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As parents there’s one word we hear all. the. time… “attachment”. Or more specifically, “Secure Attachment”. Read full blog post here: http://www.theparentingjunkie.com/single-post/2017/09/18/Repair-Attachment—All-Is-Not-Lost
According to our friends at Wikipedia:
“Secure attachment is classified by children who show some distress when their caregiver leaves but are able to compose themselves knowing that their caregiver will return. Children with secure attachment feel protected by their caregivers, and they know that they can depend on them to return.”
So, a secure attachment occurs when kids feel safe and protected with their primary caregiver, or “attachment figure”. Secure attachments are one of the biggest key indicators of children’ long term health and happiness. It’s really important. Think of the attachment as the health of the relationship with your child. How secure the attachment is – is how safe and trusting your child feels with you.
But – like anything precious and valuable – secure attachments are somewhat delicate and they can be ruptured. There are many ways to rupture – i.e. break – the security of our children’s attachment to us. If babies experience disorganized caregivers, depressive or unresponsive caregivers, stifling and coddling caregivers or neglectful or abusive caregivers – they will probably not develop a secure attachment.
But, also true, is that even those with a secure attachment will inevitably experience ruptures in that attachment. There’s no such thing as the perfectly attached duo. If you blow up yelling at your child, if you trick or manipulate them, if you punish or shame them, or if you undergo some sense of traumatic event – where you’re torn apart for a while or emotionally unavailable – then yes, the attachment can experience some wear and tear or even some real ruptures.
As Dr. Daniel Seigel says: ruptures are inevitable in every secure attachment.
Consider marriages – there’s almost no such thing as the marriage without occasional disagreements and arguments. But as long as the couple aren’t too mean and too explosive – and no one walks out – they can repair and move on, healthy, strong and happy.
The same is true for our children’s relationship. When rupture occurs we both feel deeply disconnected. Perhaps we were furious, perhaps we hurt them physically or emotionally. Perhaps it’s mean months – or years since we felt a loving connection. Perhaps you’re not sure you ever had a secure attachment to begin with.
This is especially true for parents with more than one child, who experience challenges with their eldest. As their loving energy focuses on the baby, their relationship with their elder child suffers and deteriorates. It’s a natural and normal process but one that is deeply painful for both parent and child – and one that can be remedied and halted, if awareness is called to it.
If you have a spirited, challenging or intense child – you might feel you were never able to connect. If you had a traumatic pregnancy or labor, or experienced medical emergencies with your newborn – you might feel you never had the closeness you dreamt of. Or if you had financial pressures, or relationship turmoil – or any other life stressor that called you away from bonding with your infant, you might, again, feel that the attachment was never formed.
Do not despair, all is not lost.