Lesson 8: What should I know about attachment?

Lesson 8 Chapter 2

Attachment (disorder)

Watch the video or read the explanations down below. Be aware that your knowledge will be tested in the next lesson.

Secure attachment

Attachment is an affective lasting relationship between a child and it’s permanent caregiver. Children who develop a secure attachment when they are young are usually more socially and emotionally skilled later on. These children have confidence in themselves and others and understand negative feelings better than children with an insecure attachment.

Insecure attachment

With an insecure attachment, the child has no faith in others and him or herself; maintaining relationships with others can be difficult. 

When a child is insecurely attached it can lead to an attachment disorder. You can recognize attachment disorder in the behaviour of a child. An example of this could be a child showing claiming behaviour or evasive behaviour. There are different forms of attachment disorder. Each form can result in different behaviours.

To get to know more about attachment (disorder) click on the icon to open up some more information about it

As a volunteer you have to ensure that you are not contributing to an attachment disorder. Given your short stay at the project, it is important to avoid building a close relationship with the children.

How to avoid attachment

Some tips that will help you avoid attachment:

  1. 1
    Take on a role as a supporter of local staff. Do not establish close contact with children yourself. The parent or the permanent caregiver should be the one establishing a secure attachment with the child.
  2. 2
    You can support local staff by taking up work such as cleaning, washing, cooking or checking homework. This can create free time for the caregivers to be in contact with the children. Whenever you do work with children, make sure you do group activities and do not spend too much one-on-one time with a child.
  3. 3
    Clearly indicate at your project that you are there temporarily. It is important for the children to realize this. Do not say to the children that you will come back some day. You might not be able to keep your promise and it will disappoint the children.
  4. 4

    Observe how locals deal with children and discuss it with your supervisors. If it not common to lift up children, than you should also avoid this as a volunteer.

Next lesson: Test your knowledge