Doctor Deborah MacNamara reveals you can't love your child too much!
Dr. MacNamara is touching on how secure attachment helps children thrive into an independent and self-sufficient being. Many parents might question whether their child can be too attached to them, and whether they aren’t giving them the freedom they require to grow independently.
Dr. MacNamara is answering all those questions and letting parents know how a child’s attachment “doesn’t slow down growth, it fuels it.” Many parents fear that ‘babying’ their child may hinder their abilities to grow into their own being. However, allowing your kid to become their own separate person means having a secure attachment to them.
It is a known fact that children younger than 3 will often cling to their parents. This usually involves having them chase after you, cry when you’re not around, or crave your attention when around others. This behavior is normal, as children of this age are “hungry for attachment because they lack self-sufficiency and are highly dependent on us for caretaking.”
However, according to Motherly, Dr. MacNamara states this behavior should cease around 5 -7 years of age, where children should be able to play more freely on their own, take more responsibility for simple things, and even start small chores such as cleaning up their toys.
Around this age, we are not to separate ourselves too much from our kids, but merely have them understand that we are still there if need be. In this case, if a child knows that he or she can still receive a form of attachment and their needs can still be met, they won’t be trying to constantly pursue their parents.
As Dr. MacNamara puts it, “when you can count on your caretaker, you no longer need to cling to them. Children who are clinging to us when they are no longer preschoolers may be doing so out of insecurity.” In other words, it is through a secure attachment that you and your child share that will ultimately allow them to let go of their parents - “attachment isn’t the enemy of maturity but insecure relationships will be.”
So, now you know that forming a secure relationship with your child won’t smother their abilities to grow, but only allow it to prosper. For all those moms and dads out there, just keep those hugs and kisses going!