The majority of attachment parenting techniques used are actually normal and basic things any parent of any child might find positive. Most of the things adoptive parents focus on are the things other parents don’t even have to pay attention to because it is just a given fact. I am your mom and that is that.
Adoptive parents have an added worry in the back of our minds, “I hope my child has a healthy attachment?” We may appear to be slightly over concerned and over responsive to our children. Other parents, friends, teachers, and grandparents may suggest we are far too concerned about “things.” We often hear, “all children are resilient and besides that the child will eventually forget their lives before you and everything will be fine.” We have to learn to ignore the lack of understanding that others can’t learn unless they walk a mile in our shoes. The most important thing to keep in mind is that “WE” are the parents and it is all up to us.
There is little risk to a child when we parent them for healthy attachment. Maybe it is a good time to talk about what attachment actually means. I am going to outline what I hope my children gain in life from my style of attachment parenting. These are really my own feelings but, I believe strongly these are the goals most parents hold. My primary goal is to raise children who will grow up, become independent, have the skills to develop a strong and healthy relationship with a spouse, and become skilled and loving parents themselves.
To me attachment is NOT a “person,” It is a SKILL we want our children to learn. The way we want a child to learn the skill of attachment is for them to have a strong, healthy, safe, secure and loving attachment with their parents, siblings and eventually peers.
My goal as a mother, and especially as an adoptive mother, is to teach my children how to give and receive love and what it means to be part of a family. That really is all I need to do. A parent and child relationship that isn’t built in a safe, secure and loving family where support and encouragement is the primary focus runs the risk of having some kind of dysfunction. All parents risk dealing with many intense situations and issues as our children grow.
The key is not about teaching our children to be overly attached to us as individuals, but able to attach to those people who are important, safe, secure and loving to them in the future. Attachment is not a person it is a skill and it is a life skill we need to teach our children no matter how we become their parents.
The next Blog entry in this series will look at Attachment Parenting and Responding.