Six ways to improve the relationship with your entrusted ones – first part
As announced in the last article, here we go for the different ways of attachment.
Working on it I realized again how ample the content of this topic is, so I decided to divide them into two parts. Today, we will look at the first three ways.
It is important to realize that not every child has the same need when it comes to ways of attachment.
Studying these different ways of attachment, I recognized that there’s always one attachment which stands out applying to an individual person, be it myself, my husband, my children or even my siblings. I have discovered a pattern in my life – caused by my unmet need for attachment during my childhood – which has influenced my adult life for a long time. You’ll learn more about that in the next article
It is important to understand this has nothing to do with finding ways to manipulate our children into a dependency to us in order that they may always stays close to us.
It has nothing to do with what WE need, but with what the child needs.
A child needs a place to be attached, a place to belong, a place to get orientation from.
If we do not provide that (by lack of knowledge or wrong priorities of ours) the child will turn to the world – we all know that there are precious people out there who will help our child to get what we lacked to provide – but we all know as well that there are plenty of tendencies in this world I would never want to lose my child to.
That’s why I think this topic is so crucial and important.
So these are three of the six ways of attachment. The other three will follow next week:
“Physical proximity can be reached through smell, sight, sound or touch.
When closeness is threatened or disrupted, the person will express alarm or bitter protest, trying to maintain contact with that person at all costs.”
We probably all think of a baby when we read that.
And this is right; it is the most basic way of attachment.
However, this is true for all ages.
The less mature (in his emotional world) the person is, the more the person will rely on this basic mode of attaching.
We all know teenagers “hanging out” together. Mostly they don’t do anything, neither talk deep stuff. It is mostly a “staying in touch, being together”. If this way of attachment is most important to our child and we fail to meet it, he will look for it among their pals. The talking among them will be gibberish and nonsense, because it’s not about communication. It is an attachment ritual for the simple purpose of having someone to talk to.
Did you ever observe a toddler that tries to imitate the adult he feels closest to? The way he tries to imitate the expression, the way to walk, sing or even putting make up on?
On Youtube there are plenty of hilarious and cute little movies about parents who filmed their toddler imitating them. “This form of attachment figures prominently in learning languages and in the transmission of culture.
Another way of attaching through sameness is identification. To identify with someone or something is to be one with that person or thing. One’s sense or self merges with the object of identification. “This may be a parent… but it may as well be a Hollywood celebrity or a rock star, a sports team, a gang, etc…
“The more dependant a child or person is, the more intense these identifications are likely to be. In our society, peers – or the pop icons of the peer world – have become the focus of identification in place of parents or of the outstanding figures of history and culture..”
… Like here, a toddler imitating the pregnant mama…
Or here, the toddler talking on the phone.
Belonging and Loyalty
“To be close to someone is to consider that person as one’s own. The attaching toddler will lay claim to whomever or whatever he is attached to – be it mommy or daddy or teddy bear or baby sister.”
However, in case the toddler does not mature emotionally by getting older, he will become that possessive adult that considers the person he’s attached to as his own propriety.
“On the heels of belonging comes loyalty – being faithful and obedient to one’s chosen attachment figures.” Here again. If a child is able to be attached to us as parents, or to other healthy adult authority figures, the child will mature in that need and be able to make good choices when he gets older. If he does not – this loyalty can bring him into difficulty, depending on the person he is attached to and faithful and obedient to.
Missing out on this healthy belonging and loyalty is the reason why not only children and teenagers in a group dynamic, but also mature adults with a free will are time and again falling into these patterns of following a person, a cult, a movement without thinking, doing things they would never do if they were following their hearts, morals and intelligence.
These are the first three ways of attaching, each of them provides us with a clue to the behaviour of our children – and often, to our own behaviour as well. The next week we’ll go for the other ways… For me, the more I understand this topic, the more I see it all around me, and I can reach out to my children and to the people I am close to.
I hope and pray that you will be able to experience the same.
The content from this article written in italic, is from the book “Hold on to your kids”, written by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate, Chapter two, sub chapter “six ways of attaching”.
The purpose of the author of this Article (Jeanne from familythatmatters) is to give you a glimpse into what I believe is crucial for a family that matters: The capacity of bonding and attachment inside a family. In my opinion Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate have done an amazing job by writing this book, and I strongly suggest anyone being interested in the topic to read it by yourself.