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What is the Circle of Security Parenting?

Welcome! Are you a parent/caregiver who feels at times lost without a map? Lost at sea without a lifejacket to help you as you wait for the Coast Guard to come rescue you? If you have children and you sometimes say to yourself, “What do you want from me?” then you have come to the right place. “What the heck is Circle of Security Parenting?”

Circle of Security Parenting is a map for us parents developed out of 50+ years of attachment research. Attachment research is the Science of how we love and what gets in the way of expressing our love. This parenting model is different from a lot of parenting books out there because it doesn’t tell you what to do. For example, I read one parenting book that told me that if I swaddle my baby and made shush-ing sounds in her ear, that she would be the happiest baby on the block. I’m not sure if she was, but I sure wanted a happy baby. (In fact, at the time, I wanted a perfect baby.) And now cut to 11 years later, she is a very happy kid. Is it because of that technique? Probably not. Is it because I learned how to build a strong relationship without being Manipulative, Tyrannical, or Withdrawn through Circle of Security work? Yes, absolutely!

Most parenting information, books and methods are technique based. As in, do this, don’t do this. COSP is definitely not a checklist of To Do’s. I wish life were that simple. If we could say – hug your child 3xs a day, say I love you at least once a day, always put your child in bed by 9pm, feed him 3 well balanced meals, daily vitamins and read 20 minutes per day and your child will grow up to have a good job and great relationships. DONE! A direct clear To Do list may be of great comfort to some of you (and give the heebee geebees to the rest of you). I’m sorry, (or great news), COSP does NOT provide any of these types of guidelines.

Instead, what makes Circle of Security Parenting different is that the information is presented in a way that gives us parents a clear map of your child’s needs. But how you use the map is up to each individual. No techniques. No To-Do’s. Said plainly, COSP is not a list of techniques like Sticker charts, Swaddling, or rigid bedtimes. However, it is a map with a mirror, that asks you to reflect on your own self. What are you bringing to the table with your history growing up? Are there traumas there that affect how you parent? Of course, everyone has things that they wish were different about their childhood. Circle of Security Parenting allows us the wisdom to parent with reflection and growth – to move beyond being reactive parents.

Are you interested in learning more about raising a secure child? Are you interested in learning a parenting map that is about tuning in to your relationship with your child? Are you interested in learning how to get quality connection with your children while still being able to handle all of your grown-up responsibilities? If so, please consider learning more in RAISING A SECURE CHILD or attending a Circle of Security Parenting 8-week class near you.

– Kristine Songhurst is a Registered Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator, wife and mother of 2.
   She has been using COSP™ since 2012.