This is part two in Rebecca Weber's Kids in Mind series on Attachment Theory. Dr Rebecca Weber is a child psychologist based in Ferney-Voltaire.
For the full version of this Kids in Mind segment on attachment, listen to the above audio.
Can mothers and fathers parent in a way to support secure attachment?
Yes. Respond to the child’s needs, sufficiently – help them to have a stable sense of self. This includes allowing the child to experience frustration.
So does the way the parent attached when they were a child impact how they will be with their own children?
Every parent is of course different but our own childhood experiences do reappear in our relationships as adults.
Attachment examples for parents:
Secure Attachment (low avoidance, low anxiety)
• Most days you can say you are happy in your relationship, you feel loved, accepted, and competent
Preoccupied Attachment (low avoidance, high anxiety)
• You are always too worried about what other people think about you
• You don't have your own opinion
• You NEED to be close to somebody
• You think other people don't value you enough
• You worry about your relationships a lot
And how do adults and children tend to behave who did not have stable attachment?
Dismissing-Avoidant (high avoidance, low anxiety)
• You are very independent
• You think you don't need relationships
• You hide your feelings a lot
• When rejected, you cope by being alone
Fearful-Avoidant (high avoidance, high anxiety)
• You think you are dependent and helpless
• You are very negative
• You think you are not worthy of anybody
• Even though you want to have connection with others, you fear it
How is it useful for parents to look at their own behavior-attachment patterns?
It is helpful to have a dose of humour and curiousity – oh there goes my 3 year old self again. The more we know our selves, the easier it is to make satisfying choices for our children.
Kids in Mind is brought to you by The British School of Geneva.