Attachment in Practice

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    • 00:15

      NARRATOR: Attachment usually refersto the special nature of a relationship that's very close.A child's first attachment is vitally important.What it does is make the child feels safe and secure.Children who were securely attached as babies

    • 00:35

      NARRATOR [continued]: have a sense of trust and confidence in themselves,because they grow up knowing that if something happensthat I can't cope with, there'll always be someonethere to help sort it out.So securely attached children do better at school.They're likely to be good at making friends,and they're able to get on well with life

    • 00:55

      NARRATOR [continued]: in many different ways.Their early attachment helps themto form close relationships later in life.Children who develop within secure attachmentsare less likely to have these feelings, because they've neverhad a secure base from which to develop trust and confidence.

    • 01:19

      NARRATOR [continued]: We're going to show how a secure attachment developsin practice using natural documentary sequences of carersand their children, and by talking to Dr. P.O.Svanberg, who's been doing research into attachmentand working with parents for many years.

    • 01:36

      P.O. SVANBERG: What is attachment?Attachment is, as John Bowlby said, the bond which ties.And it's the bond that ties the mother and the baby together.It emerges out of evolution.It developed in order to protect us from predators.

    • 01:58

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: Is central to our very survival.And what we're beginning to realize nowis that it's also central to our well being.[Attachment in Practice]

    • 02:26

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: [Section 1 Birth - 6 weeks Pre-attachment]

    • 02:33

      JESS: Sh.We just missed a [INAUDIBLE].Aw.

    • 02:37

      NARRATOR: Psychoanalyst John Bowlby's theory of attachmentis the most influential and has generated a lot of research.He believed that in order to survive,infants need to keep their carer close.So babies are born with inbuilt behaviors designedto help make this happen.

    • 02:56

      P.O. SVANBERG: The baby was, in a sense,almost at the mercy of what goes on inside of the body.You get hungry.You get cold.You get wet.You get full of wind, all these sorts of thingsthat you have no understanding of.And the only way you can react to it is by saying very loudly,something isn't right here.

    • 03:16

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: And what you hope is that your parentswill be able to work out what it is that isn't rightand put it right as quickly as possible.[CRYING]

    • 03:28

      NARRATOR: The new baby uses the cryto signal help, an inbuilt behavior and signalto the carer.

    • 03:35

      SPEAKER 1: (WHISPERING) There now, are we doing it?Yeah.Aw.

    • 03:43

      NARRATOR: Responding to the baby's signal sensitivelyis how the attachment process will begin.

    • 03:51

      SPEAKER 1: (WHISPERING) What have you got?Yeah?What have you got?Eh?What?

    • 04:00

      NARRATOR: Babies are born with different temperaments,and it's not always easy to work out the best response.

    • 04:06

      JESS: I can feel it.I know.I know, mummy can fill your tummy.

    • 04:12

      NARRATOR: As well as crying, the babyhas other inbuilt behaviors or social signals thathelp to keep the carer close.Babies will sling and love watching faces.

    • 04:24

      SPEAKER 2: What are you watching?

    • 04:25

      NARRATOR: And using eye contact to engage the carer.

    • 04:29

      SPEAKER 2: Yeah?[INAUDIBLE]?Huh?What Jim?

    • 04:35

      NARRATOR: To start with, the infantis happy to direct signals at its mother,father, or anyone who is responsive.

    • 04:43

      SPEAKER 2: Oh, dear.

    • 04:44

      NARRATOR: But the main carer is usually the mother.Her instincts make her especiallyreceptive to the baby's inbuilt behaviors.[COOING]

    • 04:54

      SPEAKER 3: Yeah.

    • 04:55

      NARRATOR: There's evidence that evenin the first couple of weeks, new babies can distinguishtheir mother from other adults.

    • 05:02

      SPEAKER 3: [SINGING] How much is that doggie in the window?

    • 05:04

      NARRATOR: To develop a secure attachment,the carer needs to respond to the babyquickly and sensitively.

    • 05:10

      SPEAKER 3: You have enough [INAUDIBLE]?Oh.

    • 05:13

      NARRATOR: Sometimes, the baby needs comforting.

    • 05:15

      SPEAKER 3: We'll give a little pat.

    • 05:18

      NARRATOR: But at other times, she wants to socialize.

    • 05:21

      SPEAKER 3: Yes.Isn't that a smile for mummy?A nice smile.

