We often mention the intention behind Slumberkins and the impact of our creatures and Sleepytime Rhymes in helping children to form positive attachments. But we often get the question: “What are ‘positive attachments’ and why are they so very important?”
A little background on Attachment Theory
Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby, originally defined attachment as a “deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space.” It is through attachment bonds, and specifically in early childhood, that we “download” our template of how we act and feel in relationships. We learn, without even knowing it, how to deal with our feelings and difficult situations through our interactions with our primary attachment figures. Our ability to regulate our emotions and connect with others are formed by our attachment experiences.
How attachment theory applies to us now as parents
Knowing how important we are to our children’s emotional development can be a little overwhelming and nerve racking. It can leave us, as adults, feeling a lot of hope and excitement about the positive impacts we can have on a child. On the flip side, it can be very stressful and overwhelming to have that so much power in a child’s development.
As mothers, we often feel pushed to our limits in our abilities to be good role models for our children. Because we are human, we get easily frustrated and overwhelmed and don’t always handle difficult situations the way we would like to. The saving grace about attachment relationships and their impact, is that you don’t have to be perfect.
Attachment bonds are based on repaired moments, flexibility and unconditional love. Repaired moments are what we call times when we revisit and explain to a child that we did not act or react in an ideal way in a tough moment. It creates an opportunity for the adult to teach the child that people make mistakes and it’s not their fault for the adult’s reaction. By going back and acknowledging our own fault as parents or the adult, we are able to turn our mistakes into teachable moments. These moments shape the secure attachments that help children develop the ability to handle conflict and regulate their emotions. Children find security in their attachment relationships. These key relationships provide safety and structure when they venture out into the world.
Our way of infusing attachment and Slumberkins
We designed Slumberkins to physically represent a secure attachment that is built between parents and children. Sleepytime Rhymes provide a structured way to help our children “download” positive skills through the interactive bedtime routines. The skills of relaxation, mindfulness, positive affirmations, and the ability to handle change and transition are skills that we see our own children and students struggling with in our professional careers as educators. We have so many more Slumberkins in the works behind the scenes and can’t wait to share them with all of you!