In this episode, Clare meets with Richard Bell to discuss attachment, what is meant by insecure attachment styles, and how our behaviours can impact on our children's attachment.
Richard is the Founder and Director of NeuroEducation and specialises in supporting schools and professionals working with children and young people with additional needs as well as a social and emotional health difficulties. Richard delivers a wide range of training courses to schools and professionals, and also lecturers at a number of universities.
Richard mentions a recommended reading page on his website. He also recommends a book, A Short Introduction to Attachment and Attachment Disorder by Colby Pearce.
Richard's top tips are:
1: When your child is upset, angry or scared, allow them to express and recognise their emotions by talking to them about how they are feeling. This is called co-regulation, and allows them to build up their abilities to self-regulate once they are more familiar with their emotions and how to overcome them. Do not suppress your child's emotions, as this can cause insecure attachment.
2: Your child doesn't know how to regulate themselves. This needs to be taught and therefore it is best to offer strategies for them to understand there are options available to them when feeling upset or stressed. These strategies should be modelled to ensure they are effectively embedded within the family/home environment.
3: If you are personally struggling, understand how your own emotions and stressors could be impacting on your child. Children are like sponges and will absorb information about their surroundings and can therefore easily identify stressful situations or where their caregivers are not able to respond effectively to their own emotions. They are observant and will see how you respond to your own emotions, learn from this and then can replicate this.
4: Be present - amongst a world of technology and social media, it is easy for families to become distant from one another and communication can breakdown. Children's attachment will become more secure through a sense of belonging where their caregivers are involved in their interests and can dedicate full, uninterrupted time with them.
The My Family Coach podcasts covers every aspect of children's behaviour, all in handy 15 minute (ish) bite-sized chunks. Each episode features a new guest chatting about a different aspect of behaviour and leaves you with three handy tips to use at home.