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Bindung und Migration
21st International Attachment Conference
Disordered Attachments in Digital Ages
September 16th - September 18th, 2022
Bindung und Migration
Heidi Simoni

Simoni, Heidi (Zürich/Switzerland)

The world of young children: even infants and toddlers play and learn together. What do they need from us to do so?

Insights from developmental psychology are in line with early education concepts that view the smallest children as subjects of their development and that view the world of small children as relevant.

Even infants show remarkable behaviors in peer groups. Children above one year of age expand and practice their repertoire of social skills with other children tirelessly. This is the case for so called prosocial skills such as showing empathy, to help one another, to console, to be considerate and to cooperate as well as for skills necessary to stand up for one’s own interests, be assertive, negotiate compromise and regulate emotions in conflict situations. The exchange with familiar children allows for obvious experiences, which complement learning in child-adult situations in a fundamental manner.


Psychologist and psychotherapist Heidi Simoni, Ph.D. studied psychology at the University of Basel and wrote her dissertation on the "Early Development of Children and Families under Difficult Initial Circumstances."

She has worked at the Marie Meierhofer Institut für das Kind, in Zürich, since 2000, initially responsible for research, and since 2007 as director of the institute. For several years she has been a member of the Child Protective Commission of the Canton of Zürich.

She focuses on child legal issues and especially the interaction between protection, support, and involvement, and the socioemotional development of children in various family constellations and living environments. From 2008 to 2016 she served as first chairperson of the German-Speaking Association of Infant Mental Health (GAIMH).