Attachment parenting : developing connections and healing children

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Caught in infancy before they become more serious problems, attachment disorders are often easy to correct with the right help and support. If you spot any of these warning signs, make an appointment with your pediatrician for a professional diagnosis of the problem. An aversion to touch and physical affection. Rather than producing positive feelings, touch and affection are perceived as a threat. Control issues. Most children with reactive attachment disorder go to great lengths to remain in control and avoid feeling helpless.

They are often disobedient, defiant, and argumentative. Anger problems. Anger may be expressed directly, in tantrums or acting out, or through manipulative, passive-aggressive behavior.


Children with RAD may hide their anger in socially acceptable actions, like giving a high five that hurts or hugging someone too hard. Difficulty showing genuine care and affection. For example, children with reactive attachment disorder may act inappropriately affectionate with strangers while displaying little or no affection towards their parents.

An underdeveloped conscience. As children with reactive attachment disorder grow older, they often develop either an inhibited or a disinhibited pattern of symptoms:. Inhibited symptoms of RAD. The child is extremely withdrawn, emotionally detached, and resistant to comforting. They may push others away, ignore them, or even act out in aggression when others try to get close.

Disinhibited symptoms of RAD. The child seeks comfort and attention from virtually anyone, without distinction. They are extremely dependent, act much younger than their age, and may appear chronically anxious.

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Parenting a child with insecure attachment or an attachment disorder can be exhausting, frustrating, and emotionally trying. It is hard to put your best parenting foot forward without the reassurance of a loving connection with your child. Sometimes you may wonder if your efforts are worth it, but be assured that they are. With time, patience, and concerted effort, attachment disorders can be repaired. The key is to remain calm, yet firm as you interact with your child.

This will teach your child that they are safe and can trust you. A child with an attachment disorder is already experiencing a great deal of stress, so it is imperative that you evaluate and manage your own stress levels before trying to help your child with theirs. Have realistic expectations. Helping your child may be a long road.

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Focus on making small steps forward and celebrate every sign of success. Stay patient. But by remaining patient and focusing on small improvements, you create an atmosphere of safety for your child. Foster a sense of humor. Joy and laughter go a long way toward repairing attachment problems and energizing you even in the midst of hard work.

Find at least a couple of people or activities that help you laugh and feel good.

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Take care of yourself. Reduce other demands on your time, make time for yourself, and manage stress. Rest, good nutrition, and parenting breaks help you relax and recharge your batteries so you can give your attention to your child. Find support. Rely on friends, family, community resources, and respite care if available. Try to ask for help before you really need it to avoid getting stressed to breaking point.

You may also want to consider joining a support group for parents. Stay positive and hopeful. Be sensitive to the fact that children pick up on feelings. When you are feeling down, turn to others for reassurance. When you adopted a child, you may not have been aware of an attachment disorder. Anger or unresponsiveness from your new child can be heartbreaking and difficult to understand.

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Your efforts to love them will have an impact—it just may take some time. Safety is the core issue for children with attachment problems.

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They are distant and distrustful because they feel unsafe in the world. They keep their guard up to protect themselves, but it also prevents them from accepting love and support. You can accomplish this by establishing clear expectations and rules of behavior, and by responding consistently so your child knows what to expect when they act a certain way and—even more importantly—knows that no matter what happens, you can be counted on. Set limits and boundaries. Consistent, loving boundaries make the world seem more predictable and less scary to children with attachment issues.

This also teaches them that they have more control over what happens to them than they think. Take charge, yet remain calm when your child is upset or misbehaving. By staying calm, you show your child that the feeling is manageable. If they are being purposefully defiant, follow through with the pre-established consequences in a cool, matter-of-fact manner.

Be immediately available to reconnect following a conflict. Conflict can be especially disturbing for children with attachment disorders.

Own up to mistakes and initiate repair. When you let frustration or anger get the best of you or you do something you realize is insensitive, quickly address the mistake. Your willingness to take responsibility and make amends can strengthen the attachment bond. Children with attachment issues need to learn that although you may not be perfect, they will be loved, no matter what. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Share.

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Other Attachment Issues -

Description Attachment Parenting describes a comprehensive approach to parenting children who have a history of neglect, abuse, orphanage care, or other experiences that may interfere with the normal development of attachment between parent and child. Grounded in attachment theory, Attachment Parenting gives parents, therapists, educators, and child-welfare and residential-treatment professionals the tools and skills necessary to help these children.

With an approach rooted in dyadic developmental psychotherapy, which is an evidence-based, effective, and empirically validated treatment for complex trauma and disorders of attachment, Arthur Becker-Weidman and Deborah Shell provide practical and immediately usable approaches and methods to help children develop a healthier and more secure attachment.

Attachment Parenting covers a wide range of topics, from describing the basic principles of this approach and how to select a therapist to chapters on concrete logistics, such as detailed suggestions for organizing the child's room, dealing with schools' concerns, and problem-solving. Chapters on sensory integration, art therapy for parents, narratives, and Theraplay give parents specific therapeutic activities that can be done at home to improve the quality of the child's attachment with the parent.

And chapters on neuropsychological issues, mindfulness, and parent's use of self will also help parents directly. The book includes two chapters by parents discussing what worked for them, providing inspiration to parents and demonstrating that there is hope.

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Finally, the book ends with a comprehensive chapter on resources for parents and a summary of various professional standards regarding attachment, treatment, and parenting. Free Returns We hope you are delighted with everything you buy from us. However, if you are not, we will refund or replace your order up to 30 days after purchase. admin