Secure attachment is a healthy and positive emotional bond that develops between a child and their primary caregiver. Children who experience this type of bond are more likely to develop a positive self-image, higher self-esteem, and greater resilience. Moreover, these children tend to be more socially competent due to a greater sense of relatedness, and they generally have stronger learning abilities, as they can explore new experiences without excessive worry. They approach opportunities with confidence and navigate adversities using more adaptive coping strategies.
In contrast, unhealthy attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized attachments, may lead to dependence, suppression, and confusion, respectively. These patterns can contribute to continuous struggles and dissatisfaction in relationships and career. To ensure lifelong emotional well-being and success for your child, it is crucial to nurture a secure attachment style in them.
So, how can you achieve that? Here are the 6 commandments of secure attachment:
1. Consistency in Expectations:
Establish clear and consistent standards for your child’s behavior. Predictability provides a sense of stability, helping them understand the consequences of their actions and learn self-regulation. Conversely, having inconsistent standards of behavior confuses the child and makes it difficult for them to act responsibly.
2. Responsiveness to Emotional Needs:
Instead of ignoring your child’s emotions or regarding them as secondary, always listen when they express themselves and respond with openness. By doing so, you demonstrate that you are a reliable source of comfort and understanding, allowing your child to feel free to express their feelings and needs.
3. Positive Attention:
This includes taking genuine interest in their lives and providing praise or acknowledgement for their positive behaviors, achievements, or efforts. Such positive attention reinforces their sense of value and promotes their self-worth.
4. Validation of Thoughts and Feelings:
Validate your child’s thoughts and feelings, even if they may not be agreeable. Help them identify what they are thinking and feeling and evaluate side by side with them whether those thoughts and feelings are beneficial for themselves and others. By doing this, you help the child build the skills and habit of self-modulation, which will foster emotional intelligence and problem-solving abilities as they grow into strong and healthy adults who set good boundaries.
5. Encouragement to Learn and Explore:
If your child is naturally curious and adventurous, minimize saying no and instead create a supportive environment where they can safely follow their passions. If your child is naturally shy and timid, offer opportunities for them to be exposed to new things and celebrate their efforts and achievements.
6. Safety – Unconditional Positive Regard:
This means that when your child misbehaves or makes a mistake, instead of judgment, rejection, criticism, or blame, you show unconditional acceptance. By doing so, your child knows that they are loved as they are. This safety net allows them to feel secure in being themselves and enables them to remain authentic throughout their lives.
Parenting based on the commandments of secure attachment is a transformative journey that nurtures emotional intelligence, self-confidence, and resilience in children. By providing love, acceptance, and consistent support, you create an environment where your child can flourish and develop a positive sense of self. Remember that every interaction is an opportunity to
reinforce the secure attachment bond, and the investment you make in your child’s emotional well-being will have a lasting impact on their life’s trajectory.
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