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Helping Yourself & Others

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Helping Yourself & Others

Attachment is important early and throughout a child’s growing years. It sets the stage for healthy relationships throughout our lives.

Attachment can be developed and improved any time. Even if difficult life circumstances and challenges have interfered with attachment, it’s never too late to provide what babies and young children need to feel loved. Whether you are a new parent, a parent who has been reunited with your child, a parent in transition after divorce or other life circumstances, an adoptive or foster parent, a grandparent, or anyone else with the responsibility of raising a child, there are tools, resources, and a network of support—especially other parents—that can help make the task feel less daunting and more fulfilling for everyone.

Parenting resources

Having an open attitude and being willing to try new ways of parenting are important first steps to improving a child’s quality of attachment.

Resources to help adults better meet children’s physical and emotional needs:

  • Attend couple counseling to help build healthy communication patterns, especially in times of stress (such as job loss, separation, or divorce)
  • Attend individual counseling to help understand how childhood experiences might influence current parenting approaches
  • Seek out books, magazines, and online resources at your local library
  • Take parenting classes
  • Talk to your child’s pediatrician or a nurse about parenting resources in your area
  • Participate in a local parents’ group

Community organizations
Many communities have organizations that support parents and help them connect with each other. Many of these groups and classes are free or low cost. Often lifelong family friendships are formed in these groups. You can look for parenting resources at your local community college or library. Community colleges often provide parenting classes or know of community parenting groups.

Parenting skills

Attachment begins at birth and continues throughout childhood. It’s important to continue to develop our relationship with our children as they grow through different stages to build on the foundation we laid in their early years.

Parenting skills checklist
The following checklist offers parents or caregivers the opportunity to explore their own areas of strength or struggle related to parenting their children as their children grow older. The list focuses on those skills and actions that empower children with a sense of security, confidence, and the ability to form strong relationships.

  • I accept my child’s feelings
  • I am available when my child needs me
  • I hug and show affection to my child daily
  • I balance consistency and flexibility in my parenting
  • I listen to my child
  • I support and praise my child’s efforts

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