Why children need healthy psychological foundations from birth

A secure early attachment between an infant and a primary caregiver is critical to forming a solid psychological foundation that protects you in all your interpersonal relationships, says Renata Gericke, Child Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychology at Wits.

Explaining attachment theory, Gericke says infants naturally seek a primary attachment figure from when they are born - a relationship in which someone is positioned as being emotionally in tune with you and reliably and protectively available.

With that comes a sense of safety in the world and a sense of security, and if that attachment relationship can be solidly formed, and that you can derive a secure sense of self in the world, it then gives you the kind of competence and confidence to go out into the world.

Renata Gericke, Child Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychology at Wits

What the theory espouses is that when infants are born, you need to respond age appropriately to their levels of frustration.

Renata Gericke, Child Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychology at Wits

For example, if you have a primary caregiver who tends to dismiss the baby's and later on the child's needs, diminishing their feelings and needs, then they learn to anticipate later on as adults that people do not take my needs seriously and they also learn to dismiss their own needs and that of others.

Renata Gericke, Child Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychology at Wits

Click on the link below to listen to the full conversation....


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