Parent Infant Relationships
Attachment refers to the affection that a baby develops towards their main carer, usually their parents. Right from birth babies begin to build an attachment to familiar carers who respond to their day to day physical and emotional needs. Health Visitors have a key role in supporting parents to identify and respond sensitively to their parents. Attachment has long been recognised as a key factor in positive child development and research shows that the way in which parents interact with their children influences how their children regulate their own emotions and behaviour and depends on the attachment relationship (Tronick, 2007). The research highlights that positive and secure parent-child interaction not only enables children to develop good social and emotional skills, but also gives them the best possible foundation for cognitive development, before, during and beyond their school years.
Secure attachment is one of the main sources of later resilience in childhood: infants who are securely attached feel safe to play and learn. Securely attached children achieve better outcomes across all domains including social and emotional development, behaviour, relationships with peers and learning.
Getting it right from the start