The secure child

A child with a deep sense of responsibility and age-appropriate independence is a secure child.


Secure children just do not happen, however. Secure children are nurtured by facilitating a strong emotional bond between children and the people who care for them. This emotional bond is a necessary springboard for positive outcomes such as strong academic performance, learning, empathy, emotional regulation and well-being.

This emotional bond is developed when parents show more sensitivity towards the needs of their children.

As children grow, they seek various ways to explore their environment. Stimulating environments that stir up learning and curiosity should be created to enhance cognitive development especially. 

Secure base

Parents and caregivers must be this supportive. Such a parent is described as a secure base. During these expeditions, they may face situations where they need support.  For instance, a child may cry when he falls off his bicycle, a vibrant adolescent may suddenly go quiet and un-interactive or even an infant may start crying when they hear the kitchen blender roaring.

A sensitive parent notices when their child needs attention or any other form of help and responds promptly in a way that comforts and reassures the child. An insensitive parent may not notice that the child is in need or may feel less interested in supporting them.

This behaviour can show up for many reasons, including the fact that caregivers in recent times could be preoccupied with their mobile phones or other gadgets.

They may be undergoing some traumatic experience, stressed and preoccupied with work or personal issues or may be parenting in the same way that they were raised. Others too may be in a situation where they lack the knowledge and skills to recognise and respond to the child’s cues. 


Sensitive and responsive parenting behaviours are vital to raising children who will not end up as insecure adults. This is because such behaviours show children that they can rely on their parents/ caregivers in moments of need and trust them to help. This is how security and trust are fostered in childhood.

It is a wrong mentality to think of mothers as the ones who must primarily comfort a distressed child. Fathers have a role to play in this matter because sensitive parenting ‒ the ability to recognise and respond to a child’s needs‒ is about being attentive and caring for the child, and this can be achieved by any caregiver.

Fathers who are emotionally available, nurturing and actively involved in the lives of the growth and development of their children are more likely to be contributing to emotionally secure and confident children who have better social connections as they grow.

The father-child bond is unique and plays an important role in how children navigate their feelings and relationships as they grow. Sensitive fathers serve as models for the development of emotional intelligence among their sons, especially.

All children are different. Younger children give different signals or cues when they need attention. 

Parents and caregivers must, therefore, take time and be patient in 

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