Leadership, EQ and Enhanced C-IQ Coach

Parenting to Raise Champions

Dr. Dan Siegel in his book “Mindsight” mentions that thirty years of research has established that our childhood relationships with our parents / caregivers shape how our minds develop, how the un-integrated fragments of implicit memory cause reactive behaviour and also, the ability to integrate the implicit memory into a coherent narrative of our lives.

Research has identified 4 different patterns of parental attachment. One being secure attachment and other 3 being insecure attachments.

Secure attachment is when a parent always (or always whenever present) responds to child’s signals in a reliable and a sensitive manner. These children were found to meet their intellectual potential, had good relationships with others, were respected by their peers and could regulate their emotions well. It was, also, observed that secure attachment resulted in children developing good bodily regulation, attunement to others, emotional balance, response flexibility fear modulation, empathy and insight and moral awareness. Wow!

Avoidant attachment when parent did not respond to child’s signals in a reliable and sensitive manner, even ignoring the signals and seeming to be indifferent to child’s emotional distress. These children tended to be restricted emotionally and were described as aloof, controlling and unreliable. They are task oriented and not people oriented. Other people’s emotion confused them and was dealt analytically. To them emotions were a nuisance; they were poor at influencing others.

Ambivalent attachment is when parental response to child’s emotional distress is inconsistent; sometimes might be attuned, sensitive and responsive and other times not. Child is unsure whether seeking contact with its parents would soothe their emotional distress. Such children revealed a great deal of anxiety and insecurity. They were impaired in their ability to relate to others and regulate their emotions.

Disorganised attachment arises when a parent has serious mental disorders or is drug/alcohol addict. This we shall not discuss in detail here.

There is hope for children suffering insecure attachment to earn secure with the help of another person for making sense of their parent’s behaviour and integrating insidious fragments into a coherent narrative of our lives.

The best way to respond to a child’s emotional distress is to ask “You seem to be angry (or sad or afraid). Would you like to talk about it?” Then listen to the child with curiosity and compassion, without being judgmental. Acknowledge the feeling, do not dismiss it. The trigger is always significant for the child to be distressed. Then validate it by saying, “ Yes it is right to feel the way you have felt. What options can you think of to deal with the feeling?” The child’s emotion will diffuse and will think for options. In this way the child learns that it is okay to feel the way it felt but what is important is the way it deals with the feeling.

One Response to Parenting to Raise Champions

  1. Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful post. Many thanks for supplying these details.

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