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Education 2

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Education 2

In each person's life much of the joy and sorrow revolves around attachments or affectionate relationships -- making them, breaking them, preparing for them, and adjusting to their loss by death. Among all of these bonds is a special one -- the type a mother or father form with his or her newborn infant. Bonding does not refer to mutual affection between a baby and an adult, but to the phenomenon whereby adults become committed by a one-way flow of concern and affection to children whom they have cared for during the first months and years of life. According to J. Robertson in his book A Baby in the Family: Loving and Being Loved, individuals may have from three hundred to four hundred acquaintances in there lifetimes, but at any one time there are only a small number of people to whom they are closely attached. He explains that much of the richness and beauty of life is derived from these close relationships which each person has with a small number of individuals -- mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, son, daughter, and a small cadre of close friends (Robertson 1). A mother's love is a crude offering, and according to Kennell and Klaus in their book Parent-Infant Bonding, there is a possessiveness and an appetite in it.

Some argue that attachment is one qualitative feature of the emotional tie to the partner. The operationalization of the construct (attachment) to determine the presence or absence has to be done by some measure of the interaction between partners. Joe Mercer's Mothers' Responses to Their Infants with Defects says, ?The mother either responds to her infant's cries with affectionate behaviors and evokes the infants interactions to suggest the infant is a central part of her life, or she does not. The infant either shows preferential responses to the mother, responds to her verbal and tactile stimulation, or does not.? (Mercer 17). He further goes on to explain that it is easier to say the infant's tie to the mother is absent, but the psychological complexity of adults make it far more difficult to say a mother has no bond to her infant (Mercer 19). Attachment is crucial to the survival and development of the infant. Kenneth and Klaus point out that the parents? bond to their child may be the strongest of all human ties. This relationship has two main characteristics: before birth the infant gestates within a part of the mother's body and after birth she ensures his survival while he is utterly dependent on her and until he becomes a separate individual. ?The power of this attachment is so great that it enables the mother and father to make the unusual sacrifices necessary for the care of their infant. Day after day, night after night; changing diapers, attending to cries, protecting the child from danger, and giving feed in the middle of the night despite their desperate need to sleep? (Mercer 22).

It is important to note that this original parent-infant tie is the major source for all of the infant's subsequent attachment and is the formative relationship in the course of which the child develops a sense of himself. Throughout his lifetime the strength and character of this attachment will influence the quality of all future ties to other individuals. The question is asked, "What is the normal process by which a father and mother become attached to a healthy infant?" Well, since the human infant is wholly dependent on his mother or caregiver to meet all his physical and emotional needs, the strength and durability of the attachment may well determine whether or not he will survive and develop optimally.

Experimental data suggests that the past experiences of the mother are a major determinant in molding her care-giving role. Children use adults, especially loved and powerful adults, as models for their own behavior. Kennell and Klaus explain that unless adults consciously and painstakingly reexamine these learned behaviors, they will unconsciously repeat them when they become parents. Thus the way a woman was raised, which includes the practices of her culture and the individual idiosyncrasies of her own mother's child raising practices, greatly influences her behavior toward her infant. Bob Brazelton's The Early Mother-Infant Adjustment says, "It may seem to many that attachment to a small baby will come naturally and to make too much of it could be a mistake... but there are many, many women who have a difficult time making this adjustment.? Brazelton also points out that we must understand the ingredients of attachment in order to help, because each mother-child dyad is unique and has individual needs of it's own (Brazelton 12). ?The developing parent attachment is evidenced during pregnancy as both parents fondly pat and rub the fetus through the thinning abdominal wall? (Mercer 31). It might be argued that the length of breastfeeding is not a valid assessment of the strength of bond between mother and infant since it is culture bound. According to Violet Oaklander in Windows to our Children, too many variables influence a woman's decision to continue breastfeeding to make it a valid assessment of bonding. ?A woman who discontinues breastfeeding to return to work four weeks after delivery can be just as bonded as a breastfeeding mother who takes a nine-month maternity leave? (Oaklander 102). Similarly, she explains, the initial decision to breastfeed must be continuously used in the assessment of bonding. A mother's decision to breastfeed may be an indication of her willingness to give of herself to her infant, which is characteristic of bonding. However a mother who decides to bottle feed in order to give her infant the best "American start" is giving of herself in an equally healthy, but different way. The parent-infant (father as well as mother) ...

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Keywords: education 2.0, education 2.0 conference, education 2030, education 2022, education 2nd year question answer, education 200, education 2020, education 2030 framework for action

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