Attachment, Attunement & a Splash of Joy!

Baby-Doll Circle Time™

Presented by Conscious Discipline® Certified Instructor Mandy Lloyd, [email protected]


VIDEO: “Brain Builders”

During the first three years of life, we create templates: Mental mode of relationships Mental model of self Foundation for attention and motivation Ability to self-regulate and manage self Three components REQUIRED for optimal brain development:

1) Secure attachment 2) Attuned interactions with attachment figure 3) Social Play


An attachment figure is the special individual a child turns to when protection and support are needed.

Primary attachment = mom (generally)

Secondary attachment bonds support and complement the primary bond.

Fathers, grandparents, extended family, child care providers, etc.

Attachment is formed during times of distress.

When child is hurt or feels threatened (real or perceived), physiological red alert “Find your attachment figure and seek comfort.”

The quality of the comfort provided during distress dictates attachment style.

Presented by Conscious Discipline® Certified Instructor Mandy Lloyd, [email protected]


Presented by Conscious Discipline® Certified Instructor Mandy Lloyd, [email protected]


*When the parent is both the source of fear and the protective attachment figure, the child may develop disorganized attachment (page 11). Disorganized attachment reflects a history of abuse, neglect, or severe loss. Because of the extreme nature of disorganized attachment, we will focus on secure, anxious, and avoidant styles (page 6) Research says: The attachments you created as a baby continue to impact your adult relationships. Our personal attachment history unconsciously impacts our current relationships. Conscious Discipline helps make our unconscious beliefs and behaviors conscious!


Characteristics of Disorganized Attachment

At Age 1:

Shows a mixture of avoidant and resistant behaviors.

May seem dazed, confused, or apprehensive.

At Age 6:

May take on a parental role.

Some children act as a caregiver toward the parent.

Characteristics of Anxious Attachment As Children:

May be wary of strangers.

Becomes greatly distressed when the parent leaves.

Does not appear to be comforted by the return of the parent.

As Adults:

Reluctant to become close to others.

Worries that their partner does not love them.

Becomes very distraught when a relationship ends.


Safe Haven

Separation Distress

Secure Base

Proximity Maintenance

Presented by Conscious Discipline® Certified Instructor Mandy Lloyd, [email protected]


Characteristics of Avoidant Attachment As Children:

May avoid parents.

Does not seek much comfort or contact from parents.

Shows little or no preference between parent and stranger.

As Adults:

May have problems with intimacy.

Invests little emotion in social and romantic relationships.

Unable or unwilling to share thoughts and feelings with others.

Attachment Guide

Secure Avoidant Anxious Disorganized

Separation (ex: drop-off)

Distressed, quickly recovers, off to play and explore

Little distress, acts as if never left

Extremely distressed, hard to soothe, does not play readily

Hard to predict


Great joy, initiates contact, responds positively to being held, goes back to toys and play

Avoids, ignores their return, minimizes proximity-seeking

Ambivalent, clings on minute, but angry and resistant the next, maximizes proximity-seeking

Disoriented, sits under table, trance-like state, lies face down

Likely Child Tendencies

Engaged with others and environment, willing to learn new skills, cooperative

Controlling, disliked by peers, bully. Limited eye contact, touch, playfulness, and presence

Attention-seeking, class clown, perfect answers, making noise, victim, aggressive, manipulative

Inability to pay attention, no impulse control, intense reactions, problems with self-regulation

Adult Characteristics

Emotionally available, perceptive and responsive

Emotionally unavailable, rejecting, unresponsive,

Inconsistently available, preoccupied with self, tends to intrude into child’s life with no regard for child

Frightened, frightening or disorienting communication

Presented by Conscious Discipline® Certified Instructor Mandy Lloyd, [email protected]


R.O.A.D. map for creating Secure Attachment

Respond consistently. • There are MANY opportunities to build secure attachment throughout the day. • We don’t have to get every one perfectly… aim to be there more often than not.

Organize yourself first and the child second. (Your state regulates their state.)

Attune to the child by offering empathy and understanding.

Attunement is the fundamental characteristic of secure attachment. ♥ Ability to be present (calm internal state) ♥ Being attuned is the ability to consciously focus on the internal state of another, and add words to his

nonverbal cues. ♥ “Serve & Return”

Presented by Conscious Discipline® Certified Instructor Mandy Lloyd, [email protected]


♥ Face-to-Face connection: eye-contact, touch, presence, and playful ♥ “Joy Juice” (‘chemical cocktail’ including oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins) ♥ Joint Attention: the ability to share a common focus on something with someone else. It involves the

ability to gain, maintain and shift attention.

Describe child’s intentions and desires

Social Play

• Positive, joyful social play between child and adult is essential for healthy development.

• For optimal brain development, 46% of a child’s time needs to be spent in 1-to-1 attuned social play.

Presented by Conscious Discipline® Certified Instructor Mandy Lloyd, [email protected]


Baby-Doll Circle Time™ is a way to ensure that every caregiver and child experiences the attachment, attunement, and social play required for optimal brain development. What you offer to others, you experience within yourself. (“Joy Juice”) The relationship IS the curriculum. Development occurs within the context of relationship.

Baby Doll Circle Time Structure Step 1

Get your babies

- Point to encourage joint attention - Children will naturally sit around the basket, so

when you remove it, you have a circle.

Get your baby; get your baby; get your baby; time to play. (Tune of “Oh My Darlin”)

Step 2

Beginning awareness

- Challenges children to move and manipulate the doll, leading to a sense of mastery

- Continues uniting children as you encourage them to follow directions and process information embedded in the song.

- Puts the baby doll in the proper position for Step 3.

My baby’s standing up, My baby’s standing up, This is my baby; My baby’s standing up.

Step 3


- Interactive social games between the child and baby-doll.

- You have played or will play these games individually

- Eye contact, touch, presence/attunement, playful situation

All around the room I look, Where is my baby? I look right by my side, And boo! Baby was hiding! (Tune of “Pop! Goes the Weasel)

Step 4

Cuddling & Soothing

- Children learn to calm and regulate themselves - Teach and foster empathy - Support “gentle touch” learning process - Disengage stress

“You’re safe. Breathe with me. You can handle it.” My baby’s being rocked; My baby’s being rocked; This is my baby; My baby’s being rocked.

Step 5

Ending & Transition

- MUST – structured, ritual ending - MUST – have planned transition to next activity - COMMIT – to playing one-on-one connection

activity with each child

Bye, bye baby. Bye, bye baby. Bye, bye baby; We’ll play again some day. (Tune of “Good Night Ladies”)

Presented by Conscious Discipline® Certified Instructor Mandy Lloyd, [email protected]


Materials Checklist: Multiethnic baby dolls Large basket/container Small blankets Other materials as required

Strategies for success: You’re INTENTION. It’s not OUR agenda; follow the lead of the child and extend that

interaction. Be prepared – learn the content and expand the lessons as you learn new social games.

- Use auditory cues to help stimulate interest and maintain attention. Be conscious of your intent; goal = connection

Be present so you can attune to nonverbal communication - Slow down; pause and allow time for processing.

How long does each Baby Doll Circle Time last?

How many times a week should we do Baby Doll Circle Time?

What if they don’t all come to the circle?

How do I find time for one-on-one connection?

Presented by Conscious Discipline® Certified Instructor Mandy Lloyd, [email protected]


Loving Guidance™, Conscious Discipline

®, Brain Smart

®, School Family™, Safe Place™, Baby Doll Circle Time™, and

Feeling Buddies® are registered trademarks of Loving Guidance, Inc.