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Studies say babies in childcare form insecure attachments with their mother - true for you?

9 replies

avariceandlatinos · 06/10/2009 18:15

What's with all these studies?! I'm sure there must be merit in them to some extent, but i wonder what people's personal experiences are in relation to children who started nursery under one?

The studies say that children in childcare over a 10 hours (but especially between 20 and 30 hours because this isn't enough time for them to form a 'secondary attachment' with their caregiver apparantly) are at significant risk of forming an insecure attachment with their mothers!!! (more aloof, argumentative, not eager to go to her when she returns etc or may become fretful and angry) this scares me, as i want a really close relationship with my daughter, especially because i can't have any more kids. They may also be more negatively attention-seeking, precocious and more aggressive and generally get on less well with their peers (don't share etc) by the time they reach pre-school.

And naively I was kind of hoping my little one would benefit from the social interaction with other adults because theres never anything going on at home as i'm a single mum and it's just me, no other children or close family nearBY.

My hope would be there is a difference in mothering style between mothers who put their kids in childcare in the first year because they want to and those who feel they have too.

OP posts:
SevernTrentWater · 07/10/2009 15:22

I personally think it's rubbish. my sister put all her ds in nursery very young, she didn't have a choice, she was a student, my mum put me in nursery before a year, we are all fine, and very attached to our mothers, although i would say my sisters son is very independant and outgoing! a leader, not 'aggressive'

Pinkjenny · 07/10/2009 15:26

Dd is in nursery two days a week and she and I have a very close relationship. I would not call her insecure in the slightest. The only thing that I do notice is that she can be slightly aloof and argumentative when I pick her up from nursery. Almost as if she's upset with me for leaving her, which makes me a little sad occasionally.

Otherwise, I don't see any of the traits that you have described in her at all.

MollieO · 07/10/2009 15:33

Ds was with a CM from 7am to 6.30pm 4 days a week from the age of 10 months. I'm a single mum and he is a very happy, confident, independent, caring and generous child.

You need to toughen up as there is a lot written about how disadvantaged children are only having one parent. Complete rubbish imho.

Pinkjenny · 07/10/2009 15:35

Would agree with MollieO about toughening up, I'm not a single parent but all the 'studies' about working parents are something I just have to ignore for my own sanity.

You sound like a great mum who wants the best for their child.

CMOTdibbler · 07/10/2009 15:39

My DS has been full time at nursery since he was 4.5 months old - he is very closely bonded to me, is rarely distressed about anything, and shares/interacts really well with his peers at 3.5. He was never aloof from me on pickup, but sometimes argues that he wants to stay there to play with me.

BertieBotts · 07/10/2009 16:10

Well I studied psychology at A Level and part of the course focused on this issue. I think that there are a lot of other factors which come into play, and remember just because there is a correlation (ie more children who are at nursery young are insecurely attached) it does not mean there is a causation (ie that being at nursery young causes the insecurity) - I would imagine what you say about the difference between choice and necessity plays a part (though not to say that all parents who choose to put their children in nursery at a young age can't wait to get rid of them etc) also the temperament of the child, the type of relationship you have outside of nursery - e.g. following any attachment parenting practices like using slings or co-sleeping, doing shared activities, talking to your child a lot.

Also the effects can be very much lessened if children have one key person at nursery to attach to, which is why most nurseries now assign "key workers" to each child. Choosing a nursery with a low staff-to-child ratio and low staff turnover can help a lot too, or using a childminder.

HaventAClue · 10/10/2009 13:05

if it works for you don't worry about it, there wil always be studies published that make you feel bad!
my DD is in nursery over 30 hours a week and has always had a close connection with me, I know other children who are more aggressive/aloof etc. at her age who don't go to nursery,
just don't read the studies

reikizen · 10/10/2009 13:08

utter crap.

elliepac · 10/10/2009 13:17

Sorry, but that's a pile of bollocks, if you will pardon my french. DS (6) and DD (20m) have both been in full time (8-5) childcare (albeit childminder) from 5 months old. Both have a very secure relationship with both me and DH, are ridiculously happy to see me at the end of the day and are happy secure children.

You must make a note to oneself to ignore every single bit of research that tells you you are a badparent/your children are suffering because you have to work. You are not/they will not. End of.

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