues and signals
  • Point out strengths, rephrase negative statements
  • Highlight positive aspects of relationship
  • Enhance ability to see the child as an individual, and view from the child’s perspective:
        • ‘Speak for your baby.’
        • ‘What do you think your baby is thinking?’
advocating strategies
Advocating Strategies:
  • Encourage parents to create a safe, predictable, development-conducive home environment
  • Build and support life management skills and effective use of resources
  • Help parents recognize options, claim power, and make healthy choices
  • Help parents identify and strengthen support networks for themselves and their child
national resources
National Resources
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences study (Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente)-
  • American Academy of Pediatrics-
  • Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children-
  • The Brazelton Institute-
  • Centers for Disease Control (includes information on maternal and infant health, child development, autism, and more)-
  • Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning-
  • Harvard University Center on the Developing Child-
  • Healthy Children (parent specific site from the AAP)-
  • North Dakota Department of Human Services (10 things every child needs with videos for each)-
  • Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics-
  • Yale Child Study Center-
  • Zero to Three-
illinois resources
Illinois Resources
  • Many provide local support and services
  • Caregiver Connections-

Rosecrance- Berry Campus is our local resource

  • Enhancing Developmentally Oriented Primary Care (EDOPC)
  • Illinois Association of Infant Mental Health-
  • Erikson Institute-
  • Illinois Early Learning Project (multiple videos and “tip sheets”)-
  • Infant Parent Institute (Based out of Champaign)-
  • Ounce of Prevention-
  • Voices for Illinois Children-
  • McCormick Foundation-
rockford resources
Rockford Resources
  • Early Intervention via Child and Family Connections of Access Services of Northern Illinois-
  • CAP4Kids Rockford (coordinates all child related services in Winnebago and Boone Counties, especially those serving the underserved)-
  • Winnebago County Health Dept. -
  • Rockford Public Schools –
  • MELD -
  • Rosecrance- Berry Campus-
  • Early Learning Council of Rockford-
  • YWCA Childcare Solutions-
  • Coming soon: Dial 2-1-1
additional presentation resources
Additional Presentation Resources
  • Nurturing Natures: Attachment and Children’s Emotional, Sociocultural and Brain Development. G Music 2011.
  • Children\'s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect & DePanfilis D. Child, Neglect: A Guide for Prevention, Assessment and Intervention. 2006.