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Attachment disorder 1

Hello Fellow CYCW'S,

I am a student of CYC. I am working on a research paper and intervention plan for the following case study. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to work effectively with a boy? (FYI, this is a fictional child).

Case Study: I am working with a boy, 8 yrs old. He was neglected as an infant and removed from home at 6 weeks. His mother was only 15 yrs old. He spent 3 yrs moving around in foster homes. At 3 he was adopted by his foster family, who struggled with his behavior and they subsequently separated. He was removed from daycare and stayed home with single mother until he went to school. He struggled in school and finally in grade 3 his teacher had enough compassion and empathy to contact the mother and suggest help was needed. He began a series of assessments and worked with a therapist and was eventually dx with Attachment disorder.

How would you work with this child?

What type of family support work would you use?

What type of strategies would you use to build a relationship?

Can you give three examples of change work you would use, based on a solutions-focused approach?

What could be done to help him settle in school, with peers and learning?

What types of activities would you use?

Actually, any help you can provide on working effectively with this child would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for any help you could supply.

Karen Hanlon
NL, Canada
...

Hey Karen,

Does your professor know you are asking us to write your paper for you? Will you source us? ;)-

Play therapy is a good modality possibly, but so, really, is some good consistent attachment. Help mom and he develop a positive history of how to play together, because a lot of kids who struggle with trust with parents do a lot of testing and retesting to push parents away and that wears on a parent. Sounds like his mom is really a gem. She needs help supporting him and remaining unconditionally attached, hopefully she is committed already, though it sounds like she might be.

This child will struggle for a long time with his relationships and in my opinion no evidence based short term therapy will in the long term be any more helpful than the maintenance of his attachment with his mom. Sure both of them need some good skills, but no skills will stick if he doesn't feel safe enough to use them. So I'd focus resources on helping them stay together, say a respite scenario that pairs mom with a foster family to co-parent the kid in a natural way. Perhaps getting the family involved in some extended family or multiple family attachment experience.

Depending on the isolative and therapized history of this child, the more real life experiences he can have that build his feelings of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity (Brendtro Circle of Courage). Sounds like the teacher is a good resource to maintain his connection to. Perhaps a church or other social institution in addition to his family can be accessed to support the family and provide 'natural' support and activities to build attachment/belonging, mastery, generosity and independence. If your client can develop trust with other adults over a extended period of time (not 6-9 one-hour sessions) he can learn to value himself outside of his parental relationship. I understand therapy will be important but not at the expense of actual relationships, our work should be focused on developing and maintaining relationships (and teaching those skills).

Peter DeLong,
LGSW,
PATH Minnesota.
...

Hi Karen

Sadly, I knew a young lady with a very similar history. By the time I met her, she was in a psychiatric facility that used a very strict behavioral model. She was 14, as I recall. She went into restraints almost daily for periods of many months. At 18, she transferred to the adult unit which did not rely so heavily on a behavioral model. She did better but not well. After a few years, I heard she went to live with her father over 1000 miles away.

I was not involved in her treatment and my observations and suggestions were not welcome. There was no touching on the unit, except to subdue children who had become violent. No one was allowed to speak with children who were on restriction. She was on restriction frequently and for long periods.

I knew for sure that talking with her, with more listening than talking, would have helped greatly, and I am sure you will get some excellent suggestions to begin building a relationship. She had an interest in art when she could get materials to draw, and was not without some talent. Art therapy might have provided an avenue of connection (skill at drawing is not necessary for success in art therapy). She could also play keyboards, but seldom had the privilege to access hers. (What a program it was!)

But, in this extreme case, I always wondered whether massage therapy, one or more times per week, might have helped. Schools for massage therapy sometimes provide volunteer services--they need people on whom their students can practice.

Best wishes for you both.

John Stein
New Orleans
...

Hi Karen,

Theraplay has proven to be a successful approach to building relationships with children who are diagnosed with attachment disorder. There is an abundance of information on line regarding this. Evangeline Munns and Lorie Walton both specialize in Theraplay. Building the Bonds of Attachment... is also another popular resource, and do you think I can remember his name....

