A little extra Accessibility in tough times

Children first learn that we are accessible to them during infancy when we attend to them whether they are crying or quiet.

Attending to infants whether they are crying or quiet provides experiences of their worth, of our proximity and responsiveness, and of their safety in the world. In time, these experiences support emerging beliefs about themselves, others, and their world that influence a child’s approach to life and relationships. I refer to these beliefs as attachment representations (Pearce, 2016). They are otherwise referred to in the child development and psychology literature as attachment working models or schema. Attending to infants whether they are crying or quiet is also profoundly reassuring, such that they maintain a state of wellbeing and explore their world unhindered by the debilitating and restricting effects of anxiety. Attending to infants whether they are crying or quiet supports learning that adults in a caregiving role can be relied upon to attend to them without having to control and regulate the proximity of adults to make it so.

Accessibility supports a confident approach to life and relationships, exploration, and attainment of developmental milestones.

In tough times, children and young people can experience a heightened need for the profound experience of reassurance that is afforded to them by the presence of an accessible (and responsive) adult. To this end, I developed the infographic below (the third in a series) to provide direction to adults in a caregiving role about how to enrich the experience of their accessibility for children and young people in their care. You can access a PDF of the infographic here.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if there is a specific topic you would like me to consider. Wishing you all good health and happiness during these tough times.

The CARE Model is explained in more detail in A Short Introduction to Attachment and Attachment Disorder (Second Edition). To purchase the book, and support this site, please consider doing so from one of the sites below by clicking on the caption:

A straightforward guide to keeping things on track in the home during tough times. Includes printable worksheets – see preview below. 18pp

Pay/donate what you want:


Or, download here.


About colbypearce

I am a practising Clinical Psychologist with twenty-seven years’ experience working with children and young people recovering from abuse and neglect. I am also an author and educator in trauma-informed, therapeutic caregiving. My programs are implemented in Australia and Ireland, and I am well-known for my practical and accessible guidance for caregivers and professionals alike.
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