Relationship Between Mother and Child: Impact on Child Development

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1632 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Words: 1632|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Theory of Attachment in Mother and Child Relationship
  3. Child Separation from the Mother
  4. Relationship Between Mother and Child in Early Childhood
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works Cited


A little boy called Jack who is four years old. Jack has had a good life and has just started primary school and is making lots of friends but at the start he didn’t want his mother to leave. He has always got what he wanted and doesn’t know the word NO. His father works away from home through the week as a long distance lorry driver and is only home on weekends. His mother has just started a new job that includes working different shifts meaning that sometimes when Jack gets home from school, he has to go to the babysitters house. That is where Jack's problems started as he never got away with anything, but also he didn’t like the food that she made for him, so he had massive tantrums when it came to feeding time. He also wasn’t allowed to go out and play. He started smashing windows, being rude and being disruptive in school, but that was quickly sorted out when he started making friends. The relationship between mother and child seems to be crucial for Jack's emotional well-being.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Theory of Attachment in Mother and Child Relationship

I have chosen John Bowlby, the theory of Attachment (1958). Bowlby was a child psychiatrist. He researched the bonding relationship between Mother and Child. Bonding is the term used to describe the early relationship between mother and child. In the first three years of a babies life, he believed that was the most influential part of bonding was in the first two to three years. He wanted to find out what happened when the mother left the room if there was any reaction with the baby. To see if the baby felt secure or insecure when another caregiver fed them or left alone for a while. Bowlby was commissioned by the world health organisation to investigate whether young children were likely to be harmed if they were separated from their mothers in the early years. He also done an experiment involving 44 delinquents who were thieves, who showed most had been separated from their mothers in the early stages of life so would prove likely that they would have problems in later life. He believed that what ever happened in infancy could lead to cognitive or emotional problems in later life if there were any issues in that period. When the child feels secure, they are happy in their surroundings.

Although the mother was the primary attachment, Bowlby also said that the child could have other figures for attachment as they get older to feel secure. He also said that if there was no affection, that could lead to aggression, depression and delinquency. Jack’s emotional state is that he misses his mother or father and maybe feels unwanted or rejected by them and with the babysitter he isnt getting his own way so maybe feels as though the babysitter is not wanting him either to which if it doesnt get sorted out could have a huge impact on his later life as bowlby suggests or if he can bond with the babysitter there may be no lasting damage.

Child Separation from the Mother

There are three stages of separation the child will go through, the first being the child will cry and throw tantrums, second would be, the child would be calm, refuse comfort and wouldn’t be interested in their surroundings. The third would be they take an interest in the surroundings again, attach themselves to other peers and when the mother comes back into the fold, they would react with anger towards them.

Linking the case study with the theory. Jack feels secure in his mother's presence. He seems to feel insecure when she isn’t there as it shows when he first started school and when he has to go to the babysitter’s house. It seems that the babysitter won’t let him do what he wants, so must be different to what his mother is doing. It could be that he is just a spoiled child but according to the theory, it’s more likely to be his bonding with his mother is huge and he doesn’t like to be away from her. It took time for him to get used to going to school. He is making friends. So maybe if he was allowed to take a friend to the babysitters house or a favourite toy. That could make the difference as he may feel a lot more secure in the surroundings. It is also clear that the parents gave no boundaries to him by never saying ‘NO’ but he overcame that at school. The babysitter needs to spend more time with him and make sure he feels at ease and maybe play with some toys with him until he feels settled and secure. Also maybe putting his dinner out and let him decide when he wants it and the babysitter could sit at the table eating their dinner to try and entice him to sit with them so he doesn’t feel alone and they could ask Jack what he wants to eat to show that he has the choice and maybe that would give him confidence and maybe start bonding with the babysitter building his self esteem up.

Relationship Between Mother and Child in Early Childhood

John Bowlby did have some very good points in his theory with the bonding between mother and child in the first few years of the child’s life. Mary Ainsworth done a study in 1978 called ‘Strange Situation’ to which was another theory of attachment. This was based on Bowlby’s theory, to see if there could be differences of what he had said. Ainsworth said that a sensitive mother will respond to their child’s needs and their moods and feelings in the correct way will have a secure attachment while mothers who don’t respond or chose to ignore the child wouldn’t have a secure attachment. Ainsworth done a study to which the child and mother were in a strange room, while alone, the child roamed around it, a stranger then entered and spoke to the mother then spoke to the child, the mother then left for a short period then returned and gave the child comfort. Ainsworth came to a conclusion that there were three types of attachment. They were secure attachment, insecure attachment and avoidant attachment. It was shown that most of the children that were tested, showed that when the child who had a secure attachment became upset when the mother left but were happy when they returned. As a child they are able to be away from the mother, seek comfort when scared, have a positive affect when the mother returned and don’t like to greet strangers without mother being present. Ainsworth also deemed that as an adult they would be trusting, have good self esteem, share their feelings. As for an insecure child, they would be frightened of strangers, would be upset when mother leaves, would repel her when she returns. As an adult, they wouldn’t be close to others, worry most of the time, would be really upset when a relationship ended, would be less likely to show romantic gestures and wouldn’t share their feelings.

Although both theorists looked into the child, Ainsworth also looked at the outcome of what the child could look like as an adult. Both seemed to say almost the same thing for the child and where similar to what they would be like as adults. From a social development point of view, neglecting a child would lead to immature child to adulthood while trying to form a relationship in the future would see that they wont be able to sustain it if there was no attachment with their mother while if there was no relationship with a father could lead to depression or possibly drugs use. so it is important that jack feels the love of both parents and the babysitter so there is no lasting effects.

I found that both theories very interesting on both outcomes and looking at children growing up and what help they may need in the future for their well-being,respect and dignity. Linking to practise, first of all, they could find out what his interests are. He may not like his father working away all week so they could have a chat with his father to try and reassure Jack that he is working and will be back at weekends and that if he behaves himself. He will take him somewhere he wishes for a father and son bonding trip or if his mother is not working, a family day trip somewhere. He is close to his mother and with her working as well, he may feel alone or not wanted. So she can help him by reassuring him that she will be home soon and that if he behaves and eats his dinner that he may have a small treat when she picks him up and gets home.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.


They could even suggest to the babysitter if it is possible to look after Jack in their own house and that way he may feel comfortable in his own surroundings. They could have had a structured plan to maybe set a discipline plan to where the mother and the babysitter must follow together and also praise him when he is good to try and build his self-confidence. They could keep in touch with the school to see if there are any problems in the school with him and even ask Jack if he is getting bullied and how he is getting on with his classes.

Works Cited

  1. Bowlby, J. (1958). Attachment and Loss: Volume 1, Attachment. London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis.
  2. Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of Attachment: A Psychological Study of the Strange Situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Image of Dr. Oliver Johnson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Relationship Between Mother and Child: Impact on Child Development. (2023, August 04). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Relationship Between Mother and Child: Impact on Child Development.” GradesFixer, 04 Aug. 2023,
Relationship Between Mother and Child: Impact on Child Development. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Relationship Between Mother and Child: Impact on Child Development [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 04 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now