    • 05:25

      NARRATOR: The baby wants to have a reaction to its own behavior.It loves to imitate and be imitated.When babies start smiling at around six weeks,another inbuilt social signal, this encourages the carerto respond very warmly.

    • 05:48

      NARRATOR [continued]: Responding to each other becomes turn taking, justlike a proper conversation.

    • 05:52

      SPEAKER 1: What are you doing?Are you talking to me?Oh, you are?What are you saying?Eh?What are you saying?What there?Hello.Hello.That's better, isn't it?Eh?

    • 06:08

      NARRATOR: This is the beginning of language development.And infants who become securely attachedare likely to develop language skills quickly.

    • 06:15

      SPEAKER 1: Eh?What?[Section 2 6 wks - 8 months Attachment in the making]

    • 06:21

      SPEAKER 3: There you go.Getting out then.

    • 06:23

      NARRATOR: Here's Lilah who is five months old,with her mother, Jess.

    • 06:27

      JESS: Hm.Shall we go downstairs and see Jaime?Yeah.

    • 06:30

      NARRATOR: During the next few months,more complex patterns of interaction with the carerwill become established, and the babywill begin to show preferences for particular peopleas attachment starts to develop.There are now lots of subtle signals that the baby uses.

    • 06:46

      JESS: There you go.

    • 06:47

      NARRATOR: Mothers usually respond almostwithout thinking, synchronizing their responseto the baby's signals.

    • 06:54

      JESS: Yes.

    • 06:56

      NARRATOR: Lilah flaps her hands excitedly, and Jess responds.

    • 07:00

      JESS: Oh, oh.Put your leg down.Put your leg down.Hang on.That's it.Oh.[INAUDIBLE]

    • 07:13

      NARRATOR: Lilah makes a noise, and Jess acknowledges it.[COOING]

    • 07:17

      JESS: Mhm.Uh-huh.

    • 07:21

      NARRATOR: As if to say, I know what you mean.

    • 07:23

      JESS: Put your leg in.It doesn't want to go over here.A bit small.There you go.

    • 07:33

      NARRATOR: Lilah grizzles and isn't happy.And Jess emphasizes straight away.[CRYING]

    • 07:40

      JESS: Aw, what's wrong?[CRYING]Aw, Lilah.[CRYING]

    • 07:49

      JESS: Lilah, What's the matter?I'm nearly done.There you go.All done.[LAUGHS]Is that better?Put nappy in the bin.See?[CRYING]

    • 08:06

      JESS: Oh, what's the matter?What's the matter, eh?

    • 08:09

      P.O. SVANBERG: A skill sensitive, responsive parentshave is something that you call mind mindedness,or mindfulness.Some people call it a reflective function.And what it is essentially, the abilityto put yourself into the baby's headand work out what is he thinking?What is he saying?

    • 08:32

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: Often, there are two kinds of signals.One is calm me down.Comfort me.Soothe me.If I'm distressed, I don't care whatyou do, whether you need to change me,whether you need to feed me, whether you need to burp me.But please do it, and do it as quickly as you can,because I'm dying here, it's in a sense,

    • 08:52

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: what the baby is saying.And once the baby is calm, and alert, and perhaps not sleepyand just wanting to two nod off, but ready to interact.That's what the baby's saying.Play with me.I want you to imitate me.

    • 09:13

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: I want you to stick your tongue outat me if I stick my tongue out at you.And if I say--[BLOWS RASPBERRY]I want you to say--[BLOWS RASPBERRY]--as well.And if you do, as a parent, babies love it.They absolutely love it.

    • 09:33

      JESS: Boo!Boo![COOING]Oh, yes.

    • 09:43

      NARRATOR: Whilst Jess is doing other things,Lilah watches her carefully.

    • 09:51

      SPEAKER 4: Yeah.

    • 09:53

      NARRATOR: Because Jess has responded quicklyand sensitively to her, Lilah's learning what'scalled emotional regulation.Instead of getting very distressedand reacting immediately when something's wrong,her past experience tells her that she can wait a bit.She's learning that someone will come and comforther and sort things out.

    • 10:14

      JESS: Juice on the floor.

    • 10:16

      SPEAKER 4: No.

    • 10:17

      NARRATOR: Jess is becoming the safe spacefrom where Lilah will be able to explore the world.At five months, Lilah is beginningto have a preference for Jess.Although, she's still generally sociable with other peopleand is happy to smile at them, even at strangers.

