Together, nurturing and attachment form one of the Six Protective Factors that can reduce the risk that a child will experience abuse or neglect in a home, as well as promote a strong family. All children need to be nurtured and create a bond with a parent or caring adult. Nurturing and attachment are demonstrated when parents:
- teach and model compassion,
- show empathy for their children,
- display positive self-worth,
- discipline their children with dignity,
- display healthy ways to express and handle their own feelings, and
- build feelings of empowerment in all family members.
There are several signs that nurturing and attachment are taking place in the home. When children have a secure attachment with their parents, the children see their parents as supportive and feel free to explore the world around them. Parents display small acts of kindness toward their children, such as a hug, smile, or stating loving words. Children in environments with strong nurturing and attachment will each have their own fears, dreams, and personalities.
Strong families show how much they love each other. Some ways that parents can enhance nurturing and attachment within their families are to engage in family time (such as family game night, eating dinner as a family), make time to listen to their children, be involved in their children’s school and activities, and advocate for their children when necessary. One way to ensure that regular family time is occurring is to develop two lists of activities: one list for activities that can be done as a family, the second for activities that can be done with each child individually.
Here are a few questions for parents to ask themselves that can help promote being mindful of nurturing and attachment within the family:
- How do you comfort your children?
- What type of discipline do you use?
- What makes each of your children feel loved?
- How are your children different from you and from each other?
- What do you have in common with your children?
- How can you make your home more peaceful?
Any parent looking for more help, support, and guidance, can turn to CEDARS. We can help you navigate the joys and struggles of parenting. CEDARS offers trusted support and resources to families. We want your family to be safe, strong, and successful.
If you have more questions or would like further parenting support, give us a call at 402-436-5437.