From the first years of life, they begin to learn socio-emotional skills that facilitate mental health, global well-being and coexistence. However, to acquire them, children need a safe space where bonds with their reference figures be stable, genuine and reciprocal. The attachment bond is built when the reference figure offers love, attention and care, and regulates the physiological and emotional imbalances of the minor during the initial stage of her development. At birth, attachment has to do with the need for food, communication, affection or hygiene and, as the child grows, social, affective and care needs are added. emotion regulation and behaviors.
There are two types of attachment according to different psychological studies: secure and insecure. Insecure attachment occurs when parents repeatedly they respond without warmthsafety or sensitivity to the needs of the child. An insecure attachment affects the socio-emotional skills of children and can create childhood trauma or attachment disorders that manifest at adulthood.
However, secure attachment consists of responding in a coherent and timely manner to what the child demands, regulating their stress and providing security and confidence in themselves. Establishing a secure attachment with children contributes to the development of their social skills and emotional intelligence.
In order to offer different advice so that parents can establish a secure attachment with their children and positively influence their self-esteem, independence and resilience, the experts at Recurra Ginso have launched the campaign «A healthy mind begins in childhood». They consider that it is important to know that the attachment bond is constantly evolving and must be modified as children grow and evolve. For example, the first interactions with a baby will be very different from those with a teenager, since the priorities of minors change.
«The first interactions of a father with his son are basic for his psychobiological development and will determine how the child will face the situations of life. If these interactions build an inappropriate bond they can cause trauma that can carry over into adulthood and repeat itself as a pattern in your other relationships. For this reason, parents must dedicate themselves to building a strong emotional bond with their children to prevent them from transferring traumas to their adulthood, “explains Olaya Rodríguez, a health psychologist at this therapeutic center.
General guidelines to exercise a secure attachment on children
Make the child feel seen
It is essential that the child feels important in the family, for this he must know his place within it, considering the hierarchy, and feel heard and valued in the family decisions that involve him.
Take care of the language with which you communicate
Language is a very important tool that can determine the child’s perception of himself. For this reason, it is essential that parents communicate both the exploits of their children and their bad acts in an objective way, without judging or repeating negative comments on numerous occasions, since these comments will build the personality of the minor.
The child must feel his family as a shelter, a safe place where he receives love and warmth. To do this, parents can set limits if the minor needs it and show their support even if the child does things wrong.
Promote the development of emotional skills
It consists of validating and assessing the minor’s emotions, helping them manage their feelings and explaining their possible meaning. Children also learn by observing how their own parents deal with emotions and problems, so it is important to pay attention to the emotional management of adults.
Despite the fact that attachment directly influences the creation of the personality, the experts at Recurra Ginso insist that it is not decisive. The attachment bond can be repaired with a combination of sensitivity and knowledge of the parents, and with psychotherapeutic help that guides and advises each case. In this sense, it is necessary that the relationship disorder be identified as soon as possible so that work can be done to repair any possible childhood trauma before it develops and affects the young person’s social relationships.
In those cases where the minor has been transferred to an internment center, repairing the bond is a fundamental task for educators, who together with the parents must work to repair the bond of affection and solve the problem. “It is very important that the centers establish a figure that is respected and be sound and judgmental about young people. On many occasions, when minors arrive at the centers have difficulties to see educators as a support figure, since they do not understand that the same person who corrects their behavior or imposes a sanction, is the same person who helps them in a moment of discomfort. For this reason, it is essential that educators try to apply the correct proportions of firmness and affection to build that reliable and reference figure, “explains Antonio Jiménez, deputy director of the therapeutic center.
When the families get involved in therapies with minors who have an insecure attachment, the success rate increases and the possibility of transforming the bond grows. To do this, experts recommend that families put guilt and shame aside and prioritize communication with minors in order to help their personal evolution.