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Temperament & Attachment

The obstacles that adults and children must work through when going through attachment

is the topic that interested me most in Chapter 1 of the book Child, Family and Community. As a

teacher or caregiver, there are some times when you may see that some parents are not as attached

to their children compared to other parents. Although this may seem concerning, this is not

unusual, and it happens. Some ways to help parents work through this troubling time may be to

help point out their child’s unique qualities that they may not be aware of.

I also enjoyed learning about the term “optimum attachment”. “Optimum attachment starts

before the baby is born, continues after delivery when the baby and family ‘bond’, and then follows

a continuous progression from there” (Gonzalez-Mena, 2017). Sometimes optimum attachment

does not always occur between a child and parents. Some reasons for not feeling this emotional

connection might be due to an unhappy feeling about the pregnancy. It is hard to feel good and

happy for something that you have mixed or negative emotions about. Another reason for not

feeling emotional connected to the baby may be due to the relationship between the woman and

man. The man may feel disconnected from the baby due to the distant relationship he may have

with the mother. Another very common reason why the mother may not be able to connect with

the baby is due to the fact that she cannot interact or touch the baby. Due to these reasons listed

above, the initial period, when babies and parents generally bond, may not be the most pleasant


On top of parents, it may be difficult for caregivers and children to develop an attachment.

According to Better Brains for Babies, “Some challenges- such as a two-year-old’s growing desire

for independence- are normal and expected parts of development. If caregivers respond sensitively,

these everyday challenges do not have a lasting impact on attachment” (Better Brains for Babies,

2018). It is important for caregivers to provide children with sensitive care in which they feel like
they are in a safe and secure environment. When children feel that they are secure and safe within

their environment, they will be able to develop the trust that leads to secure attachment. It is not

just the responsibilities of good care givers to provide the basis for a secure attachment, it also

depends on the temperament of the child. “A child’s natural temperament plays a significant role

in determining how that child approaches and responds to situations and people” (Better Brains

for Babies, 2018).

The temperament of a child if genetically determined and depends on the levels of activity,

emotionality, and sociability within a child (Gonzalez-Mena, 2017). The relationship between the

parent/caregiver and child depend on the temperament matches between the two individuals. An

an example of a mismatch between a parent and a child would be if an active mother with a high

energy level has a baby that has a slow and calm temperament, she may be disappointed (Gonzalez-

Mena, 2017). When babies are born, they are generally categorized into one of the three categories

of temperament, which are easy, difficult, and slow to warm up. Easy babies adjust to new

experiences and are generally happy. Difficult babies are easily upset and have negative reactions.

Lastly, slow to warm up babies react as difficult babies would, but eventually warm up to the new

stimuli as easy babies would. (Gordon, 2013). It is important that parents and caregivers do not

allow their feelings toward the child to affect their relationship between them. Temperament is

genetic and has many factors that effect it.

By learning about a child’s temperament can help a parent/caregiver become closer and

develop a better and more positive relationship with the child.

“Attachment is a proper of the dyadic relationship between infant and caregiver, which

means that attachment security is not a reflection of the caregivers parenting skills or whether the

child has an easygoing temperament. Attachment is a reflection of the goodness of fit between the
parent’s temperament and the infant’s temperament” (Mental Health, 2008). Parents/caregivers

must be flexible and able to adjust to accept the child as he/she is.