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Attachment Issues: How Identifying Your Attachment Style Can Make You A Better Parent For Your Adopted Child

Attachment issues with your adopted child

Your parenting style goes a long way towards influencing how your adopted child feels - secure, stable, trusting, or anxious and uncertain. Of course we love our adopted children, but the way you relate to them and express your emotions impacts their development profoundly. Broadly, attachment style can be understood as the way we as individuals relate to the important people in our lives, from parents to friends and, yes, our children.

Examining your attachment style is vital in the early stages of adoption. The way you relate to your adopted kids at this point will go on to determine how the relationship unfolds.

Influenced By History

It’s important to acknowledge that our attachment style has been influenced by our own history. The safety and security that we felt in our own homes growing up often determines the way we express ourselves and the importance we place on these values once we start our own families. For example, were you a latch-key kid, left to fend for yourself, or were you coming back to a home-cooked meal every evening?

“We normalize the experiences we had as a child, and tend to replicate them as we grow older - but recognizing the cyclical nature of attachment doesn’t mean we’re powerless to change it,” says Zooey Ward, a writer at Assignment Help and Reveiweal. “We can become self aware of how our past is influencing the feelings we bring to interactions with our adopted children, and we have the power to intervene if our attachment style has unhealthy ramifications for the parent-child relationship.”

A Matter Of Style

Now you understand what attachment styles are and how they’re formed, we can take a look at the main categories of attachment style. Identify where you sit on this spectrum and you’ll be able to build a safe and loving environment for your adopted kid.

• Autonomous/Secure
• Entangled/Preoccupied
• Dismissive
• Unresolved/Disorganized

For some of us, we can reflect on how our relationship with our parents inspired us to feel confident and free in our own identities, but backed up by our parents with safety and love. An autonomous/secure attachment style is characterized by physical affection - hugs and touches, praise, encouragement and commitment. Building an autonomous-secure attachment style will give your adopted kids a great launching pad for their lives in the world

The intermittent presence of a parent can be a signifier of an entangled or preoccupied attachment style, one where we are there for our adopted kids some days, but without the consistency that builds true security. For children, inconsistency can be exceptionally damaging and whilst parents try to make up for the times they weren’t there through occasional lavish displays of praise or affection, these peaks only contribute to the impact of the troughs of distraction.

Children need more than food on the table and a roof over their heads - they also need the emotional building blocks of a stable, loving parent. Adults with a dismissive attachment style may pride themselves on meeting the fundamental, physical needs of their child, but miss the importance of emotional support and connection. As a parent, you can identify how you’re prioritizing physical needs over emotional ones to identify this attachment style and take steps to support your adopted children on a psychological level as well.

This attachment style stems from chaos at home, and often an adult effecting this behaviour will have a background of trauma and abuse that hasn’t yet been dealt with. Characterized by a feeling of fear and a lack of safety, the closer a child pushes to an adult with unresolved attachment style, the worse they feel. “The screening process for adoption is built to identify adults suffering from unresolved attachment issues and they are often prevented from adopting at all as a result,” says Charles Smith, an educator at Best Essay Services and Bestbritishessays.” But remember, your attachment style isn’t fixed, and by identifying the triggers and reaching out through professional help you can develop your style into an emotionally healthy one.

Wrapping Up

Generational cycles of behavior are repeated over the years, but as someone interested in adoption you’re already breaking out of the norms of genetic family behavior. Adoption is a powerful process and as well as providing stable and loving support to a child you can use it as an opportunity to grow as an individual and, eventually, a parent.