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What is attachment parenting?

What is attachment parenting?

All parents want to form a strong emotional connection with their children. At the same time, they are trying to instill an education that resonates with the values ​​in which they believe. Some parents treat their children like miniature adults to motivate them. Others insist on rigorous discipline in order to make them sociable and confident. Most of the time, however, children learn by mistake.

What is attachment parenting

The term "secure attachment" (in English, "attachment parenting"), introduced by American pediatrician William Sears, advocates for the emotional connection between parents and children. The stronger this connection is, the more children are likely to become confident, independent and empathetic. The secure attachment and confidence that children develop towards their parents could be the basis of forming harmonious relationships later in adult life, helping to develop an independent attitude.

Children instinctively look for a figure to attach to in order to feel safe both physically and emotionally. This form of secure attachment it would result in increased confidence of the child in adulthood. Children who lack such care would be more likely to become involved in toxic relationships later in life, risking insecurity, lack of empathy, anger attacks and attachment disorders.

Attachment parenting: the 8 principles of secure attachment

When you are attentive to the child's needs and always offer him the emotional support and understanding he needs, the child will feel safe, loved and appreciated and will have a harmonious psycho-emotional development. Here are the ones 8 principles underlying the theory of secure attachment:

1. Prepare to become a mother

Eliminates negative thoughts and feelings about pregnancy. Positive thinking will help you feel more emotionally prepared for the "job" of the mother.

2. Feed the child with love and respect

When you breastfeed your baby, you convey a sense of security that will strengthen your emotional connection. At the same time, you confirm to the little one that you listen to him, understand him and fulfill his needs.

3. Answer them gently and show them that you are taking it seriously

The emotions a child displays, including repeated crying, represent real communication efforts. They must be taken seriously and understood. Punishments and rejection of unwanted behaviors have no benefit.

4. Embrace your child as often as possible

Hugs, carrying the baby in a carrier and baths together with the little one are forms of physical contact between parent and child. They promote attachment, frequent touch and sensitivity of parents to children's needs, strengthening the relationship between them.

5. Get involved in child care at night

Co-sleeping, or sleeping in the same room with the baby, allows you to respond immediately to the baby's needs. Some parents even choose to sleep in the same bed with the baby, but pediatricians do not recommend this practice, as it may increase the risk of sudden infant death.

On the other hand, supporters of the theory of secure attachment do not deny the importance of parents' need for privacy and quality sleep.

6. Take care of your constant baby with love

By this principle is understood the almost constant presence of a parent near the child, even when you have to go for a walk or in the city. Children younger than 2 and a half should not spend more than 20 hours per week in the company of the vouchers, in kindergarten or in the nursery.

7. Practice positive discipline

Positive behavior can be modeled by redirecting attention. For example, when your child has a tantrum, show them that you understand their anger and make them understand that you are with them. Try to hold him in his arms, if he accepts, and let him unload, making sure you are always near him and you love him.

8. Maintains the balance between personal and family life

It is very important to find a balance between raising and educating the children, maintaining the marriage and the emotional needs of each one. Give your children support whenever they need, promoting a healthy lifestyle, to prevent overloading and exhaustion.

Critics of attachment parenting (secure attachment)

No one can deny that the close emotional connection between parent and child is a positive thing. There is, however, the reverse of the medal. Fighters of the theory of secure attachment claim that early research was based on animal studies. Here are their main counter-arguments:

1. The risk of sudden death

Sleeping in the same bed with the baby was associated with a higher incidence of sudden infant death syndrome. Those who support the theory of secure attachment try to minimize this risk by introducing rules for sharing the bed safely.

2. Life experiences change the type of attachment

Recent research has shown that the ability to form healthy and intimate attachments is affected by peer pressure, school relationships, dating and marriage, and early childhood experiences.

3. The theory is not adapted to modern times

The theory of secure attachment appeared in the middle of the last century, before the bonds appeared. Currently, more and more parents are required to turn to a babysitter because of demanding jobs and other obligations. Critics believe that an update of the theory is needed, which reflects the changing reality.

4. Parents too stressed, children too dependent

Too much attention given to the child's mood or mood can lead to an over-dependence of the child on the parent. In addition, parents can become very stressed when dealing with repeated tantrums. Worse, the child can learn to manipulate his or her well-meaning parents and attack them.

5. Lack of scientific basis

Supporters of the "attachment parenting" model raise the problem of children suffering from a lack of secure attachment, offering as examples the cases of reactive attachment disorder (RAD). Psychiatrists claim, however, that this disorder occurs as a result of very great physical and emotional neglect. Even so, attachment problems can be remedied with the help of therapy.

Tags Parent-child relationship Parenting Positive parenting