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Early and Positive attachments - In conversation with Caroline Essame and Dr. Sue Jennings

Experts discuss early and positive attachments

From the archives this month, we bring you experts in conversation - as Caroline Essame and Dr. Sue Jennings talk about the importance of early and positive attachments.

We also include for you a transcript of their conversation, but better by far is hearing them themselves.

"Sue: It starts from the moment the woman knows she's pregnant because she has a different awareness that something is happening and her attitudes and feelings are automatically being communicated to the unborn baby. Unborn babies are very aware - they can hear the mother's voice amplified. They can tell light and dark, they can sense tension, so all these things are happening before birth.

Caroline: We can wire the brain throughout life, but the brain is much more susceptible and adaptable in the early years, so playing, creating, singing and positive attachments in

early childhood, are really important for ongoing adult development.

Sue: Then the moment the baby is born within 2 or 3 hours, and this is quite extraordinary, the baby starts to try and imitate the expression on the mother's face. How many people think that when babies are born they need to be quiet and wrapped up and put in a room - they don't. Babies are social animals they need to interact with people. We now know a lot more because of neuron scientific research. We understand a lot more about how the brain functions and that biologically the brain won't develop unless there is a healthy attachment.

Caroline : I think all children should have the entitlement to play to be creative to discover a sense of control over the world.

Sue: Together with the research, I was doing in Romania with children who had been in the orphanages and seeing their lack of attachment, how it affected their behavior. We did a lot of very intensive play therapy and drama therapy with many of the orphans and a lot of

change came about then slowly being able to trust other people. Children need nurturing. Children need affirmation. Many x-rays that we now have particularly of children from orphanages in Eastern Europe show that their neocortex just has not developed. So it is a strong, strong case for all children to have a very solid attachment in order to build. Brain attachment builds the brain."

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