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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: Social Issues

Submitted By amalena4u
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This essay will cover the impact Sensitive Mothering (Ainsworth in Smith, Cowie & Blades, 2003) has on child development, and its relevance in building a positive connection between mother and child. I will examine Bowlby’s attachment theory (Bowlby, 1988), Ainsworth’s research, Erikson’s psychological stages of personality development (Erikson in Stevens, 1983) and other relevant research to understand the role of sensitive mothering in developing essential emotional and social skills of three to five year olds and adults.

Sensitive mothering (Ainsworth in Smith, Cowie & Blades, 2003) refers to the quality of the interactions between a mother/primary carer and a child. A sensitive mother is very connected and responsive to her baby’s signals, interpreting them correctly (Ainsworth in Smith, Cowie & Blades, 2003). Her show an emotional and physical availability for the child, positive communication, cooperation and stimulation of the child (Macleod-Brudenell & Kay, 2008). Insensitive mothering (Ainsworth in Sylva & Lunt, 1989) on the other hand, is characterized by the mother’s tendency to control the baby’s environment (Ainsworth in Sylva & Lunt, 1989). The insensitive mother is self-centred and sees the ways of the baby from her own perspective (Ainsworth in Sylva & Lunt, 1989). She interprets the child’s signals according to her own wishes, defenses or doesn’t respond to them at all (Ainsworth in Sylva & Lunt, 1989). (Ainsworth in Sylva & Lunt, 1989) found that Children who undergo sensitive mothering cry less, were happier to explore new situations (Ainsworth in Sylva & Lunt, 1989) even in the absence of the mother. These children enjoyed interactions with adults and engage cheerfully in play and exploration (Ainsworth in Sylva & Lunt, 1989), which serves as foundations of emotionally stable individuals with high sense of self-worth and value, while children...

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