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Limiting My Child’s Exploration

an adult and a child walking together holding hands


was raised by a single mom. I never really knew my dad. When I was little, my mom didn’t want me to be overly needy of anyone, so she was always pushing me out into the world in search of grand adventures. Don’t get me wrong, it was good to have so many opportunities growing up. But always, deep inside, I longed for more closeness with my mom.

I’m a mom now of a toddler, and just learning about the Circle of Security. I have always been aware of how much I wished for closeness and connection with my mom, and can see how that impacts my own parenting, always making sure I offer lots of hugs and kisses and cuddles to my little girl. I’ve figured out that I’m tilting too much toward the bottom of the Circle and it’s coming at a cost to my daughter’s exploring and need for autonomy. In Circle of Security Parenting, it’s called Limited Top of the Circle.

Just the other day, my daughter was sitting in my lap and pointing to something across the room. I was giving her a big cuddle and pulling her tight. She pushed and pointed and wiggled to get out of my arms, and I realized the moment. I was putting my need for closeness with her over her need to go out and explore. It’s painful for me to think that my desire for closeness has limited her need to explore, but now that I am aware of it, I can do something about it now and into the future. And that’s a good thing.

I invite you to share with me your comments, reflections, Circle stories and experiences with Circle of Security Parenting. Your submissions may be used in future blog posts, with all identifying information excluded, unless you specifically request to be identified. Contact me at brooke[at]circleofsecurityinternational[dot]com.