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The Benefits of Secure Attachment

When you close your eyes and picture your child as an adult, what does their life look like? Actually, take a moment and do this…. Picture your child as a 30-year-old. When you describe their life, what words would you use? Do you want them to be happy and fulfilled? Hardworking and persistent? Make a short list for yourself.

The characteristics of secure attachment are one of the most researched aspects of attachment. It has been studied for well over 50 years by many different professionals researching cultures from many different countries. Overall, the list says children who have a secure attachment will benefit from the following ways:

  • They will feel more happiness and less anger at their parents
  • They can solve problems on their own and ask for help when they are in trouble
  • They have lasting friendships and get along better with their friends
  • They have better sibling relationships
  • They feel better about themselves and what they can contribute
  • They are more protected against feeling hopeless or helpless about life
  • They trust the people they love and know how to be kind
  • They believe that good things will happen

Now compare your list to the secure characteristics list. Usually there are some close similarities. If it is important to you to offer your child a chance at secure characteristics, good news! Circle of Security has pulled together all the research to help you and your child get there.

Our moment-to-moment parenting decisions are meant to lead up to our parenting end-goals. That is, we want our children to learn along the way so they can grow to be a well-adjusted person who can succeed in the adult world.

For example, perhaps one of your end goals is for your child to graduate from high school but you have a child who struggles with the ability to focus. You will have many opportunities to work on patience and persistence as you both move towards the graduation goal. They will watch your patience during frustrating moments and it will build patience in them. They will watch as you demonstrate how to break assignments down into workable parts, how to ask for help when it’s needed and how to work through to the very end. Watching you, they will build persistence even when life can get overwhelming.

Your voice with them will become their own inner voice. Their ability to adjust, get creative, be resilient – it all comes from their relationship with you.

So, parents, take a step back now and then. Dream of the life you hope your child will have. Consider your daily life, routine and conversations. Are you supporting them in the world the same way you hope they will eventually support themselves? Security is such a gift and we give it to them through our words, our interactions and our healthy relationship.