The Attachment Connection: Parenting a Secure and Confident Child Using the Science of Attachment Theory

Overview

Studies in the 1950s revealed that young children hospitalized without their parents respond first by crying for them, then by showing signs of despair, and finally by emotionally detaching from the parents and acting indifferent to their absence. This detachment is hard to repair and highly detrimental to a child's development-most children who feel they cannot rely on their parents grow up to become more emotionally insecure and less self-assured than their peers.

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The Attachment Connection: Parenting a Secure and Confident Child Using the Science of Attachment Theory

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Overview

Studies in the 1950s revealed that young children hospitalized without their parents respond first by crying for them, then by showing signs of despair, and finally by emotionally detaching from the parents and acting indifferent to their absence. This detachment is hard to repair and highly detrimental to a child's development-most children who feel they cannot rely on their parents grow up to become more emotionally insecure and less self-assured than their peers.

The Attachment Connection sorts out the facts from the fiction about parent-child attachment and shows how paying attention to the emotional needs of your child, particularly during the first five years of development, can help him or her grow up happy, secure, and confident. You'll discover how your child's brain is developing at each stage of growth and learn to use reasonable, easy-to-implement guidelines based on sound science to foster secure attachment, healthy social skills, and emotional regulation in your child.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
At last! Newton’s Attachment Connection takes attachment and neuroscience into the mainstream of parenting and clinical practice, bringing clarity and insight to the often misunderstood world of family bonds. Using a sensitive combination of informative vignettes, lucid explanations, and developmental milestones, she deftly illuminates the nature of the bond that develops between parents and their babies and the profound influence which this bond will have on a baby’s ability to form secure attachments. As a therapist and academic, Newton’s comprehensive knowledge of the socio-emotional development of children shines through with intelligence, passion, humor, and sensitivity.
—Sir Richard Bowlby Bt., president of the Centre for Child Mental Health in London, UK

Drawing on the latest scientific research and her extensive clinical experience, Newton has written a practical guide for parents who seek to foster an attachment bond with their young children (infants through three years of age). Since a secure attachment forms the foundation for children’s later social and emotional development, this is must read book for parents.
—Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, professor of psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ, and cofounder and director emeritus of the Association for Play Therapy

"[Ruth Newton] has written a valuable book..."
—Library Journal

Library Journal

Newton, a clinical psychologist specializing in affect regulation, has written a valuable book explaining the latest research on the brain's right hemisphere and how its proper neurobiological development is dependent upon the relationship between infant and primary caregiver. In other words, Newton tackles attachment theory. The text is sometimes dense (this is brain research, after all), but Newton succeeds in summarizing her subject, followed by brain regulation 101, then applies the research from pregnancy through age five. She explains how the brain's right hemisphere develops before the left, step by step, one area laying tracks for the next. The right biochemical mix is needed to create a secure base from which blossoms attention, learning, and exploration. This base is created by enhancing positive emotions and regulating negative states, ideally through one primary caregiver (read: mother, who is pressured a little to play nicely, stick to a schedule, and avoid freaking out). It is only when there is chronic misattunement without repair that a child is at risk. Newton does not lay on the guilt but argues for greater societal understanding of the importance of this developmental period in infancy and for increased support for parents raising young children. Much of this attunement we do automatically (e.g., cooing, carrying baby on the left hip), and we are reminded-yet again-to forget the flash cards. Instead, try giggling while you blow a raspberry on baby's belly. It's likely to do baby's brain-and future-a lot more good. A crucial acquisition for academic libraries and highly recommended for all others.
—Julianne J. Smith

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572245204
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
  • Publication date: 6/1/2008
  • Series: Unassigned Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 410,159
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth P. Newton, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in attachment and affect regulation in the developing child. She is also the supervising psychologist for Child and Mental Health Services at St. Vincent de Paul Village, a homeless rehabilitation center in downtown San Diego, and a training supervisor for master and doctoral-level interns. Newton is on the advisory board for the Attachment Institute at the University of California, San Diego, and is a member of the Technical and Professional Advisory Committee for the First 5 Commission of San Diego, an organization that funds programming for children five years of age and younger and their families. She works with children and adults in a private practice in La Jolla, CA, and is a longtime consultant for SAY San Diego's Extended Day Childcare program. She is a contributing author to Reader's Guide to Affect Regulation and Neurobiology and Play Therapy for Very Young Children.

