Why Do Children Need the Same Parents?
This question is adapted from work by Dr Daniel Hughes
Why do children need to have a unique set of parents with whom to relate over time as opposed to parents who are interchangeable over time? At one level the answer is obvious; the bond from parent to child and the attachment from child to parent is reciprocal. The prospect of, and then the actual arrival of a tiny dependent being awakens caregiving from the parent. The presence and involvement of a parenting figure provides multiple experiences of nurture, care, safety and protection from danger for the child. Over time the child learns to become who he is in this relational context, which when observed is a thing of wonder and beauty.
What are the benefits of this secure attachment relationship for the child?
- They learn to identify and regulate emotions.
- They acquire language.
- Brain development is dependent on pre, and post-natal experience. In a very real sense parents ‘grow’ their child’s brain.
- The child learns to know his own mind and that of others.
- The child’s physical self has opportunity to develop in an optimum way.
- It frees the mind to learn.
- It protects children from toxic stress.