    • 10:35

      SPEAKER 5: Oh, that's a nice smile.What a lovely smile.Yes.Yes!I'm pleased to see you, as well.

    • 10:48

      NARRATOR: She turns to Jess for reassurance.

    • 10:50

      SPEAKER 5: Oh.

    • 10:51

      NARRATOR: Although, not yet fully attached to Jess,her preference for her is obvious.

    • 10:55

      JESS: Hm?I'm just eating junk.Here I am.

    • 10:58

      SPEAKER 5: Good old man.

    • 11:02

      NARRATOR: And when we left with another stranger,Lilah is a bit wary, but doesn't object to being picked up.

    • 11:10

      SPEAKER 6: Pick up, yeah?[INAUDIBLE] picking up?Hello.[CLACKING TONGUE]Hm?Oh.Oh, yeah.yeah?Hello.I'm not your mummy, am I?

    • 11:34

      SPEAKER 6 [continued]: [COOING]

    • 11:36

      NARRATOR: Lilah's now six months old,and Jess is going back to work.

    • 11:40

      SPEAKER 6: Come in.

    • 11:40

      NARRATOR: So she's chosen a childminder for Lilah.[DOOR KNOCK]

    • 11:46

      NARRATOR: Lilah greats Jess very positivelywhen she comes to pick her up.

    • 11:50

      SPEAKER 6: Hey Lilah, who's that?

    • 11:51

      NARRATOR: One of the signs that she'sdeveloping a secure attachment.

    • 11:55

      SPEAKER 6: We've had a lovely day, haven't we?Eh?Oh what a lovely day, [INAUDIBLE]?

    • 12:03

      JESS: Have you been waking up in the middle of the night?

    • 12:06


    • 12:08

      NARRATOR: Babies often have to beleft with childminders or at nurseries,and it seems that if the infant is given a special person who'ssensitive to their needs and knows them well,then the child can develop a real relationshipwith another attachment figure.

    • 12:22

      SPEAKER 5: You don't want it, do you?

    • 12:25

      NARRATOR: For the infant to feel secure,the same interactions as with their main carerare important-- sensitivity, empathy, and love.[SHOUTING]So Lilah can have more than one attachment figure,but there'll be a hierarchy of preferences,and Jess will remain the most important.

    • 12:48

      NARRATOR [continued]: [Section 3 8 months to 2 years Attachment Behaviour]

    • 12:54

      JESS: Oopsey-do.

    • 12:55

      SPEAKER 5: You want to come and see me?

    • 12:58

      NARRATOR: At nine months, Lilah is now wary of strangers.

    • 13:02

      SPEAKER 5: That's good.Oh?

    • 13:06

      NARRATOR: She shows anxiety, known as separation anxiety,and cries when Jess leave her with a stranger.

    • 13:12

      SPEAKER 5: [INAUDIBLE] your mum?No.Now then.[CRYING]

    • 13:20

      NARRATOR: An infant's fear of separationin an unfamiliar situation is of such importancethat she'll do almost anything not to be abandoned.

    • 13:27

      SPEAKER 5: [INAUDIBLE] Jess.

    • 13:29

      JESS: Lilah, [INAUDIBLE].

    • 13:33

      SPEAKER 5: There you go.Go back and see your mum.

    • 13:35

      NARRATOR: When she's back with Jess,Lilah feels safe and can explore the stranger visually.

    • 13:41

      SPEAKER 5: Yes.

    • 13:42

      NARRATOR: Jess is the secure basefrom which Lilah will more and more, learn about the world.Now, Lilah is 10 months old and ableto shuffle around on her bottom.Up 'til now, Lilah has had to relyon her signals to bring her attachment figure close.Now, she can be responsible for much of the keeping closeherself.

    • 14:05

      JESS: Oh.Oh, you're having a--

    • 14:08

      P.O. SVANBERG: The initial reasonwhy separation anxiety or fear of strangers evolveis to protect us from predators.So we scuttle back to our safe base, whichis our parent, if you like.At the same time, what also happensis brain maturation, if you like,

    • 14:29

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: because it's around at this time that babies develop what'scalled object permanence.A French psychologist called Jean Piaget,who discovered this many, many years ago.And essentially, what object permanence meansis that the baby comes to realizethat even if an object, or a thing, or a person

    • 14:52

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: disappears out of sight, they still continue to exist.So it's the time when you drop something from the high chair.You actually look down, because yourealize that it's still there.Or if you hide something behind a screen,the baby will look for it.