Anyways, hope this is helpful and good luck with your paper.

Donicka Budd
...

Hi Karen,

I had a similar scenario last term for one of my papers. I went online to my university library and found tons of information for attachment disorder.

Good luck,

Brigitte
...

Check out Dr. Bruce Perry's work. As well As Dr. Daniel Hughes work. I use a prescriptive approach with kids/families (look up Dr. Charles Schaeffer's work).

When working with this type of child as a therapist I have developed a group for parents that 1/4 of time has a psycho-educational component to it that focuses on trauma, attachment and management strategies. 3/4 of the group time is then allotted to peer support. Often parents leave with creative strategies and sometimes with the AHA moment that "I am not alone" and there are other families struggling with kids in ways I wouldn't want to.

Respite that is regular - so that it is not based on behavior (embarrassment and shame) so that all family members have the opportunity to recharge and the child with the attachment challenges increases social equity.

Family support that gives all children fun opportunities, parents a chance to date and the child the opportunity to see that others have rules too, however, I ensure that the family support workers also attend at least one training on attachment and trauma otherwise false allegations or undermining of the primary attachment figure often occurs.

Attachment based therapy such as theraplay or filial .. I often start work with a Marshak (MIM) assessment as it is videotaped and helps the parents recognize where the relationship-resistant behaviors often lie and so that a treatment plan can be established.

If individual play therapy is appropriate - I try to have the parent participate in some way shape or form. Again I want to be facilitating and enhancing a stronger parent/child attachment.

Good luck
Theresa Fraser
...

Hi Karen,

I found your post interesting and hope that my fairly long reply is not pedantic. I am extremely interested in attachment and work residentially with young people who have difficult attachment histories. We promote recovery through providing a secure base.

In my opinion, you will need to be clear about the use of the terminology "attachment disorder" in your case study. Attachment disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis and would usually refer to either the DSM IV or the ICD 10 classifications, and would therefore be, respectively, RAD (inhibited or disinhibited) or RAD / DAD. These diagnoses are based on assessing a range of social functioning observable before age 5, but do not consider the relationship specific behaviours that are usually associated with attachment, and are therefore at odds with attachment theory and research, which emphasizes the relationship context of attachment patterns.

Attachment theory (the best explanation we currently have of how this primary bond functions) considers the security of the relationship (secure or insecure) and the organization (organized/disorganized). Some insecurely attached children, although they may be avoidant or resistant, do have organized patterns of attachment, however, children with disorganized attachment are always insecurely attached and have no coherent way of getting their attachment needs met.

Securely attached children develop an internal working model of themselves as worthy and loveable, the attachment figure as loving and available, and the relationship as a secure base from which to explore the world. Children who are insecurely attached lack this confidence.

Patterns of attachment tend to be stable over time, and of course, the conditions that promoted the attachment patterns in infancy are often continued in the family dynamic over the child's life. Disorganized attachment is over-represented in clinical groups.

Attachment theory posits developmental pathways. The child is at the point they are now, and recovery (earned security) happens in relationships. It is not found in regression (Bowlby specifically rejected regression therapy). Work that is founded on attachment theory requires that we develop understanding with the child of their current difficulties, especially interpersonal relations, and allow the relationship with us to become a secure base, building enough trust to explore current relationships. It is important to recognize that the child's difficulties are rooted in real-life experiences, not fantasies, and to support exploration and review of earlier experiences to improve interpersonal relationships in here-and-now.

Hope this helps

Chris Taylor
UK

...

Hello Peter DeLong

Yes, as a matter of fact I did mention to my instructor that I had posted on CYC-Net and yes of course I will source any and all information I retrieve and use from any site or source. In fact, I have asked several of my instructors the same questions I have posted here, unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to use the insightful information offered by any of these sources, yours included because my paper was due today and I passed it in yesterday. Although I do thank you and the others for your tremendous insight and help. Attachment disorder intrigues and I will continue to research it even after I graduate.

