When We Feel Safe and Secure, Learning Happens – Circle of Security International

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When We Feel Safe and Secure, Learning Happens

  • Post category:Facilitators

When we think of attachment, what often comes to mind are words like connection, bond, affection, care. For some, it is new to consider that exploration is also part of the attachment system.

Mary Ainsworth suggested that the reason for the attachment system is so that learning can happen. Over and over again, we see that when children feel safe and secure, you can?t stop them from learning! It is hard wired into them.?We also see this with parents. When parents feel safe in our presence, we see defenses go down, and learning happens.?

At the beginning of a new COS-P group, a parent introduced herself by stating that she was removed from her home and placed in child protective services as a baby. She was matter of fact as she talked about being raised in institutions. I struggled with my own feelings as I listened to her share her story of a lifelong history of loss.

Later, when I asked for examples of the Circle at work with their children, this parent looked me hard in the eye, crossed her arms, shook her head and said, ?No, I don?t have any.? I thought to myself, of course this makes sense!

She stared hard at me and said nothing more, so I thanked her for her willingness to consider the question. She looked down at the floor and shrugged.

At the beginning of week two, I asked parents to share Circle stories. This same parent jumped in and was the first to speak. She smiled sheepishly at me and told me that at last week’s group she really did get the Circle, but that she was just being oppositional.

She then shared that throughout the week she saw the Circle, but it wasn?t pretty like the Fairy Tale video. She said her children are very oppositional. The group laughed together with her at the unspoken truth, and then she said it out loud, ?They get it from me!?? There were more smiles and laughter from the group.

I shared how much I admired this mom for her honesty and her willingness to share, and that I was curious to learn what happened for her since last week. Would she be comfortable sharing what changed her mind? She smiled, gave a shrug, and said, ?I just wanted to see how you would react. Now I know.?

When we feel safe and secure, learning happens.