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Table of Contents


Foreword     xi
Acknowledgments     xv
Introduction     1
A Paradigm Shift: Increasing the Focus on Your Child's Emotional Development
Purpose of This Book
Definition of Terms
Attachment Matters     7
Setting the Scene: Reconnecting with the Natural Instinct for Attachment
Attachment Defined
The History of Attachment Theory
Organized Attachment Styles
Disorganized Attachment
Comparing Organized and Disorganized Attachment
Internal Working Models: We All Have Early Childhood Experiences
Attachment Categories over Time
What Secure Children Learn
What Insecure-Avoidant and -Ambivalent Children Learn
What Disorganized Children Learn
Temperament and Attachment
You Don't Have to Parent the Way You Were Parented
Parents Need to Be Good Enough, Not Perfect
In a Nutshell: Attachment Security Is Built with Parental Attunement and Sensitivity
What's Behind the Face     35
Setting the Scene: Visualizing the Interior World of the Brain
Entrainment: Synchronizing Two Systems
Shaping Your Baby's Brain
Two Brains Meet: Nonverbal Communication Between You and Your Baby
Shifting to the Right: Making Time to Tune In to Your Child
Helping Your Child Pass Through the Survival Gates
Building Regulated Brains: How Parents Help
Emotional Regulation and Dysregulation: Case Examples
Wiring Optimal Arousal Ranges into the Autonomic Nervous System
In a Nutshell: Regulate Negative Emotions While Enhancing Positive Emotions
Crossing into a New Ocean: Pregnancy, Birth, and the Newborn Period     65
Setting the Scene: The Transition to Parenthood
Marriages, Commitments, and Other Necessary Ingredients
It Really Does Take a Village: Your Support System
Work Absorption: Balancing Home and Work
Building Your Family Infrastructure: Expect Change
Pregnancy
Fetal Movement
Approaching the Birth
The New Ocean: After Your Baby Is Born
The Newborn Period
Keys to Attachment
In a Nutshell: Take Care of Yourselves
We're Still Breathing! The Two-Month-Old     87
Setting the Scene: Jordan's Need for Contact
Developmental Milestones: Building Connection as Your Baby Grows
Cultivating Secure Attachment in the Two-Month-Old
Play and Attachment in the Two-Month-Old
Parent Focus: Reentering the Adult World
Living in the Charm: Pippa's Response to Her New Three-Month-Old Cousin
There Is Someone in There! The Four-Month-Old     99
Setting the Scene: China's Need for Predictable Interactions
Developmental Milestones: Building Connection as Your Baby Grows
Cultivating Secure Attachment in the Four-Month-Old
Play and Attachment in the Four-Month-Old
Parent Focus: Celebrations
Living in the Charm: Daniel's Attempt to Help
Knowing the Clan: The Six-Month-Old     111
Setting the Scene: Corey and His Young Mother
Developmental Milestones: Building Connection as Your Baby Grows
Cultivating Secure Attachment in the Six-Month-Old
Play and Attachment in the Six-Month-Old
Parent Focus: A Night Off
Living in the Charm: Randy's Gift from Heaven
There's a Stranger Amongst Us! The Nine-Month-Old      123
Setting the Scene: Amy's Struggle for Exploration
Developmental Milestones: Building Connection as Your Baby Grows
Cultivating Secure Attachment in the Nine-Month-Old
Play and Attachment in the Nine-Month-Old
Parent Focus: Family Vacations
Living in the Charm: Kara Finds Her Beat!
Free at Last: The Twelve-Month-Old     137
Setting the Scene: Max's Attempts to Take Care of His Mother
Developmental Milestones: Building Connection as Your Baby Grows
Cultivating Secure Attachment in the Twelve-Month-Old
Play and Attachment in the Twelve-Month-Old
Parent Focus: A Day at the Amusement Park
Living in the Charm: August's Social Protocol
I Think, Therefore I Am: The Eighteen-Month-Old     149
Setting the Scene: Morgan's Terror
Developmental Milestones: Building Connection as Your Toddler Grows
Cultivating Secure Attachment in the Eighteen-Month-Old
Play and Attachment in the Eighteen-Month-Old
Parent Focus: A Single Dad at Play
Living in the Charm: Owen's Learning How to Count
Where Did He Hear That Word? The Two-Year-Old     163
Setting the Scene: Cohen's Struggle with His Mother
Developmental Milestones: Building Connection as Your Toddler Grows
Cultivating Secure Attachment in the Two-Year-Old
Play and Attachment in the Two-Year-Old
Parent Focus: A Day at the Spa
Living in the Charm: Tess's Push Back
Shifting to the Left: The Three-Year-Old     177
Setting the Scene: Kierra's Working for Attention
Developmental Milestones: Building Connection as Your Preschooler Grows
Cultivating Secure Attachment in the Three-Year-Old
Play and Attachment in the Three-Year-Old
Parent Focus: Floor Time for Dad
Living in the Charm: Valerie's Perplexity
I Can Do It Myself: The Four-Year-Old     191
Setting the Scene: Dennis's Need for Unstructured Time
Developmental Milestones: Building Connection as Your Preschooler Grows
Cultivating Secure Attachment in the Four-Year-Old
Play and Attachment in the Four-Year-Old
Parent Focus: Health-Conscious Parents
Living in the Charm: Jack's Curiosity
Baby on the Go     203
Child Care Research
Quality of Child Care
More Options Are Needed
Family and Medical Leave Act
In Parting: Attachment Matters
References     213
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