We all want what’s best for our children. As a parent, one of the most important and lasting things you can do for your child is to help them develop a secure attachment style. This not only contributes to a happy childhood, but lays the foundation for healthy, fulfilling relationships throughout their entire lives.
Understand and Respond to Your Child’s Cues
In childhood, a secure attachment style starts with a child feeling confident that their needs will be met. Pay attention to your child’s cues. These types of communications, although often nonverbal, can provide a wealth of information about what your child is thinking and feeling. By learning to understand your child’s emotional state, you can respond appropriately and give them what they need, whether that’s food, a nap, hugs, or some quiet time.
Create Positive Interactions with Your Child
Establish a relationship of trust with your child by connecting with them in positive ways. You can demonstrate this by listening when they talk to you, making eye contact, smiling, and playing together. It doesn’t require a huge investment of time to help your child feel loved and valued. Try talking to your child in the car on the way to school, or setting aside 10 minutes for playtime before you have to fix dinner.
Make Yourself Available to Your Child
During a child’s early years, their parent acts as a home base. Children use this base as a center from which to explore, and a safe place they can return to. Help your child know that they can come to you no matter what they’re experiencing. Show that you’re interested by asking them how their day was, celebrating good things that happened to them, and helping them work through distressing emotions.
Remember, You Don’t Have to Be Perfect
As you parent, remember that you don’t have to be perfect to help your child develop a secure attachment style. Be as consistent as you can, but don’t be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Show your child how good relationships work by apologizing and repairing trust after a mistake, and allow them to do the same. And if you feel that you need some help, don’t hesitate to ask. Our team is here as a resource for you as you help your child develop a secure attachment style.