    • 15:13

      JESS: Where's the rabbit gone?Oh!There he is.

    • 15:18

      P.O. SVANBERG: By this time, the babyhas built up a memory of the parent in his or her headand realizes that when the parent leaves,there was such a thing called a parentthat made me feel really safe and secure.And I want her back here quickly please.

    • 15:39

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: So that all comes together in very evolutionary,wonderful design, in many respects.

    • 15:51

      SPEAKER 5: It's stuck on its head.

    • 15:52

      NARRATOR: At 15 months, again with the unfamiliar adult,Lilah feels free to explore, so long as Jessis there, but shows strong separation anxiety as soonas she leaves the room.

    • 16:05

      SPEAKER 5: So your job Jamie now is to build the dinosaurenclosure.

    • 16:08

      JESS: All right.I'm going to make a cup of tea.You [INAUDIBLE].

    • 16:14


    • 16:14

      JESS: You want tea?

    • 16:15

      SPEAKER 5: Cup of tea.Cup of tea.[CRYING]

    • 16:21

      JESS: You want your cup of tea, Lilah?

    • 16:22

      SPEAKER 5: [INAUDIBLE] cup of tea?[CRYING]Come on Lilah.Let's build another tower.[CRYING]

    • 16:36

      SPEAKER 5: Lilah.[CRYING]

    • 16:42

      JESS: Lilah, Lilah, no.Book again.

    • 16:49

      NARRATOR: Lilah, at 16 months, is now securelyattached to Jess.She isn't happy to be left with strangers and shows anxietywhen separated.

    • 16:60

      JESS: All right.You ready?

    • 17:01

      NARRATOR: Jess is now her secure base.She knows there will always be help if she needs it.Jess has helped regulate her emotions by responding quicklyand sensitively to her.Secure attachment is important in helpingchildren learn to talk.And Jess and Lilah are developing a good understanding

    • 17:24

      NARRATOR [continued]: of each other.

    • 17:25

      JESS: Eh?This one?Well this magazine is not very exciting.Do you want to go and get another book?

    • 17:31

      LILAH: Yeah.

    • 17:32

      JESS: Go and get another book.

    • 17:33

      NARRATOR: This primary attachment, the first closerelationship, will make a sort of blueprint,or internal model in the brain for Lilah's relationshipsin the future.The development of secure attachment is the most common.But not all babies become securely attached.

    • 17:53

      P.O. SVANBERG: In many ways, we'rereally quite fortunate that the majority of parentsare able to behave in ways that helps their children becomesecurely attached quiet normally, quite spontaneously.No help-- that's just the way they are.Around 60%, 65% of all children are securely attached.

    • 18:16

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: So what happens with the childrenwho are not securely attached?The most common, insecure attachment,particularly in this culture, in the British culture,is the avoidant attachment.In an avoidance attachment, or in a relationshipthat leads the child to become avoidantly attached,

    • 18:40

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: a parent has, in many respects, sentsignals to the child that it's not a good thingto be emotional.We're not particularly emotional around here.This is sort of stiff upper lip family, if you like.And that can be all emotions.So it's not good to be angry.

    • 19:00

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: It's not going to be upset.It's not going to be frightened.And if that is in extreme, you end upwith a very non-emotional, highly uninhibited person.The other kind of more common groupis what is called ambivalent attachment,

    • 19:22

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: or anxious attachment.These are children who, in a sense,can't be sure whether the parent will comfort them at that timeor not.Sometimes, the parent will be comforting.Other times, the parent might actually be rejecting,and you can't anticipate that.You can't predict it.

    • 19:42

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: So they develop this strategy of high display of emotion,which is a mixture of emotion.It's partly help seeking-- please, comfort for me,and partly angry.I know you won't.It's backwards and forwards.What this strategy does is that it says to the parent,

    • 20:05

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: you must look at me all the time.You must know where I am all the time,because it's based on the fear of beingleft, of being abandoned.And so these three, the secure attachment,the avoidant attachment, the anxiously ambivalent

    • 20:25

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: attachment, are very common.It accounts for something like 90% of all attachmentbehavior in children.

    • 20:37

      NARRATOR: A way of assessing the quality of the attachmentrelationship for 12 to 18-month-oldswas developed by psychologist Mary Ainsworth.This assessment is known as the strange situation.The general idea of this is that the mother and childgo into an unfamiliar room, and a stranger enters and stays

    • 20:58

      NARRATOR [continued]: with the child whilst the mother leaves the room.The child's reaction to the mother leaving is observed,and the child's reaction to the stranger is observed.And when mother comes back in, the reunion is observed.

