Remember, attachment forms over time. Missing one opportunity will not prevent you and your child from becoming securely attached, but a pattern of missed opportunities might.
Ask yourself: What can I do to help my child know how much I care for her and love her, and how important she is to me?
This is a lot easier than you might think. Think about the times when you are with your child but not interacting with her. A gentle touch, a kind word, a listening ear, a helping hand – children need these! Keep in mind that babies may not understand words, but they do understand the way words are said.
Ask yourself: What can I do to keep from feeling overwhelmed?
Life is busy, and it is sometimes difficult to choose attachment-building responses to children. When you are feeling irritated or hurried, remember: It is okay to take a time-out yourself sometimes. Call a friend or relative who may be able to watch your child while you take a walk, have a bubble bath or some other activity to relax and recharge. If stress causes you to miss an opportunity to connect with your child, don’t beat yourself up! Make a mental note and promise to not miss the same one next time.
Your goal is to provide your child with a stable environment in which he feels loved, cared for, safe and valued.
Think LOVE to develop a caring, attached relationship with your child.
Let your child know you love him with hugs, kisses, holding, touching and smiles as often as you can!
Offer her security and support by being there for her when she is learning new things, when she is sad or upset, as well as happy.
Vocalize your feelings to your child. Tell him daily how much you love him and care about him, and how important he is to you.
Even when you are angry and upset, use patience, and let her know that you don’t like the behavior, but you LOVE her!
Tips for Developing Attachment with Toddlers
Friends, Family and Home
- Ask adults to allow her time if she acts shy before hugs and holding.
- Encourage siblings to include him in play.
- Involve her in a small playgroup or with another child occasionally.
- Toddler-proof your home carefully.
- Tell your child if you are leaving
Activities and Television
- Limit TV and sit with him to watch.
- Read, read, read with her in your lap or close.
- Take him to playground, on outings.
- Let her try new things.
Learning, Childcare and School
- Choose childcare that is nurturing and loving and uses positive guidance instead of punishment.
- Give him words for things he sees and is doing.
- Give her many new experiences and chances to practice walking and running, using her hands and fingers.
Guidance and Discipline
- Allow him to do things himself, such as opening doors.
- Limit the use of “no.”
- Give her more than one choice when you want her to do something. Make bedtime, bath and putting on clothes a game.
- Have a sense of humor.