The research on attachment has had a significant effect on the way children are treated. It has helped to inform childcare practices in many walks of life such as nurseries, hospitals and foster homes. It has also given guidance as to how to help parents to form secure attachments with their children. John Bowlby argued that a child’s attachment to its mother is unique in quality and forms the basis for all future relationships. Chibucos and Kali identified three factors that appear to determine the intensity of the father’s attachment to his child. These are the father’s sensitivity to the baby’s signals, his playfulness with the baby and the amount of time he spends in face-to-face interaction with the baby. Some research has found similarities and differences between mother and child interaction and father and child interaction. For example mothers smile more at their children and tend to hold their children more.
They also take care of the children’s physical needs and show more affection to their children. Fathers are more involved in physical play and interact more with boys than girls. A father plays a critical part in the development of gender roles. Lawson and Ingleby studied two children’s homes in London. They found that one-year-old children spent as much time interacting with their older siblings as they did with their parents. Siblings play an important role in modelling behaviour and the development of intelligence. Dunn and Kendrick showed that when children were playing with their older siblings their play was more advanced than when they were playing with older children or their parents. When children start playgroup or nursery school peer relationships become more important.
By the age of two children begin to interact more with other children than with adults. In our society most children are raised within a single-family unit. They develop attachment bonds with their parents and siblings. Countries like China, Russia and Israel have a long history of communal child rearing. In these countries mothers go out to work and are not expected to devote themselves to their children until they reach school age. For example in China there is often a nursery within the mother’s workplace. A mother can leave her baby in the nursery as soon as he is two months old and continue working. She can then visit her baby at regular intervals throughout the day and nurse him.
Once the child reaches three years of age he is usually dropped off at a local day care centre in the morning and picked up by his mother in the evening. Children are looked after by metaplets in a Kibbutz while their parents go out to work. Metaplets are professional childcare workers. On a kibbutz the mother will look after her child’s day-to-day care for the first year. After this the mother will return to full time work and the parents will see their children during the evenings and at weekends. The main advantage of caring for a child in a kibbutz is that when the parents see their children they can give them their full attention. The main disadvantages of caring for a child in a kibbutz is that the children may grow up closer to their carers than their parents. The parents might not be able to observe all the changes in their children that they would see if the family lived together.
A study done by Kohern-Raz found that children in a kibbutz did not suffer the sorts of problems that Bowlby had predicted. Kohen-Raz found that kibbutz children were equal in physical and mental skills to Israeli children raised in private homes and both were superior to Israeli children raised in an orphanage. Two studies done by Rabkin and Rabkin in 1969 and Nahir and Yussen in 1977 found that children raised in a kibbutz developed some social characteristics earlier than children raised in at home. This is because kibbutz children spend a lot of time with their peers. These studies found that kibbutz children...
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