Karen
...

Thank you to Chris Taylor ... I have included in my paper the DSM IV model and the RADDX. The information you have sent me is very interesting and I am extremely grateful for your reply.

Karen
...

Hello, I was just wondering if anyone would be able to recommend any good books on attachment?

Davy Rantucci
Child & Youth Care Worker
Doreen Johnson House
...

Hi Karen

I can recommend 2 books on attachment which I have found very useful they are both written by Daniel A Hughes the first one I read was called, Building the Bonds of Attachment - Awakening the love in deeply troubled children, this book tells the story of a little girl who goes through many foster placements and in between the story Dan Hughes gives his interpretation of why the child acts in such a way and suggests strategies to put in place ho help.

The other is called Facilitating Developmental Attachment: The road to Emotional Recovery and Behavioural Change in Foster and Adopted Children, another excellent read.

Margaret Blyth
...

Hi Davy
There is a great deal of good stuff in journals, if you can access them. Look out for papers by Lyons-Ruth, Sroufe, Schore, Main, Soloman, Frayley, Carlson, Egeland, the list is endless. Attachment is a huge area of productive research. I would wholeheartedly recommend Bowlby's three volume work: Attachment and Loss. It is the original work and is very readable.

Also by Bowlby (1988) A Secure Base. These are available in reprints. A good summary of the current state of research is Prior and Glaser Understanding Attachment and Attachment Disorders. Don Howe's Child Abuse and Neglect, Cassidy and Shaver (1999). Handbook of Attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications Cairns: Attachment, Trauma and Resilience.

Chris Taylor
...

Hi Davy,

Look up John Bowlby or Mary Ainsworth and you'll be heading in the right direction for attachment.

Regards

Gary Peebles
Kibble Education and Care Centre, Scotland
...

Hey Karen

You can read this article in the latest CYC-Online:
http://www.cyc-net.org/cyc-online/cyconline-mar2009-rygaard.html

It gives you an idea about life development and possible crossroads where intervention makes a difference.

Cordially
Niels Peter Rygaard
Denmark
...

I would like to contribute the following comments to the discussion on Attachment Theory and Therapy.

1. John Bowlby, the originator of Attachment Theory was curious about the distress of infants separated from their parents. As a psychiatrist, he was profoundly influenced by Darwinian thinking and viewed attachment-seeking behaviors as adaptive responses common to all mammalian offspring in the struggle for survival. From this perspective, human attachment behaviors are simply complex forms of ‘imprinting’ (remember the baby duck that ‘attached’ to the farmer?). His conclusion was that the relationship between a human mother and her infant is essentially a matter of biological programming.

2. From this belief, Bowlby’s student Mary Ainsworth developed a method of studying infant responses to abandonment. Known as the “strange situation” technique, she created a simple classification system, of infant ‘pathology.’ Good old Mary gave us something to measure, label and treat, ensuring her a significant place in the DSM era.

3. Having concluded that ‘disordered’ infants are either unwilling or unable to ‘love’ their caretakers, enthusiastic clinicians set out to develop new treatment techniques – most based upon the assumption that such children are filled with rage that needs to be released. In the early days, their methods were based upon deprivation and punishment, resulting in numerous court hearings and professional disciplinary actions. In 2006 a report commissioned by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children concluded that Attachment Therapy needed to be challenged in terms of its theory, methodology and research claims.

4. By this time the movement had become so entrenched that devotees fought to preserve its credibility. Yet, despite all the humanistic jargon injected into the modified theories and methods, I still believe its most enduring underlying assumptions and beliefs are fundamentally flawed and tragically misguided.

5. My point is that classical Attachment Theory is not a relational perspective at all. The bond between a mother and her infant is a delicate two-way blend of biological, energetic, emotional and spiritual processes. A breakdown in this union is not the product of a ‘disordered’ child - it is the outcome of a relationship that has been emerging from the moment of conception. Children do not come into this world with a dysfunctional agenda.