    • 21:20

      NARRATOR [continued]: The child's behavior at separation and reunionwill indicate the type of attachment that's developed.When the child has an insecure avoidant attachment,the child is unaffected by the separation from the motherand doesn't react to her when she returns.When the child has an insecure ambivalent attachment,

    • 21:41

      NARRATOR [continued]: the child is extremely distressed and difficultfor the mother to console when she returns.A securely attached child may be upset by the mother's absence,but will respond enthusiastically to her return.Of course, it's not always this straightforward.As well as these common types of attachments,

    • 22:03

      NARRATOR [continued]: there are also more extreme, insecure formswhere the child has had to developquite complex ways of coping with his or her distress.Here's a real life reunion.Lilah's also now attached to her dad,and he's come to granny's house to collect her.

    • 22:23

      LILAH: Dad!

    • 22:24

      NARRATOR: This reunion behavior clearlyshows the quality of the secure attachment to him.

    • 22:30

      SPEAKER 6: Look!Look!

    • 22:31

      LILAH: Dad!

    • 22:31

      SPEAKER 6: Look!

    • 22:32

      LILAH: Dad!

    • 22:33


    • 22:34

      GRANNY: Oh, yeah.

    • 22:35

      SPEAKER 7: Hooray.Hey.

    • 22:40

      LILAH: Da-dah!

    • 22:42

      SPEAKER 7: Hey.Jamie.

    • 22:45

      LILAH: Daddy!

    • 22:46

      SPEAKER 7: Jamie.

    • 22:50

      SPEAKER 8: There came a big spider.

    • 22:53

      NARRATOR: So Lilah now have several attachmentfigures-- Jess, dad, granny, and the childminder.But there is a hierarchy, and if Jess is available,she's Lilah's first choice at times of distress.Lilah's now in a larger, strange environment.

    • 23:13

      NARRATOR [continued]: Her attachment figure has to strikea balance between being on hand when needed and allowing herthe freedom to explore.As Jess moves away, Lilah behavesas if she was attached by a piece of elastic.She keeps herself at what she feels to be a safe distance.

    • 23:55

      NARRATOR [continued]: Lilah feels confident in her play and exploration,knowing that she has a reliable base.The distance that feels safe will depend on circumstances,and it will increase with age.Some insecurely attached childrenwon't behave like this.

    • 24:15

      NARRATOR [continued]: They won't feel confident to explore freely and happily.Bowlby believed that the type of attachment formedin the early years can greatly affect emotional stabilitylater on, and research supports this.Inner happiness and the ability to copewith life's difficulties develop largelyfrom an early secure attachment experience.

    • 24:42

      NARRATOR [continued]: [Section 4 2 years onwards Increasing Independence]Secure attachment is now established,but will continue to develop as cognitive motor and languageskills increase, giving the child more control.

    • 24:58

      JESS: He's a noisy thing, isn't he?Oh!

    • 25:03

      NARRATOR: Lilah's now very mobile,so Jess needs to find ways of handling her increasinglyneed for independence.

    • 25:10

      JESS: Can you get up there?

    • 25:11

      LILAH: Yeah.

    • 25:12

      JESS: Yeah?All right.There you go.You're all right.

    • 25:17

      LILAH: Yeah?

    • 25:18

      JESS: Yes.

    • 25:20

      NARRATOR: This can be tricky time for the attachmentrelationship, as conflicts are bound to arise.Jess still needs to be sensitive and loving,but she also needs to be very consistentso that Lilah understands clearly whatshe wants her to do.

    • 25:36

      JESS: Are you off to there now?

    • 25:38

      NARRATOR: If the carer isn't consistent, for instance,letting the child do something one dayand telling them off for the same thing the next day,this leaves the child confused.The feeling of trust can begin to break down.

    • 25:50

      JESS: Up there.Uh-huh.Really?

    • 25:55

      NARRATOR: Lilah goes exploring.But when Jess gives a firm no, stops immediately.

    • 26:00

      JESS: Where do you think you're going?No.

    • 26:06

      NARRATOR: The secure attachment that's already built upmakes it easier for Jess to manage Lilah's behavior,because Lilah will want please Jess to keepthe emotional closeness.

    • 26:15

      JESS: Hold my hand coming down the big steps.

    • 26:17

      LILAH: Oh.

