I tried to teach my child with books.
He gave me only puzzled looks.
I used clear words to discipline,
But I never seemed to win.
Despairingly, I turned aside.
“How shall I reach this child?” I cried.
Into my hand he put the key:
“Come,” he said, “Play with me.”
Author Unknown, adapted by Aletha Solter
Are you a parent looking to strengthen your relationship with your young child? If you are not getting along well with your child, the relationship with your child has been strained or you simply wish to enhance your a good bond, attachment based parenting tips can be helpful for you.
Attachment is the bond that children develop with their primary caregivers in the first few years of life. This will become your child’s first introduction to love, security and intimacy. A secure bond between parent and child is critical because it will assist your child in developing a healthy sense of self and emotional regulation when under stress. This attachment is said to heavily influence the type of attachment children will go on to have as adults; it can influence how they relate to others and how they view themselves.
Attachment parenting is an approach to childrearing that promotes a secure attachment bond between a parent and a child. According to Attachment Parenting International, how parents develop a secure attachment with their child lies in the parent’s ability to fulfill that child’s need for trust, empathy, and affection by providing consistent, loving, and responsive care. By demonstrating healthy and positive relationship skills, the parent provides critical emotional scaffolding for the child to learn essential self-regulatory skills.
If you have found your style to be that of attachment parenting, you will find the following tips helpful in strengthening your relationship with your child:
(1) Let your child explore- allow your child to explore the world around them. Let them ask questions and do your best to answer them all with patience.
(2) Allow your child to participate in decision making- ask your child what they want to wear and actually let them wear the outfit the pick. When you respect your child’s decision he/she will feel respect in return.
(3) Express love and emotion- daily and as much as you can! Always tell your child how you feel about them, even if you believe they have done something wrong. When everything is left said, as opposed to unsaid, relationship bonds are enhanced as trust and intimacy are built.
(4) Play! Have fun with your child. Play is one of the best ways to bond with your child. This can be a time to be silly with your child but there are also teachable moments in play.
(5) Eat your meals together- this is great bonding time with your child. Discuss your days and take time to connect.
(6) Find a fun class or activity to participate in together- this can allow you to have fun and strengthen your relationship at the same time. Allow your child to participate in choosing a class or outing they will enjoy.
(7) Mirror your child- this is a proven method to strengthen attachment. Mirror your child’s body movements, facial expressions or words. This will help your child to feel heard and validated.
(8) A ‘day at the spa’- spend time playing dress up, painting nails and doing each other’s hair.
(9) Read books and sing songs together, including an emphasis on games that enhance physical closeness such as Little Piggy or Thunder and Rainstorms on their back.
(10) Tactile and sensory activities can help strengthen bonds- for example playing with rice, shaving cream or finger paint.
(11) Provide a calm, structured and predictable environment
For more information on attachment parenting,
visit Attachment Parenting International HERE