Introduction: Life at Two (01:22)
Young children are dependent on adults around them to ensure they develop and achieve their full potential. This film will follow Ava and her attachment figures at home and at preschool, and include commentary from nursery practice researcher Peter Elfer.
Ava's Family Attachments (04:18)
Ava has secure bonds with her mother Molly, grandmother, and Uncle Jack. Close attachments are important for self-image, social development, and emotional development. Ava wants to do things for herself, like getting dressed.
Ava Starts Nursery (06:54)
Ideally, preschool will benefit Ava and Molly. Claire will be Ava's key person and provide availability, sensitivity, and warmth while maintaining professionalism. See how Claire eases the transition as Molly leaves.
Playground Hierarchies (05:31)
An older girl takes Ava's doll; she finds another one. Claire provides support and conversation to boost her confidence. When Molly returns, she and Ava are happy to see each other. Close attachments at home and preschool are mutually reinforcing.
A Day at Home (05:20)
Ava is beginning to assert her autonomy. Making choices is important for self-identity. Molly must balance keeping her safe with letting her explore. Ava nearly has a tantrum while shopping; Molly must be clear about boundaries to negotiate a solution.
Social Opportunity (01:47)
Molly invites her friend Amy and her daughter Esther for lunch. Ava and Esther play side-by-side and resolve a conflict over a toy with adult support.
Ava's First Full Day at Nursery (08:04)
Claire helps ease the transition as Molly drops off Ava. Ava is unsure about group activities but relates well to Claire. She explores circles as a schema by drawing them and through movement in the school yard.
Key Person Approach (04:47)
Children can form attachments to preschool staff members; inevitable absences provide learning opportunities. Ava engages in pretend play that allows her to follow her interests. Claire observes and brings others into her game, helping her socialize.
Joining the Group (03:13)
Ava feels confident enough to listen and comment during story time. She runs to hug Molly when Molly comes to pick her up. Elfer discusses the triangle of relationships between the child, parents, and key person.
A Day with Mom: Learning and Exploring (03:59)
Molly balances keeping Ava safe with allowing her to explore. She helps Ava learn about creativity, symbolism, and movement through active interest and shared enjoyment. Secure attachments provide children with confidence and freedom to experiment.
Developing Empathy (02:59)
Ava plays a pretend transportation game while Molly prepares lunch. She practices understanding the feelings of her stuffed animals. To empathize, children must first have their own feelings understood through an attachment relationship.
A Feeling of Belonging at Nursery (06:26)
Ava is confident about Molly leaving her at preschool. Her trusting relationship with Claire has helped her settle into the educational setting. Physical contact must be handled carefully, but is important for children's well-being and self-esteem.
Playing with Claire in the Nursery (04:23)
After six months, Claire has observed Ava's likes and dislikes and learning style; she enjoys pretend games with small toys. With adult attention, children increase interest and engagement in activities. Ava is becoming more sociable.
Making Friends, Joining In (04:09)
Shortly before Ava's third birthday, she becomes increasingly social. Attachment relationships form the basis for developing friendships. She cooperates in extended play with Esther; sharing remains challenging and conflicts occur. Molly helps her regulate emotions and demonstrates empathy.
After nine months at preschool, Ava plays cooperatively with others. She contributes to group discussions and joins in existing group games. With support from attachment relationships, she is learning constantly and developing independence.
Credits: Life at Two: Attachments, Key People, and Development (00:16)
Credits: Life at Two: Attachments, Key People, and Development
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