Attachment and Healthy Development
What is a “normal parent”? Can conscious parents look to others in our culture for attached parent models?
Studies are showing the number of children experiencing healthy emotional attachment are “abysmally low” for a modern and “advanced” society. Is parenting keeping pace with progress?
Parents today need courage to step away from the mainstream practices that are failing to foster healthy attachment.
We’ve been led to think that parenting with attachment in mind takes more time and effort than traditional parenting – that it’s just a lot of unhappy extra work.
The idea that making conscious decisions to parent outside the mainstream is just too much extra work has led some to connect it to an overbearing “helicopter” style, which attempts to control the entire parent-child relationship and all children behaviors in favor of the parent’s needs.
Instead of looking to what others are doing or saying, consciously attached parents are looking for what works in their own families – how to be responsive to individual children’s needs in a way that feels good to all family members.
Each stage of development brings specific needs based on the age and individual temperament of each child.
In infancy, attachment is crucial because its presence or lack tells infants about the world in a way that sets the tone for their entire life experience.
As kids grow, needs change, but staying open, responsive, and just “being there” for them during all ups and downs will always be essential.
With older kids, boundaries, honesty, and recommitting to connection takes center stage.
Are you consciously imparting a healthy and positive worldview to your children?
The way we do so is though our everyday practices and interactions – and thankfully we can change our daily habits at any time, with far-reaching results for our kids and our world.
A consistently nurturing response that helps our children feel safe, accepted, and worthy of care and attention shapes a perception (and later an experience) of life that creates a thriving future.
While there are infinite individual needs from child to child and age to age, validating emotions with your presence, acceptance, and empathy – even if you don’t understand or share their feelings – is key to raising healthy children and building a happy parent-child relationship for life.
In this conversation, we uncover how to step outside what’s “normal” and use our own awareness and inner guidance to parent in a way that creates attachment at any age or stage of development.
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.