Parenting

How To Maintain Good Attachment When Using Daycare

As a society, we have been wrestling with the question of how to take care of children while simultaneously pursuing a career for decades.

Most people in Bountiful think children under six should be at home with at least one parent. However, parents who cannot be home for their children prefer other options, such as family childcare or neighborhood. The last option they consider is an actual daycare facility. Still, the same problem remains—how can we foster and sustain good attachment for our small children?

What is Attachment?

While mothers are the most likely to be the “attachment figure” due to biology, they may not always be the sole caregiver.

In fact, a mother doesn’t have to be present all the time for the baby to love her. Thus, babies can form attachments with fathers—and other loving caregivers—that are not secondary to their mothers. However, the baby and mother attachment is still significantly important. In order to do this, a safe, secure, and nurturing home is the best environment.

Secure attachment is seen when children are distressed after their caregiver leaves but can quickly recover when their caregiver returns. Therefore, this secure attachment means that children feel safe and protected. They know they can rely on their caregivers to return.

When a child’s attachment needs are not met, negative behaviors can result. It’s an adult’s responsibility to create and maintain a good relationship with their child; it should be a priority.

Ways To Develop Good Attachments

When using daycare, parents might feel a lot of stress surrounding having to be away from their children. However, parents need to realize that they’re not losing responsibility just because they can’t be stay-at-home anymore.

Parents and Bountiful daycare providers should all aspire to the same goal: encouraging children to grow and prosper. To do this, it’s also important for parents and daycare staff to also develop good attachment styles.

Here are a few ways to do that:

1.  Foster Personal Adult Connections

It’s advised for parents to build relationships among friends, family, and other responsible adults. Why? This is a great first step to fostering parent-child attachment because it expands the circle of positive adults who care about your child’s well-being.

For example, parents should get to know the teachers and staff at a daycare facility. When children see that their parents have friendly social interactions with the other adults at daycare, it creates an environment where they can feel safe. Even though daycare isn’t home, to children it will feel familiar.

2.  Create Trust

Furthermore, establish trust with your Bountiful daycare provider. This goes hand-in-hand with fostering adult connections.

Spend time with the caregiver regardless of the type of daycare you choose, and show your child that you trust them. Children are much more observant than we give them credit for. If your child sees that you trust the daycare staff, they will also learn to trust too.

3.  Be Mindful Of Attachment Principles

Attachment principles should also be emphasized to everyone at daycare.

At daycare in Bountiful, the caregiver should invite the child to the space. It is called “collecting” your children, which is welcoming them to relationship with you. When a child walks into daycare on the first day, they’re probably screaming and crying. It’s traumatizing having to leave your mother or father. However, if there is an adult there who is warm and inviting, perhaps it could change everything.

4.  Don’t Compete, Instead Cooperate

It’s human nature to feel jealousy.

Despite this, there needs to be an understanding that an increase in attachment to another adult doesn’t necessarily mean a decrease in attachment to a parent. Thus, it’s important to know that attachments are not separate; a daycare and parent work together for the child’s good.

Isn’t it better for children to feel safe in various environments? To know that they can approach and ask for help from different adults?

5.  Slow Down

If you feel like your parent-child attachment is waning, slow down.

Often, we rush through so much in life. Instead of making your mornings chaotic by trying to get out of the house as fast as possible, take it easy. For example, spend an extra few minutes with them in the morning rather than rushing small children out the front door to daycare. Doing this not only fills children with joy but also engages them, making the rest of the day smoother.

6.  Remind Children Of A Parent’s Love

There are many different ways for parents to express their love for their children.

For example, it can be little things—like notes in their daycare lunches or surprises at the end of the day. Of course, this may be difficult for busy Bountiful parents or caregivers. However, it’s important for kids to feel connected. So, in any way that is possible, try to include children in all aspects of your life.

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