Creating a secure attachment is the most important job a parent has

When you consider in the last blog Jason’s sad situation and the issues it bred in him, you might think that his mother would be able to compensate for it. But, that was not the case, showing how vital the father is for the boy in terms of attachment and ultimate happiness. Yet, his mother had a positive formative influence on him in other ways, because Jason is a warm, kind person lacking any controlling impulse, although as an adult he finds it impossible to form an intimate relationship or make a date, currently the major issue in his counselling. It is unlikely that he would have this kindness, if his mother had been a remote figure. note what he says-

“My mother and I have always been close. I can remember in my childhood being very attached to her and often crying my eyes out if she had to go somewhere or was tending to my younger brother and not me. I always felt, unlike my father, that I could talk to her. There was never anything awkward or forced about our relationship and we could talk easily and randomly. She always encouraged me and showed she cared. Unfortunately, I became too reliant on my mother. She was so good to me and she would do anything for me. Even the smallest things I would get her to do for me and I never stood on my own two feet. She was too soft on me and let me away with too much.”

So, the most important aspect of parenting is to create a secure environment in the home for the child to emotionally thrive. This must be consistent and ongoing, at least until the time of puberty, when the brain begins to undergo significant change and development, and the process of separation accelerates. If the mother is unable to do this, then the father can do it, or anyone else who has frequent contact with the child. All we need is for someone to show us love on a consistent basis. Secure attachment means that there is a close warm bond or connection between the child and one or both parents, who are attuned to the child’s feelings and needs. It is better if the child has a secure attachment to both parents. A child with a secure attachment will grow into an adult with strong self-esteem and a strong sense of independence, a willingness to explore the environment, and will never have to carry emotional or psychological distresses. People with secure attachment are comfortable in their skin, have good judgement, are loving and are capable of forming loving relationships, intimate or otherwise. Biologically it means the creation of the balanced development of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Creating this secure attachment is the most important task a parent has, and until recently it was advocated that it must begin immediately after birth. We now know differently.
Extract from Understanding and Healing the Hurts of Childhood. Publication 2018
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