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Sensitive Mothering Is Essential to the Social and Emotional Development of the Child. Discuss This Statement in the Context of Relevant Developmental Theory.

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|Sensitive mothering is essential to the social and emotional development of the child. Discuss this statement in the context of relevant developmental theory. |

In this essay I am going to explain the concept of ‘sensitive mothering’ and how it is essential to the social and emotional development of each child. I will discuss this statement in the context of relevant developmental theory. I will discuss the concepts of ‘attachment theory’ encompassing ‘internal working model’ (Bowlbey, cited in Smith, Cowie, Blades, 2003, p98) and quality attachment of John Bowlby. I will also link this explanation to the studies of Mary Ainsworth.
‘Sensitive Mothering’ is defined by Ainsworth (1969) as the style of interaction between the primary caregiver, normally the mother or mother figure, and the baby. Sensitive mothering is when someone is consistently responsive both physically and emotionally to her child. This responsiveness provides the child with a ‘secure base’ (Ainsworth, 1969) thus encouraging them to explore the world. (MCI Module, undated). It involves being sensitive to the needs of the...

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... neighbourhood, town, city and nation. Within those groups, we need to take part in socialisation, as we all are social beings. Therefore, it is necessary to have the skills for us to behave appropriately. To obtain these skills, positive self-esteem and self-image are required. Young children need to be loved and cared for as well as feeling safe and valued in order to have a healthy emotional development. This early emotional development involves developing relationships with others, which build the foundation for young children to develop their ability. Instead of feeling anxious about the possibility of being abandoned, children feel secured enable them to start exploring their environment and becoming independent. The very first relationship is usually built between a baby and a primary caregiver, usually the mother or mother substitute. This relationship is of particular significance as it develops the attachment, which is vital as the foundation of developing subsequent relationship (MCI, undated). "The propensity to make strong emotional bonds to particular individuals [is] a basic component of human nature" (Bowlby, 1988, p3) Attachment is described as “an enduring bond” (MCI, undated) and further elaborated by the attachment theorist, John Bowlby. He famously stated “what is believed to be essential for mental health is that an infant and young child should experience a warm, intimate and continuous relationship with his mother (or permanent mother substitute –......

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