6. Whether we are parents, psychologists or child and youth care workers, we need to recognize that kids who don’t like us may have very valid reasons. If there’s any pathology here, we might begin by looking inward. Perhaps the time has come for us to grow up and recognize the difference between bonding and bondage. Mea Culpa.

Gerry Fewster
...

A comment on G. Fewster's argument.

I entirely agree that so called "Attachment Therapy" is a flaw.

In my opinion it was malconstructed by non-professionals who completely misunderstood attachment theory and simply wanted to profit, and it was created by the desperation of parents and caretakers confronting children with a disorganized behavior (among others, adopted children from depriving orphanages).

This has created tremendous damage to an otherwise useful and scientifically well documented theory.

Please be very aware of the distinction: "Attachment disordered children" are non-existent. What you can meet are children with a disorganized or extremely ambivalent pattern in social interaction. This is a behavior description and not a personal label.

As stated in my paper and in Fewster's comment, you can't separate a child's behavior from the social environment. Dysfunctional parents become dysfunctional for a reason, and so do their children.

Today we promote a culture of early separation from parents and frequent replacements from one group to another in pre-school age.

For example: I started the Fair Start early caretaking program (www.fairstart.net) and the Global Orphanage Project (www.globalorphanage.net).

I did this because I saw so many deprived children around the world. e.g., my project partners in Romania and the Romanian government made a tremendous effort to close dysfunctional orphanages and place the children in foster families. I deeply respect these efforts, especially considering the very poor economy of the Romanian national budget. However, when Romania became a partner in the European Union two years ago, 2 million workers left Romania to work in Western Europe. They left behind 400,000 youth and young children, who now roam the streets or die from suicide or abuse.

In China, sudden industrialization has caused early parental behavior to change. Both parents have long working hours, and children usually go to the grandparents immediately after birth. In daycare and kindergartens, even toddlers stay in the institution from Sunday evening to Saturday afternoon.

It is this situation of early separation and social mobility that is responsible for increasing numbers of children and youth developing disorganized or antisocial behaviors, and it is this situation we should address as professionals. Attachment theory has some very documented recommendations about security-creating caretaker behaviors, and these we should put to use. They apply equally to positive standards for parental and professional behavior.

Med venlig hilsen/ Cordially/ Cordialmente/ Votre/ Ihre

Niels Peter Rygaard
Denmark

Links:
Attachment book: www.attachment-disorder.net
Orphanage development: www.globalorphanage.net
Tilknytningsproblemer: www.tilknytningsforstyrrelse.dk

...

Hi Karen.

The Dynamic Maturational Model by Dr. Pat Crittenden is the most interesting theory that I have seen on the survival function of attachment behaviours. Dr. Crittenden's model really moves away from a pathology based model of attachment "disordered" behaviours to one that looks at understanding the context of attachment behaviours as coping mechanisms and survival behaviours. I believe that it really fits with a child and youth care relational model. Please see her web-site at www.patcrittenden.com. When I attended Dr. Crittenden training, I had an epiphany. Really!

Take Care
Dawne MacKay-Chiddenton
...

Hi Niels;

So what are you saying? Do we need moms to start staying home with their children again. Do we need to try and get back to the days when dads went out to work and the moms stayed home with the children, would this help with some of the problems our kids are facing and behaviours they're developing? I wonder are there any studies done in countries where this is the norm, moms staying home and dads working. If so, what becomes of the children? Are there fewer kids with behaviour problems and with disorganized or extremely ambivalent pattern in social interaction?