    • 26:18

      JESS: Oh!Oh that's a big one.You mad?Come on then. [INAUDIBLE].Sit down.There you go.Wait for your dinner.

    • 26:25

      NARRATOR: Here, Lilah isn't happy.She's hungry and wants her dinner.But once Jess has told her what's happened--

    • 26:30

      JESS: [INAUDIBLE] then.It's not cooked yet.

    • 26:32

      NARRATOR: --she's able to be patient and wait.

    • 26:35

      LILAH: I want [INAUDIBLE].

    • 26:39

      NARRATOR: Lilah's now comfortable in the knowledgethat Jess will respond sensitively and quickly.So she understands that dinner will turn up,and there's no need to make a fuss.Children whose carers haven't respond sensitively in the pastcan't trust that things will be sorted out for them

    • 26:59

      NARRATOR [continued]: and won't be able to put up with the frustration so easily.Language development and understandingin securely attached children tendsto develop earlier than for thosewho are insecurely attached.

    • 27:13

      JESS: Have you finished?

    • 27:14

      LILAH: What?

    • 27:15

      JESS: Or do you want [INAUDIBLE]?

    • 27:16

      LILAH: Yeah.

    • 27:17

      JESS: Hm?

    • 27:17

      LILAH: Uh-oh.

    • 27:18

      JESS: Uh-oh.Here.

    • 27:21

      LILAH: No.

    • 27:22

      JESS: You're finished?Yep?You finished?

    • 27:27

      LILAH: Yeah!

    • 27:28

      JESS: Right.Step.

    • 27:31

      LILAH: Down.

    • 27:31

      JESS: Put it down, yes.That's right.

    • 27:36

      SEB: And Wendy's taking a picture of me.

    • 27:39

      NARRATOR: This is Lilah's cousin, Seb,with his mom, Katrina.He's a strong-minded toddler, and conflicts often arise.

    • 27:48

      SEB: (SHOUTING) I don't it!I don't!No![SCREAMING]

    • 27:52

      KATRINA: Come on.We're leaving early.You can take it off as soon as we get there.

    • 27:55

      SEB: No!No!

    • 27:56

      NARRATOR: It can be hard to get the balance right between beingovercontrolling and authoritarian,or undercontrolling and helpless,just letting him do as he pleases.Neither is good for the attachment relationship.

    • 28:10

      KATRINA: OK, you can leave the buttons open.

    • 28:12

      SEB: (CRYING) No.

    • 28:15

      NARRATOR: Insecurely attached children can get even moredifficult at this stage.

    • 28:21

      P.O. SVANBERG: So the parent says, no.Don't do that, and the toddler says, well, I want to.And during that, what is called the terrible twos, almostinvariably, all toddlers will go through the same phase,because it's also a way of almost saying,

    • 28:43

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: I'm going to be my own person.I've been your little boy or your little girl.But now, I'm going to be my little boy or my little girl,so to speak.And it's by being negative and sayingno that children distance themselves,as they have to do from their parents.

    • 29:03

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: Which incidentally, is one of the hardest thingsthat you do as a parent.

    • 29:09

      KATRINA: OK.We're going to put a little bit of water in this bowl.

    • 29:12

      NARRATOR: Seb can be difficult, but he will be cooperativewhen treated sensitively, so Katrinamakes sure he listens to what she says, and himwhen he does what she asks.Responding sensitively and clearly further developsthe attachment relationship.

    • 29:30

      KATRINA: Now, use your cloth.Yeah, and give everything a wipe,and pile it up on top of that pan.But make sure you keep all the water in the sink.Here.Wash this one first.On the other side.Hold on, the other side.

    • 29:52

      SEB: I'm washing dishes.

    • 29:53

      KATRINA: Is that one nice and clean?When they're clean, put them on there.That's good.Good boy.

    • 30:03

      P.O. SVANBERG: The more you praise, the better it is.Initially, you can praise for absolutely everything.And then as the child grows older,you become a little bit more discriminating in your praise.And you shape the child's behavior like that.It's very much better to use praise than punishment.

    • 30:28

      SEB: Oh!Don't drop it [INAUDIBLE].

    • 30:36

      NARRATOR: Katrina and Seb are off to the shops.Katrina has agreed that Pipin can come with them,but doesn't want to take the orange.

    • 30:43

      SPEAKER 4: Here you go Seb.

