Monday, March 26, 2007

Attachment Parenting - Part I

A lot of people talk about attachment parenting and attachment theory without really knowing what it is. Most folks seem to think it is some sort of hippy-dippy stay glued to your kid 24/7/365 and do everything for and with them.

Attachment theory is anything but that. In attachment theory, the role of the parent is something akin to the coach of a sports team. A coach prepares and motivates a team before a game, cheers and supports during a game, and celebrates, consoles and offers constructive criticism after a game. The coach however, cannot play the game for the team.

A parent's role is exactly the same.

A central feature of my concept of parenting [is] the provision by both parents of a secure base from which a child or an adolescent can make sorties into the outside world and to which he can return knowing for sure that he will be welcomed when he gets there, nourished physically and emotionally, comforted if distressed, reassured if frightened. In essence this role is one of being available, ready to respond when called upon to encourage and perhaps assist, but to intervene only when clearly necessary. (Bowlby, 1988, p. 11)

Below is an image that describes the basics of attachment theory very well. - Click for here enlargment (PDF).

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