Attachment and Healthy Development
When I had my first child, I had been studying attachment theory (John Bowlby) and wanted to create a relationship with my child that created a secure base for him. I found attachment parenting and wondered if it would create the “secure attachment” I wanted my son to have – the kind of attachment that would allow him to reach out when he needed, and to be resilient. Knowing that early attachment influenced later well-being, I wanted to figure it out!
When I had my son, I used a lot of attachment parenting strategies because they felt good to us. But attachment isn’t about doing a particular set of behaviors. It’s more about how those things feel to us and it’s about our relationship.
Tracy Cassels from Evolutionary Parenting joins us to talk about Attachment and helps to answer some of the common misconceptions about attachment and attachment parenting. There isn’t just one factor with attachment and healthy development and it isn’t as cut and dried as “do these things and you’ll have a child with a secure attachment.”
Our goal here is to create a relationship with our children that provides a secure base for them to go out and explore the world and come back into connection when they need it. And yes, this continues to happen well past the toddler years, into the teens and even adulthood. We all have times we need to move back into connection with others to move through challenging situations and experiences. Our kids are the same in that regard.
Today we talk about what attachment really is and some of the factors for healthy development no matter how old our child is without holding them too close or pushing them away.
Resources from this episode:
About Tracy Cassels
Tracy Cassels, PhD is the founder of Evolutionary Parenting. She obtained her B.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Berkeleym an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of British Columbia, and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, also at the University of British Columbia. Her academic works have been published in many peer-reviewed journals including Psychological Assessment, PLoS One, Personality and Individual Differences, Midwifery, and more.
Tracy serves as an Adviser to the Children’s Health & Human Rights Partnership, a non-profit agency dedicated to ending routine infant circumcision. She previously worked at the Canadian Council on Learning, a non-profit agency dedicated to researching myriad elements of learning across the lifespan, where her role was to critically analyse educational research to help form policy decisions at local school board and provincial government levels.
Most importantly to her, though, she is a mother to daughter Madeleine (Maddy, age 6), son Theodore (Theo, age baby), stepson Desmond, and wife to husband Brian.