I often hear parents like you tell me they feel so much guilt and fear on this parenting journey.
Guilt that they aren’t spending enough time with their kids, or giving them enough opportunities.
Fear that they are saying or doing the wrong things.
And, you know what? I feel those things, too!
Which is why I was so relieved when I heard Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson share the results of the latest brain science and attachment research, which is this:
The best predictor for how well kids turn out is whether or not they have had a secure attachment with at least one person.
That’s it! A secure attachment.
Not the number or caliber of activities they were involved in. Not the socio-economic status of the family. Not the school they went to. Not the number of hours their parents spent with them.
Siegel and Bryson went on to share how we create a secure attachment for them:
Show up and be emotionally present and responsive.
Okay, you might be asking. What does it mean to show up? They even have the answer to that.
The latest findings from the last 50 years of research shows us that, in order for our kids to create a secure attachment, they need to experience the four S’s, consistently and predictably (not perfectly!), with at least one caregiver.
* To be SEEN for who they are as a person, and what their internal world looks like. Do they feel like you are interested in knowing them and that you understand them?
* To be SAFE both physically and emotionally. Are you providing an environment where they can safely express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions without being judged, blamed, or dismissed?
* To be SOOTHED when they are distressed. Can they turn to you for comfort when they are dysregulated, or overwhelmed by their feelings?
When those three things are present and predictable, the fourth S, SECURE, is accomplished.
When they feel SEEN, SAFE, and SOOTHED, they develop a SECURE attachment.
So, now, we can all breathe a sigh of relief, and let go of the idea of being a perfect parent. It doesn’t exist, so we don’t need to strive for it.
We simply need to SHOW UP and be present.
I can do that!
And I know you can, too.
Cheers to that!!!