Healthy self-esteem and confidence are qualities that everyone wants. It is complicated enough for us as parents to have a healthy amount confidence ourselves and helping our children achieve it seems to be even harder. What helps our children to be more confident and competent? Praising helps. Rewarding helps, too. But what really works for our children to understand that they are OK to just be themselves is a healthy attachment with YOU.
Attachment is our basic need to connect. We are hardwired for connection. We first learn attachment in the relationship with our caregivers. By having our caregivers take care of us, we learn to name our needs, find ways to fulfill those needs, and take care of others too. By seeing our caregivers’ responses, we learn what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable. When our relationships with our caregivers are healthy, we learn to be more secure in who we are. When our caregivers are not attuned to our needs and helping fulfill our needs, we come up with conclusions about ourselves and the world. These conclusions can be very negative, like “I’m not worthy of love”, “I always mess things up”, “I’m a failure”, etc. No one wants their children feeling this way about themselves, but research strongly supports that having a secure attachment to parents is a way to buffer and mediate life so children have confidence and resiliency.
One of the ways to achieve a healthy attachment with our children is to delight in them. When they feel that we are happy with them no matter what they are doing, then they learn that they are loved for who they are. Being attuned and interested in your child helps them feel delighted in. Another way to promote secure attachment is to have a healthy attachment with yourself. This requires reflection and awareness.
Hope Therapy is offering a parenting class called “Circle of Security” which will help you become a more available and effective parent. It focuses on weekly learning and reflecting about yourself and your parenting. The class is taught by Aimi Campbell, who is a certified Circle of Security facilitator and a Marriage and Family Therapy with lots of experience working with families, teens, and parents. You can learn to be a more present, supportive, and safe parent, and learn to understand your children’s emotional attachment needs.
Parenting is hard and there are so many challenges, but it’s never too late to improve. Start now to learn more about Circle of Security (attachment based parenting) so you can be the best parent you can be!