What Is It?
Attachment is often referred to as the relationship or bond between a child and their main caregiver, which develops during the early years of life. Sometimes this bond does not develop well for a number of different reasons, such as illness or life events. This can affect how individuals then go on to develop future relationships with others. Someone who has attachment difficulties may find it hard to be close to others, like having a hug with a parent. They may also want to control their environment and get quite angry towards others. Some children and young people with attachment difficulties may find it hard to show remorse after being angry towards someone.
What Might Help?
- For parents/carers to further understand the needs of the young person. Remembering that the young person may have difficulties managing emotions and they may feel unsafe. Understanding behaviours can be really helpful.
- Providing a nurturing home environment. This will help the young person to feel safe and secure. Helping a young person to label how they are feeling will help them to develop their own awareness of their emotions.
- Seek Professional help. There are various ways that can help to enhance the attachment bond including family work, individual work, play therapy (which helps a child to learn skills for interacting with others) and groups for parents (including work on responding to the child’s emotional age.
Useful Clips and Stories:
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- More information on attachment difficulties and information for parents
- NICE provide information regarding attachment difficulties in children and young people
- ‘Creating Loving Attachments’ by Kim Golding and Daniel Hughes (2012) is a helpful guide for parents/carers