I don't want to sound like some kind of pig and forgive me if I do; but maybe that's the way it was suppose to be. Maybe women shouldn't pursue careers, maybe they should focus on the most important career, the one men can't do, which is have kids and raise them the way only a mother can. Maybe there should be more options in schools for girls on how to be mothers. I wonder what would happen if we trained girls from school days to adulthood on how to take care of a family and a baby. Sorry everybody, I know there are a lot of draw backs too: Less respect for women, the women's rights movement would go way back. I'm very very sorry, I'm just going on a bit of a rant I guess. But also maybe our society is so preoccupied with making money and having respect in our careers that we've all just become assholes! I know so many stay-at-home moms that are depressed because whenever they tell someone what they do the response is "oh, you're just a stay-at-home mom", so they try and go back to school and "better themselves", when really their family needs them, and their kids miss out on having their mom at home.

It's not just moms either: plumbers, janitors, all these people with "crap" jobs, get no respect either, when some of the happiest people I've met have been people with these jobs, because they get that sense of accomplishment from their work, do you know what I mean? I know, I know why the hell am I talking about janitors? Sorry, must be another rant. I also know our field is made up mostly of women and it's great to have women in it, these kids who never had a caring mom, get one in these group homes. But then again if we trained women how to take care of their kids maybe we wouldn't need so many group homes. No matter what women are going through (drug abuse, alcohol abuse, etc.) they still always love and care about their kids, and maybe if they knew the severity of what they were doing (because they were taught it their whole life) they would be less likely to do it. Maybe. But Maybe not, what the hell do I know. Again sorry everybody, please forgive me, I'm still learning. Be kind. God bless you all.


Davy Rantucci
Child & Youth Care Worker
Bosco Homes
...

I didn't read the original email, so I'll just be replying to this one.

First issue: I doubt there are studies in countries where it is the "norm" for mothers to stay home and fathers go off to work, given that this is hardly the norm anywhere anymore, if it ever was. We could look back to a time when it was more common for women to stay home and men go to work to see if there were fewer children with behavioural issues. But, we are always prejudiced by the present day, so to "harken back to the glory days" is extremely inaccurate. Humans have always had "behavioural issues", it's how we deal with and categorize these issues that has changed.

I don't think you sound like a pig for believing that a child has the best shot at a stable life when the home life is stable. It's just that stability can look like many different things for different people.

You also mention training women on how to raise children in a formal setting. I have a few issues with this, probably most obviously the idea that only women can successfully raise children. This also assumes that all women are naturally destined to raise children. It's a natural role for women to take, given what is involved in creating new people, but it is a role not limited by gender. Takes a village.

Also, parenting is not a skill to be taught second period after English and before gym class. I had a class called "family studies" in high school where we went over different areas of family life, and this is valuable. But being a parent is something we learn through observation, through interacting with others, through being raised ourselves. It can be supported in a school setting, but you can't "teach" attachment (I think it's modeled). Unfortunately, a lot of kids grow up in unhealthy environments and develop "issues", but this is where the village ideally comes in.

Next - It's not that women staying home and taking care of the household would knock the "women's rights movement" way back. Rights are gained when women have the option of staying home or developing a career, or doing both. It's choice.

When we're talking about mothers staying home and youth in group care we're talking about two different kettle o' fish. There is no magic equation where A + B = group care. There are too many factors that influence how we end up the way we end up.

"But then again if we trained women how to take care of their kids maybe we wouldn't need so many group homes." It's a lot to assume that it's women who are largely responsible for messing up the kids. There is no magic bullet to solve the problems we face as a society. But heck, if "Mothering 101" is it, I'm all for it.

Evelyn
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
...

That was the best jaw dropping exercise I've had in a long time!

Did I miss the updates on a new study linking the female gender as the sole gender capable of creating attachment disorder?

I couldn't help but wonder about the values of community; regardless of gender....many communities have the strong value for raising children. All genders have a valuable role in these communities and many tasks can cross gender roles; aboriginal matriarchal communities, Scandinavian etc.. .

Wouldn't it be nice to see that value of community 'unity' stretch into the minds and hearts of all. I'm certain that when that is embraced many of the north American stereotypical issues would dissipate somewhat...I'm thinking of Nordic countries where parental leaves to raise children are a norm embraced and supported by government and where the countries values are behind raising children and it's not the sole responsibility of a female to own the weight of a social 'malady'.

