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Growth & Development


Children’s Mental Health research shows that the quality of early parent-child relationships has an important impact

on a child’s development and their ability to form secure attachments. A child who has secure attachment feels confident

that they can rely on the parent to protect them in times of distress. This confidence gives the child security to explore

the world and establish trusting relationships with others. As a result, current mental health practice is to screen the quality

of the parent-child interactions.

The following items are considered from the parent’s perspective, rather than the child’s. If a parent states that one or

more of these statements describes their child, the child may be exhibiting signs of an insecure attachment; consider this a red flag.

0-8 months

Is difficult to comfort by physical contact such as rocking or holding

 Does things or cries just to annoy you

8-18 months

Does not reach out to you for comfort

Easily allows a stranger to hold him/her

18 months - 3 years

Is not beginning to develop some independence

Seems angry or ignores you after you have been apart

3-4 years

 Easily goes with a stranger

Is too passive or clingy with you


4-5 years

Becomes aggressive for no reason (e.g., with someone who is upset)

Is too dependent on adults for attention, encouragement and help

In addition if a mother or primary caregiver is frequently displaying any of the following, consider this a red flag:

► Being insensitive to a baby’s communication cues

► Often unable to recognize baby’s cues

► Provides inconsistent patterns of responses to the baby’s cues

► Frequently ignores or rejects the baby

► Speaks about the baby in negative terms

► Often appears to be angry with the baby

► Often expresses emotions in a fearful or intense way

The mother may be experiencing Postpartum Depression. To learn more about Postpartum Depression CLICK HERE.

To seek assistance regarding this issue  CLICK HERE.

If you believe the child is being abused, and/or is in Immediate Danger it may be your DUTY TO REPORT the situation to emergency services.



Having concerns about a child's development?

Having difficulty coping? Need some advice?

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