    • 30:46

      SPEAKER 6: Boo--, oh Pipin has--

    • 30:48

      KATRINA: No, we'll leave that there darling.Leave that there, as well.

    • 30:52

      SEB: No, [INAUDIBLE].

    • 30:53

      KATRINA: You can have that when you get back darling.

    • 30:55

      NARRATOR: Negotiation is now an essential partof the attachment relationship.

    • 31:03

      KATRINA: Hold on.I'll get his tail.

    • 31:05

      SEB: Yeah.You'll carry him?

    • 31:11

      KATRINA: Yeah.Here, you get in the push chair and then we can [INAUDIBLE].

    • 31:16

      NARRATOR: To negotiate, Katrina hasto be very clear in her own mind what Seb can and can't do.[CRYING]

    • 31:25

      SEB: I want to walk.

    • 31:26

      KATRINA: You can get out when we get to the [INAUDIBLE].[CRYING]

    • 31:34

      SEB: I want the doggy.

    • 31:38

      KATRINA: Oh, doggy's getting tangled.

    • 31:41

      SEB: What happened?Oh, there's the bus!

    • 31:52

      SPEAKER 6: Oh, it's the bus.

    • 31:53

      SEB: It's our bus.

    • 31:54

      KATRINA: Let's drop down.That's a good boy.

    • 31:58

      NARRATOR: When there are disagreements,Katrina explains why Seb can't do exactly as he likes.

    • 32:04

      KATRINA: Yes, I know it's coming,but you have to wait [INAUDIBLE] where it stops, isn't it?You wait here.

    • 32:09

      SEB: Can I go on it?

    • 32:12

      KATRINA: Good boy.

    • 32:18

      NARRATOR: Once it's safe, Katrinalet's Seb be independent, and he finds his own seat on the bus.Although he's keen to explore, Seb still

    • 32:39

      NARRATOR [continued]: wants to keep his attachment figure close.

    • 32:42

      SEB: Mom.

    • 32:43

      KATRINA: Yeah?

    • 32:44

      SEB: Sit here.

    • 32:46

      KATRINA: [INAUDIBLE].I've gotten a ticket.

    • 32:49

      SEB: What?

    • 32:51

      KATRINA: Here for you, and one for me.Here you go.You can keep it.

    • 33:02

      NARRATOR: Again, they're negotiating the sweet shop.

    • 33:05

      SEB: Can I have lollipops?Two lollipops.I want--

    • 33:12

      KATRINA: What about a [INAUDIBLE] surprise?

    • 33:15

      SEB: This one.

    • 33:16

      KATRINA: That looks good, doesn't it?Or some chocolate buttons?

    • 33:20

      SEB: This one.

    • 33:20

      KATRINA: That one?Come on.Give it to the lady.

    • 33:23

      NARRATOR: Learning social skills through his relationshipwith Katrina will help Seb to form good relationshipswith other people in the future.[LAUGHING]

    • 33:31

      KATRINA: Come on then.

    • 33:35

      SPEAKER 9: He's easy to please, [INAUDIBLE].

    • 33:38

      KATRINA: Hi, it's Sebastian's mom.

    • 33:39


    • 33:41

      NARRATOR: Now, Seb isn't getting distressed when Katrina is awayfor short periods.But being left at nursery can be much moredifficult to cope with.[CRYING]Although Seb knows that Katrina will be coming back,the loss of his attachment figureand the transition from one care situation to another

    • 34:02

      NARRATOR [continued]: can be traumatic.

    • 34:04

      SPEAKER 9: Come on darling. [INAUDIBLE].[CRYING]

    • 34:09


    • 34:16

      KATRINA: All right.Seb's mum.

    • 34:18

      NARRATOR: When Katrina returns, Sebshows reunion behavior typical of a securely attached child.

    • 34:26

      SEB: Mummy!Mummy!

    • 34:32

      KATRINA: You OK?

    • 34:34

      NARRATOR: He's relieved that she'sback, but is secure enough not to be clingy,and is soon showing Katrina about his adventures.

    • 34:43

      SPEAKER 9: He ate all of is lunch.He's had an hour of sleep today, and [INAUDIBLE].

    • 34:54

      NARRATOR: Transitions are often difficult until the child getsto know the new care as well.

    • 35:01

      KATRINA: You were very busy.

    • 35:02

      SPEAKER 9: Yes.

    • 35:02

      SEB: Yeah.

    • 35:03

      KATRINA: Yeah?

    • 35:04


    • 35:05

      KATRINA: You missed me?

