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 Preschoolers
Friends, Family and Home
- Encourage friendships by inviting children to your home and setting up play dates.
- Encourage play that is noncompetitive.
- Call to reassure your child, if he is away from home overnight.
- When possible, allow an upset or frightened child to return home.
Activities and Television
- Be sure you or a supportive adult is there to help her with new learning such as swimming, a new game, etc.
- Read to your child by having him in your lap or next to you.
- Cuddle and give hugs.
Learning, Childcare and School
- Choose childcare that uses positive discipline and emphasizes caring relationships with teachers and children.
- Let teachers know you want them to hug your child.
- Make sure your child’s learning is supported and there is someone available to help her if she becomes frustrated.
Guidance and Discipline
- Show him how to do new things, then let him know you are there and will keep him safe while she tries on her own.
- When you discipline, always end with a hug and reassurance.
- Use a calm voice when you discipline, and use consequences for bad behavior.