I am eager to see the social norm shift to hold a stronger expectation for the male genders duty to the family (women?); why given the issues of abandonment the stereotypical male role model imposes on families,( both emotionally and economically ) because of his need to ... and the unspoken permission we give as a society...it's no wonder the female role is so dysected! (figuratively and literally)

On that point I end - look for a next point on the dysectin of women in society!

Kim a.k.a. Grandma K,
...

Hi Davy

Human children are resilient. Secure attachment requires "good enough" care, from adults who have their own needs met too. The choice of attachment figure is not influenced by being biological parents, being female, satisfying physical needs, or providing continuous care. It is the quality of the interaction that is important in order for attachment to develop.

Time and/or primary caring do not seem to be in themselves significant. What does matter is that there is fun and playfulness, and sensitive responsiveness to the infant's thoughts and feelings. Individuals who provide fun and playfulness are sought out and are missed when absent.

Parents who respond contingently to a child's utterances, by elaborating, developing and negotiating, promote development. Other reinforcing experiences are: feeding, face-to-face play, physical contact, and providing comfort during episodes of distress. The continuous and predictable provision of comfort, shared emotions, shared understanding (intersubjectivity), safety and the satisfaction of physical needs in time leads to the development in the infant of trust, security and attachment.

Chris Taylor
...

From: Karen Hanlon [mailto:kehanlon@nf.sympatico.ca]
Sent: 12 March 2009 04:54 PM

Davy,

When I first posted about attachment I had no idea of the length of time my questions would bounce around and of the extent of the conversation, but I truly am glad that I did. However, I think there are many myths that need to be exposed before society can fully understand how to nurture and gain from it. I don't think that being a stay at home mom is really that bad, nor is a working mom... with the right supports in place anything is possible. I was a stay at home mom for a number of years, and I did go back to school after my child was in the best place possible for him at that time. I don't have any regrets. It's about balance and love, I had amazing support from my husband and he bonded with our child as well as I did. When I was unable to hold and embrace our wee baby, he did it just as tenderly as I did. He still does to this day, when I am in school he does what needs to be done for our child. As I said, a mother is extremely important for a child and bonding is important, but so is a dad and other supports as well. It's a matter of nurturance and love... balanced with confidence and understanding.

I have learned so much from this post and from the individuals who have responded as I have learned so much from being a mom.... but the greatest I have learned is from being a mom...

Karen
CYC Student
...

Hi all

There has been a lot of very interesting discussion about attachment disorder, prompted as I recall by a student writing a paper that she has already turned in. Nevertheless, the discussion has been fun and informative.

For busy workers who do not have enough time to read:

An archived article on yesterday's daily features page, 'Violent Parenting, Violent Children,' offers more insight.

http://www.cyc-net.org/cyc-online/cycol-0902-trinidad.html

And Niels Rygaard's arcticle in this month's CYC-online offers one of the most concise and comprehensive treatises on child development I have seen, along with stzrategies for intervention throughout childhood and into adulthood.

http://www.cyc-net.org/cyc-online/cyconline-mar2009-rygaard.html

This month's CYC-online, by the way, is jammed full of interesting articles that are relevant to recent discussions in the email group. In my opinion, one of the best issues, but perhaps only because of my own orientation and interests.

John Stein
New Orleans
...

I agree 100% with Chris.

Geoffrey Levy
...

That there are no studies doesn't mean that there are no such places. See traditional Moslem countries (Saudi Arabia, for example), and ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel. In both cultures, woman's place is in the home -- period.

David Macarov
...

It is also useful to note that the young people I care for have all had 'stay at home' mothers and it is the domestic violence, drug and alcohol use and lifestyle that have directly affected the young people's ability to form secure attachments not the fact that they go out to work

Annette Steedman
...

Subject: your rant

Having a bad day? I started to answer you with a long rant, then erased it.

