Signs and symptoms of attachment strain or disorder can look different at particular ages and stages of development and with different degree of issue. This can make assessing progress tricky. We recently received an interesting email question relating to assessing attachment in a toddler. Read the email and our response below.
From our inbox:
I’m currently completing the Because They Waited course. I’m wondering if you would help me think through how to evaluate my daughter’s behavior. She has been home with us for 13 months. She arrived home at the age of 6 months (on paper); we feel she was probably closer to 8 to 9 months when we brought her home. She has always been very interactive, social and very observant of her surroundings. (To the point that others will comment on those qualities.) I wondered initially if her behavior was a way of coping with stress, anxiety, her situation (orphanage care setting), overstimulation, etc. We were very conscious of our parenting and pulled her close. I’m a SAHM and she has had very infrequent childcare other than her parents and always for short periods of time in our home.
Two to three months after arriving home, she began to become “clingy” and to show a preference for Mom. I spent the better part of a couple of months holding her or carrying her during that time. She was cautious of strangers visiting and would refuse to go to family members at family gatherings, in preference of Mom. She seemed to go through periods of stranger or separation anxiety at about 12 and 18 months.
Now – after 13 months home – she is a very social and outgoing toddler. She will initiate social contact (more…)