Actions that build attachment

Actions that build attachment
Parent-child attachment is a combination of security, trust, love and affection. Here are some tips on how to strengthen this bond.

Parent-child attachment is a combination of security, trust, love and affection. Here are some tips on how to strengthen this bond.

Develop a relationship with your baby
You bond with your baby when you look into his eyes frequently and talk to him, for example, by explaining what you’re doing when you care for him. You can answer his smiles and sounds by smiling back at him, talking to him and singing to him.

Comfort your child
When you quickly respond to your baby’s tears, you reassure him. It’s also important to pay attention when he’s angry, scared or sad, and to stay by him until he feels better. He will understand then that he can count on you in times of trouble.

Play with your child
When you take the time to play with your child, even if for only a few minutes each day, you build an attachment bond. It’s also good to show interest in what your toddler is doing. You could, for example, ask him about what he did at daycare. When you have more than one child and you spend time alone with each one, they will both feel important and loved.

Name his emotions
When you say to your child, “You were afraid because of that big noise. It’s only a truck. There’s no danger,” you help him make connections that will allow him to control his stress and emotions later on.

Let him know you’re leaving
When you let your child know that you need to go instead of sneaking out without him knowing, you help him to understand that you always come back, even if you leave. You can explain to him that you’re leaving and let him know who’ll be taking care of him.

Set up routines
When you set up routines and rules, you give your child stability. This helps him know what to expect. Of course, rules must be clear and age-appropriate.


Remember

  • Attachment is an emotional relationship that connects a baby to his caregivers.
  • The attachment bond develops as parents respond to their baby’s needs in a quick, predictable, appropriate and nurturing manner.
  • Children need to feel safe to develop fully.
  • Toddlers who have developed a strong attachment to their parents have an easier time getting along with others and adapting to change.

Naitre et grandir.com

Source : Magazine Naître et grandir, March 2016
Research and copywriting : Nathalie Vallerand
Scientific review : Ellen Sheiner-Moss, professor with the Department of Psychology at UQAM and Director of the Centre for Study of Attachment and the Family

Photo : iStock.com/Li Kim Goh