Q: I’m a day care provider with a recently adopted 13-month-old in my class. He refuses to let me comfort him when he cries. How can I soothe him without intruding on his mother’s attachment process?
A: Work with his mother to find out what the initial attachment process has been like for him, and what calms him. It is important that he has a safe person to connect to at his day care.
I suggest that his mother spend some time in day care, playing with you and her son together. He may need to see and feel her trust in you before being able to give you his. Be respectful of the child’s emotional development, and look for opportunities to expand his capacity to take comfort from you. Patience and time should work in your favor.