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Secure Attachment

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By creating a secure attachment bond with your child, you’ll build an empowering bond of safety and security and give your child the best start in life.

Secure attachment affects the way your child develops mentally, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. In fact, it is the main predictor of how well your child will do in school and in life.

While attachment occurs naturally as you, the parent or caretaker, care for your baby’s needs, the quality of the attachment bond varies. It is created by the quality of nonverbal communication between an infant and you, his or her primary caretaker. While it’s easiest to form this secure attachment bond with your child in the first few years of life, it can also be formed later in life.

 
 

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Secure attachment and parenting

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What is secure attachment?

Secure attachment is the deep, lasting emotional connection between a child and his or her parent or primary caretaker. This all-important emotional bond promotes optimal brain development and sets the stage for the ability to express emotions and develop fulfilling relationships.

It is not founded on quality of care or parental love, but on the nonverbal emotional communication between child and caretaker. A secure attachment ensures that your child will feel secure and understood, and it impacts your child’s future mental, physical, social, and emotional health. A secure attachment provides your child with the best foundation for life: a feeling of safety that results in eagerness to learn, healthy self-awareness, trust, and empathy.

 
 

Featured articles

What is Secure Attachment and Bonding? By understanding the different ways of bonding and communicating with your child, you can draw the two of you together and give your child the best start in life. MORE »

How to Build a Secure Attachment Bond with Your Baby: These parenting tips can help you create a strong attachment relationship with your infant and impact how he or she will interact, communicate, and form relationships throughout life. MORE »

Attachment Issues and Reactive Attachment Disorder: A child with attachment issues lacks the skills for building meaningful relationships.  But with these tools, it is possible repair attachment challenges and help your child thrive. MORE »

 
 

Related topics

Stress

Since secure attachment can only occur when you are calm and focused, high levels of stress related to your work, support network, or personal life can get in the way of your ability to bond with your baby.

You may not realize how much stress is affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll on your mind, body, and behavior. But you can protect yourself by learning how to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress overload and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects. MORE »

Relationships

Parents who themselves did not experience secure attachment when they were infants may have trouble emotionally connecting with their babies or in developing supportive, fulfilling relationships at home or at work. While all successful relationships require an investment in time and energy, there are also social and interpersonal skills that you can learn.

Even if you’ve had difficulties in the past, there are steps you can take to repair and rebuild meaningful connections. MORE »