Parenting Attachment Styles
Break down attachment styles.
Understanding these attachment styles helps you see whether your childhood attachment bonds play a role in healing or hindering your journey.
Optimal attachment is when the parent is fully present and creates a secure environment for the child. The child learns from the parent’s behavior that they have only loving, positive intentions. Even when the parent gets angry or flies off the handle, they can swiftly repair the situation by acknowledging their own behavior while maintaining healthy and supportive boundaries with the child. When a child witnesses a parent repair a situation, the child’s mirror neurons pick up one of the most important messages from the parent: It’s possible to be human and still only intend love!
Avoidant attachment is when a parent is unable to be present in their relationships. This can send a message to the child that their parent has no intention of getting to know them. The caregiver’s inability to see others’ inner feelings and emotions creates a belief system that feelings and emotions don’t exist. Avoidant attachment creates a sense of emptiness in the child that affects the way they develop. They become unable to relate to their inner landscape and emotions, cut off from their own dreams, desires, and intuition. They are only able to focus on the physical aspects of life.
Ambivalent attachment is when a parent has unresolved anxiety and emotions. When a child experiences the parent’s anxiety, they can take on those same emotions. If a parent shows up to address a child’s needs with anxiety, the child then not only still has those needs, but now feels anxious about them. In this case the child becomes confused about whether their needs are valid and deserve to be met.
Disorganized attachment is the most detrimental and occurs in the case of abuse or neglect. A child experiences disorganized attachment when the parent is the source of harm or doesn’t provide safety. The child’s mirror neurons soak up the intention to be harmed by the person who is supposed to protect them. When a child experiences this type of parenting, their reactions become fragmented due to two conflicting responses. The natural biological response leads a child toward the parent for attachment. But when the parent is the source of fear, the brain’s alarm system is always on alert when the parent is around.
Be brave enough to look at the past so that you can become free in the present!