The human being by its nature has the tendency to structure solid emotional ties .
According to psychologist John Bowlby, who developed attachment theory, a milestone in the history of psychology, human beings are biologically predisposed to developing intimate relationships from early childhood: the newborn, in fact, establishes a preferential relationship with the figure of care, follows her, is comforted by her closeness, looks for her in moments of stress.
For the child, being "attached" to the mother means trying to stay "close enough" to her, using her as a secure base from which she can move away to explore the environment with confidence and be able to turn to when she encounters an obstacle.
The mother's willingness to provide a secure base is influenced by her ability to recognize and respect both the child's desire for attachment and her desire to explore the environment and relate to other children and adults.
The special relationship that develops between mother and child, provides the child with that sense of security that comes from the presence of an adult who takes care of him, who is able to perceive and understand his needs and to provide with adequate answers.
And it is precisely the feeling of well-being that emerges from repetitive experiences of positive interaction with the mother, from which the child receives attention and care, which creates what Bowlby defines a secure base.
Each child establishes a specific attachment relationship based on the availability of the mother: if the mother represents a secure base for the child, then the attachment model that will be established will be safe, if this does not occur a model of insecure attachment will be created.
In this way, different attachment models can be created which, based on structured studies and observations, have been divided into four categories:
· Secure attachment
· Insecure / avoidant attachment
· Insecure / ambivalent attachment
· Disorganized / disoriented attachment
As it is easy to understand, of the four categories, only the first, that of secure attachment, is functional to an optimal development of the child.
This model is structured when, in the first year of life, the child has experienced safety, as the mother has shown herself to be responsive, intervening adequately when the child needed it. This allows the child to grow and face the world optimally.
If, on the other hand, the child experiences waste, with respect to his needs and requests for help, he must somehow provide for his own problems to be solved, without relying on external support. The child thus ends up "deactivating" the attachment system, hyper-activating the exploration system.
This creates what is called insecure-avoiding attachment : the child does not frequently relate to the mother, concentrates on the environment and explores it independently, without contacting the mother in case of discomfort.
On the contrary, the child with insecure-ambivalent attachment cannot calmly explore the environment and cannot even use the mother as a secure base. It presents ambivalent behaviors: it seeks contact with the mother, but then rejects it, hugs the mother, but expresses anger and agitation.
This model of attachment is defined when the child experiences an incoherent mother: sometimes rejecting respect to needs, sometimes intrusive. The child, therefore, not knowing from time to time what reaction his mother will have, constantly watches over her, excessively activating the attachment system with respect to the exploration system.
Finally, disorganized-disoriented attachment is characterized by interrupted behaviors, stereotypy, abnormal postures, immobility, up to behavior of fear or concern towards the parent. This model of attachment is connected to unresolved deaths and traumas in the parent's story which is then expressed in the interactions with the child through expressions of fear that are frightening to the child himself.
This creates in the child an unsolvable conflict between the tendency to turn to the parent as a source of reassurance in the face of a frightening stimulus and the fact that it is the parent himself that arouses fear: the tendency to approach and to move away is inhibited. 'overwhelming the child's ability to organize a coherent behavior.
The attachment to future relationships
The attachment models not only regulate the interactions with the mother, but are then re-proposed also in other relationships, as they are internalized and become a guide for future relationships .
If a child has developed a model of attachment based on a secure bond, he will have a representation based on a loving and attentive figure, worthy of trust and a representation of himself as worthy of affection.
If instead he has established an avoidant attachment, he will tend not to value himself as worthy of listening; in the case of ambivalent attachment instead, he will have contradictory perceptions about himself.
It is therefore essential for the optimal development of the child to establish a secure attachment . This model of attachment is created when the child learns that what he feels internally can be understood and respected and that the mother is able to provide him with the appropriate answers.
In summary the child feels heard .
Some Australian flowers can be taken by the mother during the first year of the child's life, to promote a healthy attachment.
· Bottlebrush is the flower that favors and consolidates the mother-child bond.
· Green Spider Orchid is very useful to mothers both during pregnancy and in the neonatal period and in the first months of a baby's life. This essence favors that communication that goes beyond words, therefore it helps the mother to understand more easily the needs of her child, thus allowing her to respond adequately.
In addition to these two flower remedies, another Australian flower can also be particularly useful for the child.
In the book "Errors not to repeat", the child psychiatrist Daniel Siegel explains how dysfunctional patterns of parental attachment can then be repeated and adversely affect one's children. "Each generation is influenced by the previous ones and influences the later ones, " writes Siegel. For this reason the Boab flower remedy helps both parents and the child to get rid of dysfunctional patterns resulting from their family heritage.
The essence favors in the parent the recognition of these non-useful "inheritances", those negative attitudes that are repeated, as learned by one's parents, and reiterated more or less consciously, but which in fact are not functional to create a good bond of attachment.
Creating a good attachment is fundamental for the development of the child, but also for adult life, because as stated by Bowlby "even if particularly evident in early childhood, the attachment behavior characterizes the human being from the cradle to the grave."