Secure Attachment: The Strength of a Healthy Bond
Doing your part to ensure your children have a secure attachment protects their mental health. In fact, it will save them from all kinds of problems that come out of unhealthy bonding in their childhood. But are you prepared to foster a secure attachment?
When we deal with attachment, we usually focus on the children. But today, we’re going to look at the caretakers and parents. They’ve had their own experiences when they were children.
It’s normal to see parents raising children as they themselves have been raised. Or they go to the other extreme. In any case, they base their parenting off of their experience and the conclusions they have internalized from it.
“A secure attachment is the ability to bond; to develop a secure and safe base “.
-Asa Don Brown-
Learning to embrace the secure attachment we never had
It’s very hard for an adult to foster a secure attachment with their child if, when they were a child themselves, they had an insecure or anxious attachment. That’s why it’s important that caretakers work on that part of themselves. They could do it by themselves or with the help of a therapist. If they do it well, they can get the essential components of a secure attachment.
What are those components? A feeling of constant security, a desire to be close, and emotional regulation. If a parent is lacking or hasn’t internalize these aspects, it’ll be very hard for them to then transmit them to their children. Without wanting to, they’ll actually be encouraging an insecure attachment.
How therapy can help
The therapist will help you in different areas: identifying your emotions, understanding them, and externalizing them properly. Here, repression or emotional anesthesia is common. The issues may stem from trauma. But talking about the issues and making them a part of your story will go a long way in opening you up for secure attachment.
Even if the goal is to be able to give your children a secure attachment, it’s important to take care of yourself first. What may help is to think of your children and find motivation in them to go get well yourself.
Do you want your children to suffer from emotional dependence and depression later in their life? Do you want to make it hard for them to have a stable relationship with anyone and be deeply afraid of being abandoned? It happens more than we may think.
Working on getting better is not only important for our children, but also for ourselves. We will enjoy balance. We will be happier. And our relationships will be so much better. It’s worth it! So let’s learn how to relate to others in a healthy way and give our children the secure attachment we never had.