I was very lucky to spend my Monday this week listening to Dr Suzanne Zeedyk talking to a group of Gloucestershire Early Years folk about why attachment is so critical from birth upwards. We have come a long way in our understanding of attachment theories since John Bowlby published his ground breaking work in the 70s and Zeedyk builds brilliantly on this, with her challenge to us all to help more people across many sectors ‘get it’.
Zeedyk claims that attachment theory is ‘simples’, with 3 clear messages:
1. Babies are born connected – research shows that babies are programmed to connect with their carers from the very start and this is when brain patterns start to develop, reinforced by loving attachments.
2. Connection shapes brain development – neural ‘motorways’ are built by all connections, either negative or positive, so we need to work on shaping the very best connections from the beginning of a child’s life.
3. Society suffers when babies (and adults) don’t feel connected.
She talks in clear terms about how we all need a secure and strong ‘internal teddy bear’ to help us when things get tough. This is such a clear image for us to understand, and who doesn’t recognise the need for some sort of internal calming system at the most difficult of times. If you’d like to learn more about attachment and what you can do as a parent, grandparent or early years professional, then do have a look at Suzanne’s website: and she also has some great videos on YouTube: