Attachment and Separation

Scenario: You and your co-teacher, Glenna, work at an ECE center where helping children develop independence is a primary goal. For example, in the center, children are encouraged to complete tasks independently and take naps according to the program schedule. Roana, the mother of a new 16-month-old child under your care, is concerned that your classroom practices are in direct contrast to her own approach of co-sleeping and spoon-feeding. Her concerns are grounded in the collectivist approach of her culture. Roana explains that she and her husband would like you and your co-teacher to practice the same approaches they use at home so that her child does not become confused.

You are aware that collective and individualistic approaches to child-rearing are often linked to cultural beliefs and values. However, before you can respond, your co-teacher tells Roana that the center takes more of an individualist approach with scheduled naps and self-feeding because independence and autonomy are essential skills for young children to develop.

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Without taking a stance, explain how attachment and separation might be impacted differently when collectivist and individualist approaches are utilized.