Relationships – A Baby’s First Steps

One of the theories I have learnt about that most intrigues me is the ‘attachment theory’ by Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk.

Zeedyk argues that “babies come into the world already connected to other people, already looking for connection. They come into the world ready to be moulded by adults” (Education Scotland, 2016). What Zeedyk is claiming here is that children’s brains are fragile and can be shaped easily when they are very young, meaning that the adults they are surrounded by every day have a massive impact on their development. Her theory argues that babies adapt their brains to the type of environment they live in. For example, if a child is growing up in a loud and abusive household they may be scanning and looking out for danger constantly, rather than learning about new things and developing their language and social skills through things such as play.

Throughout her theory, Zeedyk sometimes describes children’s brain development as a sabretooth tiger (this is if their behaviour results from their fear of danger) or a teddy bear (emphasising the child’s need for comfort when going through these fears). Zeedyk’s theory shows that children learn best through social interaction and that they rely on others. This should be taken into consideration when teaching children, as building up that relationship of honesty and trust is key for children’s development. This can be through simple things such as ensuring the children I teach have a safe, welcoming and warm environment to play in. This can help with children’s confidence, independence and resilience as well as allowing children to build and grow as individuals through the use of creativity. This opportunity to communicate and build relationships with other children is prime for their future development and life-long learning.

Education Scotland (2016) Pre-Birth to Three: Doctor Suzanne Zeedyk – Importance of relationships (Date last accessed 15 Jan 2018)

1 thought on “Relationships – A Baby’s First Steps

  1. Michelle Cassidy

    Hi Bethany

    What a great reflection regarding the work of Suzanne Zeedyk. I find her work fascinating a resonates well with me. You have given an honest reflection regarding some of the challenges our children face and how this can affect their development. This will definitely stand you well as you move through your career.

    Relationships for children are definitely key (as I think you will have guessed from my lectures!) and feel if we don’t get that right for our learners then we are not doing them justice.

    Thanks for posting.


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