Health Wise: Fostering Secure Attachment in Children

 04/02/2018 - 13:22

In my last post, I discussed some strategies for building mindful connections with children by supporting them in engaging their left and right brain. This time, let's delve a little deeper...
 
Children get attached to their parents very early in their years of development. Research across several cultures suggests that healthy attachments are a secure base of how the parent and child interact and communicate with one another. This reciprocal give and take form of communication is referred to as collaborative communication
 
Basically, a child signals the parent about something and the parent connects, empathizes, and responds appropriately. A win-win for both. 
 
But, how does attachment interplay with the child's self-expression?
 
Attachment is integral to how a child develops communication with the parent. Repeated messages of care and nurturance from the parent create a sense of security for the child. In this safe and protected world, children are able to explore their intrinsic needs and thrive across social, emotional, and intellectual domains. 
 
A secure attachment has the following components (the ABC's):
 
Attunement: this is when the parent is completely in tune with the child's feelings and needs (in other words, their internal state). It is usually accomplished by paying close attention to the child's non-verbal cues. 
 
Balance: the child relates to the parent’s connectedness with him/her and communicates further by finding a balance in their body, emotions, and mind. 
 
Coherence: when in balance, the child then develops a sense of attachment and possibly builds a narrative in his/her mind that says something like, "I am supported", "I am heard", or "I am safe". 
 
A secure attachment, thereafter, becomes a safe haven that affects the child's overall wellbeing. He/she is then able to go out into the world and make new and meaningful connections through collaborative communication. 
 
Try it yourself: Notice your child's ways of communicating with you. Then, pay close attention to the ABC's of secure attachment in your relationship with him or her. Are you able provide a secure base to your child?

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Stay tuned for more prompts on positive parenting. Also, feel free to reach out to us, here at Still Waters. We are happy to help!

Mansi Brat's picture
Mansi Brat
Mansi is a psychotherapist at Still Waters Counseling. She earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lindenwood University, MO. She also earned her doctoral degree in Counselor Education from the University of Toledo, OH with an emphasis in Mindfulness Meditation. Mansi values an integrative and strength-based counseling approach. She believes in holistic wellness that embodies the person as a “whole” – the physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, occupational, social, and environmental aspects of healing. Her philosophy resides on the foundational elements of instilling hope through creative transformation and sound intentionality. Incorporating these in unison, Mansi’s aim is to provide a sound space of comfort, warmth and trust that enables individual’s to find their purpose and meaning in life. Mansi is also a certified yoga instructor. Her journey began back in 2010 when she started exploring holistic forms of healing and wellness. As this exploration developed, she noticed subtle changes in her thoughts and perception of what it means to be well. More so, she developed a deep connection with her innermost self. For her, yoga is creating a space of awareness. It is in this awareness that the mind ceases to control all external worries and anxieties. Through her classes, she aims to teach her students the beauty of being present to the ‘now’. I invite you to experience a journey beyond yourself, uncovering boundless possibilities to rediscover your eternal self. Welcome aboard!