    • 35:10

      NARRATOR: Here's Fifi, coming to nursery with his mum, Rowna.When managed carefully, transitionsfor securely attached children needn't be too traumatic.Fifi keeps his mum close at firstas he begins to look around.

    • 35:32

      ROWNA: Yeah, OK.

    • 35:34

      NARRATOR: Eventually, he's quite happy for her to leave,and feels secure enough to explore and learnwhile she's away.

    • 35:48

      ROWNA: Bye bye.Bye bye.Bye bye.

    • 35:52

      NARRATOR: Insecurely attached childrenare less likely to have this sense of securityand may be less adventurous, havingfewer opportunities to learn.The type of attachment affects cognitive and languagedevelopment, and indeed, all aspects of child development.

    • 36:13

      NARRATOR [continued]: And here's Fifi reuniting with his attachment figure.

    • 36:16

      SPEAKER 10: Who could this be?It's Fifi's mum and Sebastian.

    • 36:38

      SPEAKER 10 [continued]: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

    • 36:41

      NARRATOR: Securely attached children have positive selfbeliefs.They understand themselves through the reactionsand responses of those close to them.Positive messages from their attachment figureshelp to build self esteem and trust.

    • 37:03

      NARRATOR [continued]: During the preschool years, relationshipswith a child's attachment figure will reach the stagewhere the child recognizes that their carers also have needsand feelings of their own.

    • 37:14

      JESS: What's up there?There's more up there.Ow.

    • 37:19

      LILAH: What?

    • 37:19

      JESS: I just banged my knee.What's that?

    • 37:23


    • 37:25


    • 37:28

      NARRATOR: Securely attached children realizethat doing what they want to do hasto be negotiated so that both people arehappy with what's going on.

    • 37:37

      JESS: Lovely job.All right then.Should we set the books on the shelf now?

    • 37:41

      LILAH: We could.

    • 37:42

      JESS: Well, let's put the books on the shelffirst and finish our tidying up, and then we'llchoose a book to read, shall we?

    • 37:48

      LILAH: This one.

    • 37:48

      JESS: That one?OK.Well, let's put the other one on the shelves.

    • 37:51

      NARRATOR: It's the beginning of a real partnership.

    • 37:54

      JESS: Find the other ones.Oh, that's a good girl.

    • 37:57


    • 38:02

      SEB: Hello, Ben.

    • 38:04

      NARRATOR: The development of social skills and relationshipswith peers are also now becoming important.The child's experience of the first secure attachmentshas provided a model for new relationships nowand in the future.

    • 38:20

      SEB: Can I [INAUDIBLE]?

    • 38:23

      NARRATOR: And it's the trust and confidencethey've gained through their attachments thatwill help them to become socially competentand be good at making friends.

    • 38:31

      SEB: Are you [INAUDIBLE]?Would that be enough?

    • 38:50

      NARRATOR: Children, who as toddlers, weresecurely attached, tend to be outgoing,and sociable, and confident.

    • 38:58

      SEB: This is the right one.

    • 38:59

      NARRATOR: They gain their securityfrom having adults around them whoare responsive to their needs.This means that practitioners, as well as main carers,need to spend time getting to know young children well.It's important to have systems in place thatallow them to build special relationships with the childrenin their care.

    • 39:21

      NARRATOR [continued]: For children who have started life within secure attachments,things for them can still change.With special help, they can move towards a more positivedevelopmental pathway that will avoid disadvantagesas they mature into adults.

    • 39:36

      P.O. SVANBERG: As relationships develop,we become who we are through those relationships.And if those relationships are nurturing, and positive,and makes us feel safe and secure,we are likely to follow a pathway in life that

    • 39:59

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: is positive if those early relationships are perhapscritical, perhaps rejecting, perhaps abusive.We are likely to struggle, and for some people,spend the rest of your life struggling

    • 40:20

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: to find the kind of security that you were entitled to haveas a child, but didn't get.[Thanks to all the children, parents,and nursery school staff who kindly agreed to take part

    • 40:46

      P.O. SVANBERG [continued]: in the film.]

Attachment in Practice

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Dr. P.O. Svanberg explains different types of attachment and the ways parents develop secure attachments with their children. Parent-child pairs illustrate the behavior of developing attachment.

Attachment in Practice

Dr. P.O. Svanberg explains different types of attachment and the ways parents develop secure attachments with their children. Parent-child pairs illustrate the behavior of developing attachment.

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