Families should be a safe haven, filled with warmth and anchored in secure attachment, where children can grow and develop into well-adjusted adults. Attachment-focused parenting is an integral part of creating this protective factor.
All parents want the best for their children and to provide them with a loving, nurturing home. And although every family is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach, there are multiple factors of attachment-focused parenting that will fit into any parenting style.
Attachment-focused parenting, sometimes also referred to as "sensitive, responsive parenting," is a parenting style rooted in fostering a strong sense of security in the parent-child relationship through affectionate and receptive behavior that is, above all, consistent. This can be done through touch and physical affection as well as play and emotional availability—that is, paying close attention to your child's moods and feelings and being open to talk about and respond to them appropriately.
When attachment-focused behaviors are missing or inconsistent, it can negatively affect a child's resilience and increase their risk of developing behavioral or developmental problems. They may have trouble developing their independence, be more anxious and fearful, or have difficulty regulating their emotions. Children and youth in foster care or who have been adopted may not have been able to develop this type of attachment with their birth parents.
Foster and adoptive parents may encounter challenges when parenting these children and youth, but it is never too late to develop a trusting, loving, and consistent parent-child relationship. Parenting Your Adopted Preschooler and the related publications for school-age children and teenagers provide insight and advice for developing secure attachment.
3 Resources on Attachment-Focused Parenting
For more information, visit at https://www.childwelfare.gov.
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