Then I wrote a more thoughtful terribly long bit that made me realize I need to write it up as an article, maybe something longer. Thank you. I needed a non-fiction project and you have helped me focus. A lot of help, eh? I'll let you know when I've got it done. Okay, here's the short of it.

Mainly, I believe kids who are acting out are trying to take responsibility for themselves; it's the teen version of terrible twos. The problem is that they are so in the NOW that their choices are often destructive for the long run.

My recommendations, based on professional and personal experience:

Start by developing your own long-range life goals, with intermediate and short term goals (so you can share it with them and get respect often missing for a poorly paid person in your position). If you intend to stay in your current position, that'll floor them, but you should have other personal goals for growth, family, whatever, so they can see that you're not living day to day with no plans for the future.

Then let them know there are lots of old people out there who never thought they'd see 30, and get them to articulate & write down what they want to be doing at 18, 21, 30. (I have lots of ideas on how to do this). Then guide them in discovering what steps they need to take to get there, and write them down. DON'T write down the negatives, things they should not do. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE. Be more detailed with what needs to be done in the next few weeks. KEEP a copy.

The next time you meet one on one, pull out both copies and make notes of whatever progress they've made toward their long-range goals (got their homework turned in half the time? step in the right direction, good). Fill in any more details they've figured out. If they bring up anything they've done that works against the plan, or if it's this huge thing they know you know, give it short work. That didn't help, much, did it, well, make a better choice next time. Does it change anything you need to do? (It might add things, if they need to make court dates or such.) Oh, and did they ask what you've been doing on your plan? Make sure you are making progress, too, or share if you've gotten off course (might have led to a new direction or might need to get back on track).

It works.

Yeah, this is the shortest version. I'm sending before I write anything else. Check out my website (link below). My novel might help you or coworkers open up discussion.

Sheri McGuinn
www.sherimcguinn.com

...

I do not think that what is missing in our society and in the lives of the children we work with rests on the shoulders of women. What is missing is FAMILY! TWO parents in a child's life that work together to create an environment where the child feels safe and loved and is then able to explore and experience the world but have a safe place to come back to.

I believe our society places to much value on success and financial stability and not enough time on relationships and love. Last year I spent 6 months living in Brazil and was struck by the difference in values. People were genuinely interested in building relationships and cared about each other more than their schedules. We don't have time to build attachments our day planners don't allow for it, if our North American culture is so concerned with children building attachments perhaps we should consider putting down our phones, taking out our head phones and starting to listen to one another.

I agree with Neil's statement that "you can't separate a child's behavior from the social environment". If we are raising children in an individualistic society how can we expect them to learn to create attachments when everything else screams just take care of yourself. For the majority of these children their social environment is the internet, or what is being modeled for them by the adults in their lives which from what I see is often made up of people running from one thing to another, without staying anywhere long enough to have a chance to attach.

Perhaps if we want tchildren to develop stronger attachments we need to have a paradigm shift in society where we start modeling true relationships and valuing one another. Offering applause to the Father who is taking a personal day from work to see his son's soccer game instead of grumbling that he is missing a meeting. After all, love will always prevail ... yet the datebook seems to haunt us.

Kat Born
(Child and Youth Care Student)
...

Davy, I agree with what you're saying about money and the fact that we need to focus on relationships and caring for one another rather than just throwing money at kids and hoping they find their way. How is a teen supposed to deal with money and no one to guide them? I think that your idea for a class for girls in high school would be a good one, but I think that they should offer it for boys as well. Teaching young boys how to be a good father and how to support their child would be the best thing for their future children. A child needs love, caring and support from both parents to thrive.

Maybe more mothers should stay home, but what happens if their husband leaves them? They have to go out and get a job to make ends meet and if they never had a proper education they will be forced into low paying jobs. If they are low paying she will have to get more than one which reduces the amount of time she can spend creating an attachment with her child. There are negatives no matter which way you look at it. I don't think it's as simple as saying women need to stay home or having a class to teach women to be good mothers.

This is a very complex issue and it's hard to make a blanket remedy for situation.

Leah Desjardins
______

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