Nurturing and Attachment Protective Factor Conversation Guide

Date: February 2024

Strong early bonds with caregivers build healthy brains. Nurturing and attachment with caring adults in early life is associated with better grades, healthier behaviors, stronger friendships, and an increased ability to cope with stress later in life. 

Nurturing is important at all ages. Parents nurture their children as they grow by making time to listen to them, being involved and interested in their child’s school and other activities, staying aware of their interests and friends, and being willing to advocate for their children and youth when necessary.

Trauma and stress can interfere with parents’ ability to nurture their children. Daily or acute stressors, such as financial stress, family or community violence, past traumas, or caring for a child with special needs, can make taking time to focus on nurturing more challenging for some parents. They may need extra reassurance that showing their children love and affection makes a difference.