Baby bonds: parenting, attachment and a secure base for children

Document type
Literature review
Moullin, Sophie; Waldfogel, Jane; Washbrook, Elizabeth
Sutton Trust
Date of publication
21 March 2014
Mental health services, Families
Social welfare
Material type

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The bond that children develop with their parents, particularly as a babies and toddlers, is fundamental to their flourishing. Children without secure parental bonds are more likely to have behaviour and literacy problems. Boys growing up in poverty are two and a half times less likely to display behaviour problems at school if they have secure attachments with parents in the early years. Those without strong bonds may be more likely to be NEET, and less likely to be socially mobile and get good jobs in later life. Many children do not have secure attachments. Around 1 in 4 children avoid their parents when they are upset, because they ignore their needs. A further 15 per cent resist their parents because they cause them distress.