SCENARIO A

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SCENARIO A Powered By Docstoc
					WP3 - Attachment scenarios



Scenario A
A young mother hears a cry from her five week old baby in the crib nearby. It is 3am.
The mother‟s initial dismay quickly turns to anticipation of the feeding that will now
begin. The baby senses the light turned on, feels the touches and cradling of her
body and, though hungry, begins immediately to calm from the cues that tell her that
her discomfort is about to end.

For half an hour the baby nurses, pausing between bursts of sucking and gazing up
into mother‟s eyes, woozily but with what the mother feels is pleasure and
recognition. During the pauses the mother speaks softly to her new daughter. The
baby smiles, watching her mother‟s shifting expressions. “Hello Emily, sweet Emily –
you are very pretty. Were you hungry? Do you want more? Do you need a burp? I
am glad to see you even if it is 3am.”

The baby slowly begins to drift off. Her mother puts her in the crib, kisses her, covers
her and says, “Sweet Dreams”.


Scenario B
A young mother hears a cry from her five week old baby in the crib nearby. It is 3am.
The mother tenses. She has just fallen asleep after a fight with the baby‟s father. The
baby‟s cries rapidly intensify. “Oh, be quiet,” says the mother exhaustedly. “I can‟t
take it any more.” The baby cries more and more loudly.

“Shut that baby up” comes a shout from beyond the thin wall – “Shut that damn baby
up!” The mother bangs her fist against the wall and shouts, “Shut up yourself”. She
rolls out of bed and approaches the crib. “I‟m coming, I‟m coming. Damn it, shut up.”
She lifts the baby up and she quiets a bit. “Already think you can just cry and get
what you want, don‟t you? That won‟t last long, I can tell you. Come on – let‟s get it
over with”.

As the baby begins to nurse, the mother stares fixedly ahead, going over the recent
angry fight. The mother grows more agitated as she recalls the details. The baby
responds to her mother‟s tension by squirming restlessly. Finally, the baby stiffens,
arches, draws back from her mother‟s nipple and yells. “You don‟t want to eat? Fine,




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don‟t eat,” says the mother and abruptly puts the still hungry baby back into the crib.
The baby cries and the mother feels a surge of anger. “Shut up, just shut up” The
mother leaves the bedroom, shuts the door and in the kitchen turns up the radio
loudly enough so that she cannot hear the baby cry. She cries until she falls into an
exhausted sleep.

Scenario C
This little boy is 14 months old. He has been playing in a playpen for a while, though
recently has dropped off to sleep. He awakens when the door slams and he hears a
deep voice. Immediately he stands up and begins to bounce and call “dada”. Every
inch of him is excited. His father enters the room, tosses his coat over a chair and
walks towards him. Now the baby nearly catapults himself out of the playpen as his
father smiles and reaches for him, saying “And hello to you big boy – come and give
your Dad a hug.”

The baby grips his father‟s shirt and reaches for his cheek and his father nuzzles the
baby‟s hand with his mouth. The father asks if his son is ready to watch some of the
big match on TV. The baby mirrors his father‟s happy feelings and responds with a
chain of babbling. The father looks at him and widens his eyes and nods as he
listens, then asks his son‟s opinion of the team‟s leading striker. The baby looks
away – calming himself down from the excitement of anticipation and pleasure of
being with his dad. The father waits and the baby turns back, locks his eyes with his
father and produces a long string of babbling, ending in a laugh. His father grins and
says, “You may be right.”

The baby‟s mother asks the father if he‟ll change the baby‟s nappy. The father
grimaces but agrees in a jovial tone. Throughout the change the baby and his father
continue a dialogue full of body movements, tickles, facial expressiveness and vocal
exchange.

Scenario D
This little boy is 14 months old. He has been playing in a playpen for a while, though
recently has dropped off to sleep. He awakens when the door slams and he hears a
deep voice. Awake, he wriggles restlessly and looks around him for something to
handle. Everything is on the floor, outside the playpen. He makes a noise of
frustration – not loud – just expressive of his feelings. He is trying to communicate.
The father comes in and tosses his coat over a chair. The baby grunts and brings his
hand to his mouth. The father glances at him and glances away. The mother calls to
the father and says that probably the baby needs changing. Would he change him
while she finishes cooking?

The father says, sarcastically, “Thanks a lot – is that supposed to be a special treat
for me?” He disappears briefly and then suddenly the baby is abruptly lifted out of
the playpen from behind. The baby is surprised but only stiffens and is quiet. “OK
stinko – let‟s clear up your mess.” The baby is placed on his back to be changed. He
lies still – chewing on his hand. Once, he twists, extends his arm to grasp an object
and lifts his leg. The father pulls him back flat, lightly slaps his thigh and says




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sharply, “Stay still „til I‟m done”. The baby‟s eyes widen but he stays quiet – just
chewing his hand. The father finishes quickly and returns him to his playpen.


Questions to be thinking about
      What is the parent likely to be feeling?

      What is the baby likely to be feeling?

      What is the baby learning about the likely interaction between him/herself and
       the parent?

      What is the baby learning about how his/her father/mother feels about
       him/her?

      What is the baby learning about the likelihood that he/she will be respected
       and understood?

      What is the baby likely to be learning about trust and security that someone
       can be counted upon?

      What is the baby likely to be learning about his/her sense of self-worth?

      What is the baby likely to be learning about the to-and-fro nature of
       communication?

      Assuming this is a typical interaction between parent and baby, what is the
       likely outcome for the child in view of attachment theory?




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Additional scenario
Parent 1
You are feeling upset and anxious about your relationship with your 4 month old
baby. You don‟t feel a bond with him and you are not enjoying being a parent. It feels
like he cries almost all the time and you find it difficult to calm him when he‟s upset.
You have several friends with babies who are really enjoying the experience and
seem to be doing much better being a parent than you are.

Worker 1
You are making a first visit to a parent with a 4 month old baby who is finding things
difficult. Use your exploring and empathy skills to find out what is happening for the
parent and any constructs they might have.


Parent 2
Your 16 month old toddler has recently started having tumultuous tantrums. This has
taken you unawares as up to this time, s/he was a very calm baby/child. You find the
tantrums difficult to deal with, especially when it happens in public places and have
become quite stressed and overwhelmed. You have also recently gone back to work
and are feeling guilty that you are no longer able to spend as much time with your
child.

Worker 2
You are visiting a parent of a 16 month toddler. Use your exploring and empathy
skills to find out what is happening for the parent and any constructs they might
have.

Parent 3
You are very worried because your 10 month old baby is still not crawling. You have
talked to the health visitor and the GP about this and they have reassured you that
nothing is wrong, however you are convinced that there is a problem and that this
isn‟t normal. This is your 2nd child and your first was crawling by 8 months. The baby
was several weeks premature and had very low birth weight. You smoked, cannabis
and cigarettes and drank during pregnancy.

Worker 3
You are visiting a parent of a 10 month old baby who is worried about that the baby
isn‟t developing as it should be. Use your exploring and empathy skills to find out
what is happening for the parent and any constructs they might have.




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