The telephone rings or there is breakfast to prepare.
In other words, attuned interactions rupture quite frequently.
Instead they must manage themselves as best they can within such relationships.
Based on her established Strange Situation Protocol, research by developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth in the 1960s and 1970s found that children will have different patterns of attachment depending primarily on how they experienced their early caregiving environment.
But the hallmark of a sensitive caregiver is that the ruptures are managed and repaired." This has important implications.
Infants cannot exit unpredictable or insensitive caregiving relationships.
Within attachment theory, attachment means "a biological instinct in which proximity to an attachment figure is sought when the child senses or perceives threat or discomfort.
Attachment behaviour anticipates a response by the attachment figure which will remove threat or discomfort".
Any caregiver is equally likely to become the principal attachment figure if they provide most of the child care and related social interaction.
In the presence of a sensitive and responsive caregiver, the infant will use the caregiver as a "safe base" from which to explore.
Early patterns of attachment, in turn, shape — but do not determine — the individual's expectations in later relationships.