What is attachment parenting ?
Specific types of attachement is proven to shape a child's brain; moreso, improve mental health from childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
According to psychologist, John Bowlby (1969); his theory was divided into 4 different styles of attachment :
- Secure – Formed when a caregiver responds consistently with care and comfort. This infant responds with delight when they see their caregiver.
- Avoidant – Formed when a caregiver often ignores a distressed infant. This child is less likely to seek comfort from their caregiver.
- Ambivalent – Formed when a caregiver responds with comfort in some instances, but also responds with annoyance in others. This infant’s reactions to their caregiver are equally inconsistent.
- Disorganized – Formed when a caregiver neglects an infant. This child avoids interactions with others and is fearful. Their behavior won’t change whether their caregiver is there or not.
What do we strive for as parents ? Secure
Positive parenting has elements of the secure attachment (also known as autonomous) style and this kind of interaction with your child is important part of developing socio-emotional skills. Uplifting and realistic comments such as "If I work hard and try my best, I will succeed" is part of the process of a secure relationship between you and your child. Being their cheerleader at times when they need it the most is vital. Appreciating their opinions and listening to them is very beneficial to yourself and them as they learn how to cope with difficult situations (this can be known as emotional regulation). Affirmations are an integral part of growing up in a household filled with love, support, communication. The child will have a better outlook on life and the world in a much healthier way. They will be clear on what they would like to do in the future because they were heard. This is usually due to the boundaries set from infancy to childhood which must always have a smooth transition depending on your child's social needs.
Boundaries in the secure attachment
Critically, there are ways in which you can be positive while also paying attention to how you saw with what you say. Being careful with the helicopter parenting rule (to never hover so much until this attachment becomes unhealthy : insecure). Hovering is not what you want as it means that whenever your child needs you, you're always there. This can be good for the earlier stages in your child's life however, there must be an understanding that they can walk on their own and master the ability to regulate their emotions when dealing with confrontation or conflict. Throughout their early and later school years (aged 7-11) and (aged 12-16), this must be taught and monitored.
What can I do to be consistent?
Coaching them about self-confidence and humility might seem like a losing battle and with its challenges, this is apart of living. Setting a standard about how they treat others is also something to be mindful of and as stated before, this is from what they witness at home. Children's brain function from their visual memory are like sponges therefore, wherever you see an opportunity for them to learn from you, make sure, it is positive with a challenge. There is a beautiful balance when you show your child how YOU are able to cope with negative and/or positive life events. Avoiding the terms that are aggresively negative such as "deal with this loss, you need to work harder" because this is not going to help them understand what they can do to make themselves be better at something. In addition, this will not support their need to know how to be better. When having a conversation about losing, for instance, you must not use their loss as a trigger point meaning that their loss isn't meant to be the centre of attention; this causes embarrassment and fear. What can help them adapt in the world is to show them how to see things through and deal with things more appropriately; it is better to guide and counsel your child about the hows not the whats. This is highly impactful on how your child is able to verbalise (pinpoint) their feelings to others.
Key point to remember :
Dont be ashamed to do referrals for behavioural impacts on their schooling or family relationships
List of professionals that can help break down the barriers in your relationships (child/parent)
-Cognitive Behavioural Therapists
- Child developmental specalists
- Speech and Language therapists
HI there! I have been working with families for over 15 years and have a resume that consists of various amounts of experiences. I have had great success with babies from 6 months old to young adults aged 21. Notably, these include working closely with parents, teachers, therapists in and out from schools to homes to enable the support necessary for children, young people and family members.