It’s amazing how quickly the awareness of Attachment theory, and specifically Attachment parenting, is growing. Try typing in #attachmentparenting and see how many results you get. Attachment parenting is a wonderful way to approach healthy childhood development, but what about parents’ Attachment needs?
It will be more effective to address your own Attachment wounds first. By caring for yourself, you have immeasurably increased your capacity to care for your child – whether you are expecting or you have older children. No age limit applies when it comes to Secure Attachment.
Breaking the Cycle
Anyone who has parents swears from making the same mistakes they made. Let’s face it; even if we had people raising us that deserved “Parent of the Year” awards, it was not perfect all the time. For so many, the people who were supposed to protect and love us the most caused the deepest wounds and lifelong trauma.
The good news is that we can do better, especially with the wealth of resources available today when it comes to parenting, mental health, healing trauma, and Attachment therapy. Our brains are resilient and open to change, even in adulthood.
Expectant Parents Worry
Expecting a child is an exciting time, but it can also feel peppered with anxiety. On the one hand, feeling an early bond with your unborn child feels so natural and intensely intimate; it’s easy to feel confident that love reigns over all. But fears surrounding intergenerational trauma and old Attachment wounds can cast a shadow on your happy time.
Fortunately, those warm feelings while carrying a baby are a great place to start since Secure Attachment begins before birth. Feelings of bonding and love will serve you and your child in developing healthy Attachment, which is a great foundation for the rest of their lives.
You Will Not Be the First Perfect Parent in History
Even if you want it more than anything, you will not be the first perfect parent in history. Perfection is never possible, nor is it necessary. According to Diane Poole Heller, PhD during her live and online trainings, you only need 30 percent attunement with repair for Secure Attachment to develop.
That leaves a lot of room for inevitable mistakes.
The critical key here is repair.
Any parent knows that children are very forgiving by nature, but owning up to mistakes and learning from them also teaches valuable life lessons.
Take responsibility for your actions
Admit when you do something wrong
We are all works in progress
We can grow
Seeking help to heal your own Attachment wounds will give you valuable resources to do better. In many cases, a parent did the best they could with their emotional knowledge and resources, but now help and information are abundant. All you have to do is reach for the tools you need to heal.
If you are expecting a child, enjoy this magical time. You, too, are a work in progress with the best of intentions.
Learn More about Healthy Attachment
You might not know how many resources are out there. If you are new to Attachment theory and want a great starting resource, Dr. Heller recently released an audiobook through Sounds True that provides so many practical exercises that you can learn on your own. It’s called Healing Your Attachment Wounds:
How to Create Deep and Lasting Intimate Relationships. It is also full of useful ideas for those who are familiar with Attachment therapy and the perfect resource to keep on hand if you are a therapist.
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