Attachment-based Parenting

Attachment Theory at a Glance

Attachment theory in developmental psychology tells us that the most important thing a parent can provide for a child is secure attachment:

“secure attachment is overwhelmingly believed to be the ideal attachment by psychologists worldwide. Babies who are securely attached are observed to cry less, cooperate more and enjoy their mother’s company more. They also grow up to be happier and healthier. Ainsworth (1978) noticed that mothers of securely attached children were highly sensitive and responsive to their children’s needs. She posited that when a mother was a secure-attachment figure, she became a safe haven for the child to explore from. The child would feel safe and confident to extend to the world knowing he/she could always retreat to the mother for safety.

Therefore, if you talk to a psychologist or a psychiatrist about attachment parenting, they would most likely agree that this is the best type of attachment. What they are referring to is the parenting style that can result in secure attachment. In order to achieve this, the caregiver should be sensitive and responsive to the child’s needs. That’s it!”  (Read more.)

More Resources:

Dr. Bertie Wai’s article in SCMP on attachment

The following are videos on attachment:

Ignoring Crying Babies Can Lead to Serious Problems

How Attachment Nurtures Your Child’s Early Brain Development (Chaya Kulkarni, Director of Infant Mental Health Promotion at the Hospital for Sick Children, tells us why it’s so important to nurture your child’s early brain development, and how to do it.)

How Attachment Affects Your Child’s Brain (Child and family therapist Jennifer Kolari explains how positive parenting stimulates the production of oxytocin in a child’s brain and how that benefits the child and the parents.)

How to Develop Good Attachment with Your Child (Gordon Neufeld, PhD Psychologist and Author, shares advice for parents on how to develop a good attachment with his or her child including various steps depending on the age of the child.)

Attachment and Brain Development (Dr. Gabor Maté discusses the importance of attachment and brain development. The topics he covers include ADD, implicit memory and counter-will.)