The attachment theory: How childhood affects life

The attachment theory argues that a strong emotional and physical bond to one primary caregiver in our first years of life is critical to our development. If our bonding is strong and we are securely attached then we feel safe to explore the world, we know there is always that safe base, which we can return to at any time. If our bond is weak, we feel insecurely attached, and we are afraid to leave or explore a rather scary-looking world because we are not sure if we can return.

People who are securely attached are said to have greater trust, can connect to others and as a result, are more successful in life. Insecurely attached people tend to mistrust others, lack social skills, and have problems forming relationships.

One type of secure attachment (organized)

3 types of secure attachment, Anxious/ambivalent (organized), Anxious/avoidant (organized), Anxious/disorganized (disorganized).

Securely attached
Anxious ambivalent
Anxious avoidant
Anxious disorganized

Our attachment is formed in the very first years of our lives, a time when we are too young to communicate our anxiety and as result can experience a high levels of stress. Then our adrenal gland produces the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, the heart rate increases the blood pressure goes up and we go alert, if that happens frequently, it is called toxic stress because it impairs the development of a child's brain and weakens the immune system.

There is another reason why the early years deserve special attention, they are the starting place for subsequent behaviors, a kid that feels securely attached at age 2, can make friends at kindergarten, their worldview gets reinforced with every interaction and they develop optimism, as a result, they make good relationship at school, then at a colleague and later at work. Highly insecure children can miss out on this opportunity.

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