Activities & Interventions Based on Your Parenting Style

Welcome to part two!
If you missed part one, be sure to go check it out here.

This post will cover tips for activities and interventions you should focus on as a parent based on your attachment style. Your attachment style as a parent likely has a lot to do with how you were raised. That may make you happy or fearful, but do not like it overwhelm you either way. While it has an impact on your natural attachment style, you can use the suggestions in this post and other resources to counteract that style if you are feeling unsatisfied. It is ultimately up to you to get the kind of bond you want with your child. You can achieve that no matter what your attachment style is if you work at it.

Your attachment style as a parent likely has a lot to do with how you were raised. Click here to read tips for activities and interventions based on your parenting style of attachment! #secondhandcompass #parenting #relationships

Secure:

Parents with secure attachments normally have an unbreakable bond that forms quickly during their children’s early years. Their children express their desire to be with their parents over others because they feel comfortable with them. The child knows their needs will be met by their parents, as it has happened continuously during their lives. When your child gets hurt or scared, do they automatically run for you? If so, you likely have a secure attachment.

Suggested Activities & Interventions:

Secure attachment likely means you and your children have a strong relationship already. You show them love, affection, and support. But your children also need to be confident and secure when you are not available. Focus on providing opportunities for your children to be independent. Get them involved in a group activity where they have to speak up for themselves. Like boy/girl scouts. You can assist them in preparing for these experiences and offering praise afterwards. Part of being a parent is making sure your kids are strong individuals. I have witnessed many relationships between parents and children who are very clearly bonded, but the child (or teenager or even *gasp* adult child) cannot do anything on their own without their parent holding their hand. Provide your child opportunities to grow.

As far as interventions go, just make sure that you do not let your bond stop you from seeing that your child is not always perfect. Due to the strong relationship you have, your child will probably want to show their best self to you. When you are not around though, outside influences may cause them to have some undesirable behaviors. Remember that if a teacher or another adult reports some issue, consider that even though it is not the child you know, it may be true. Sit your child down and have a conversation about it. Be prepared to implement consequences to ensure your child behaves even when you are not around.

Avoidant:

The avoidant attachment style often leads parents to be somewhat emotionally unavailable to their children. The parent struggles to form that deep bond with their child. The avoidant parent loves their child, but they aren’t capable of expressing that love in a consistent way. An example of this would be of the hard-nosed father who never tells their son that they love them because expressing emotion equals weakness. You know the cliché examples. But this attachment style is present with many mothers and fathers. This can occur if the parent was raised in an environment that did not openly express love and support. We only can work with what we know and understand how to present. If this is you, there are plenty of ways to create a better bond with your children.

Suggested Activities & Interventions:

Since it is more difficult for you to naturally form close bonds with your children then your activities should focus on creating the bond intentionally. Pay attention to the things your children are interested in. Take the time to learn about their interests and engage with them. If your child likes music, maybe take piano lessons together. If it’s sports, then go to a game or watch one on television. Have meaningful discussions while doing the activities. Your kids will remember these special times you had. They will feel closer to you because they see you putting forth the extra effort to make them feel special.

When it comes to discipline, it is key for you to be active. It may be easier for you to ignore things your children are doing so you don’t have to get too involved with correcting them. You have to fight the urge to let everything go. Being easy-going about some things is fine. However, when you have an avoidant attachment style that is not what is happening. What is happening is you are letting not just your children off the hook for their behavior, but also yourself. Work on actively correcting your children’s behavior as it happens. Even some of the things that are not a big deal. Children do better with reinforcement, but this means you will need to be engaged and involved. No more parenting from a safer emotional distance.

attachment style

 

Ambivalent:

Parents with an ambivalent attachment style appear to not be too concerned with their children’s behavior. Again, this parent may love their children deeply, but they just do not know the most appropriate way to show that. Sometimes parents are ambivalent because they are insecure about their ability to parent. They don’t want to make the wrong decision so they make no decision. Or they may just be distracted by all the other parts do life that their children’s needs are not their biggest priority. Children seek validation and attention from their parents, but the ambivalent parent struggles to provide this. If you are the parent who questions everything you are doing so you take the ambivalent route, just know you can become more informed to get the confidence to develop a strong parent-child relationship.

Suggested Activities & Interventions:

Be sure to engage in activities that show your child’s strengths. You want your child to feel good about themselves and you want to be able to validate these feelings. Since you may act unconcerned in some instances of their lives, it is beyond important that they know you know they have loads of knowledge and skill in many areas. If your child is a skilled artist, go to a painting class with them. Whatever their skills are, find an activity that showcases them. And then make a BIG deal about their skills. Because you don’t get excited over too much, this will show them how impressed you are and increase your bond.

Consequences. Children need consequences. Stop ignoring the things happening right before you. Start giving verbal corrections so they know you are paying attention and you do care about their behavior. Don’t act unconcerned when they leave dirty clothes around the house. Let them know they need to be responsible. Not caring one way or another about irresponsible behavior is detrimental to your children’s development. Work on setting some rules and being concerned when they are not followed. Small things become big things later.

Disorganized:

The disorganized attachment style of parenting is often defined by erratic responses from the parents. At times, the parent will have an extreme reaction to small things and then be completely non-responsive to any of their children’s behavior. There is no rhyme or reason to the reaction the children get from their parents. What is acceptable one day may not be the following day. I would say often times when this style is present, there are bigger underlying concerns, whether that be past trauma the parents endured or current circumstances impacting the parents ability to act appropriately. If this is you, please be willing to seek outside assistance. It can only benefit you and your children.

Suggested Activities & Interventions:

Children need you to show support and affection even if it is not natural or easy for you. Maybe showing love is not something you were brought up knowing how to do yourself. But because you are now a parent, you have to make an effort to do this for your children. Spend one-on-one time together with your children. Let them pick a movie and snuggle on the couch. Sit down and read together. Or make a point to give your children a hug for no apparent reason a few times a week. Making small, loving gestures on a regular basis will strengthen your relationship more than a few grand gestures. Keep this in mind during your day-to-day interactions.

Consistency is key for interventions when you have a disorganized attachment style with your children. How you react to something one day needs to be the same way you react the next day. You cannot scream and yell about your children not rinsing their dishes one moment then be unconcerned about it the next. That is confusing to anyone, especially children. That leaves children feeling anxious about interacting with you. Being inconsistent leads to instability in children’s behavior. This deeply interferes with your parent-child bond and their emotional development. If you can offer nothing else to strengthen your bond, please at least offer consistency in your interactions with them. Especially when it comes to discipline.

Determining Your Style:

There is no easy way to determine your attachment style as a parent without actively witnessing you with your children or getting significantly more information. To determine your style, you will have to get very honest with yourself. Think back on the interactions you have had with your children the last few days and see if anything from the above stands out in your mind. Also, know you may be a mix of styles. Attachment styles can be fluid as we change and grow as parents.

If you have other suggestions for parents out there to build attachments with their children, please comment and/or share them along with this post!

Your attachment style as a parent likely has a lot to do with how you were raised. Click here to read tips for activities and interventions based on your parenting style of attachment! #secondhandcompass #parenting #relationships

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