LivingHow the type of attachment influences the child's self-esteem

How the type of attachment influences the child's self-esteem

In recent years, the meaning and practicality of the Attachment Theory , initially formulated by the developmental psychologist J. Bowlby and later enriched by other authors, has acquired great importance.

This may be due to the fact that many parents and caregivers are becoming more aware of our role in the upbringing and future development of children, since many adults, we begin to take responsibility for our own mental health and try to know and understand ourselves better .

Various studies have shown that the creation of strong and healthy affective bonds during our childhood favors integral development, high self-esteem and healthy interpersonal relationships.

On the other hand, an insecure attachment can lead to problems both in childhood and in our adult life, seriously affecting self-esteem. What types of attachment exist and how do they influence children’s self-esteem? Let’s get to know them!

Types of attachment

The types of attachment are generated depending on the quality of the relationship that the child has with his main caregiver , who is generally mother, but can be a father, a grandmother, uncles, etc., that is, anyone who takes care of his watch out.

This type of relationship has a direct impact on the way in which self-esteem is built , on how interpersonal relationships are established and even on the child’s behavior, not only during childhood, but also in adult life.

Next we will see the types of attachment that exist and the characteristics that each one of them has:

1. Secure attachment

When the person in charge of caring for the child responds to their emotions in a coherent and synchronized way, a bond based on trust is created .

This provides them with security , in addition to being able to have an adequate expression of what they feel.

“Unlimited confidence in the accessibility and support that attachment figures can provide forms the basis for developing a stable personality secure in its own power.”

-J. bowlby-

How is self-esteem in secure attachment? Securely attached children tend to have healthy self-esteem . They are confident children who like to explore the world with the security of always having the support of their mother or the caregiver in charge.

They are usually outgoing children, who find it easy to make friends. They are not afraid to make mistakes, they try new things, they persist, and if they fail they don’t feel like the end of the world; they simply learn from experience.

2. Insecure attachment

When the attachment is insecure, the child’s self-esteem is negatively affected , since the affective bonds are confused and this generates great insecurity.

Thus, they are children who often have many difficulties in establishing interpersonal relationships. In some cases, they may appear to be living their emotional life alone, without needing the support and love of others.

They may appear self-sufficient and show an almost total absence of expressions of emotions such as fear, sadness or anger.

In other people it is possible that the difficulties to express what they feel result in outbursts of anger or in avoiding establishing relationships with others. There are three types of insecure attachment, which are:

  • Elusive-avoidant insecure attachment :

It occurs when the caregiver interacts with the child with somewhat erratic behaviors . That is, they take care of him, but he can show some rejection, hostility or anguish by taking emotional distance.

An example of this is when the child cries and his caregiver, instead of comforting him, withdraws or does not pay attention to him in order to try to calm the child.

Here comes the phrase that you have surely heard many times: “let him cry to let it pass.” This, far from helping, can create many self-esteem problems for the child.

“The truly self-confident person by no means appears to be as independent as certain cultural stereotypes suggest. An essential ingredient is the ability to fully trust others when the occasion demands it, and to know who can be trusted.”

-J. bowlby-

  • Anxious-ambivalent insecure attachment :

This type of attachment occurs when the caregiver is out of sync with the child’s emotional needs . This implies an absence, not only physical but also emotional, that does not allow the generation of secure emotional ties.

The child does not have the security of having that figure that takes care of him . Children who grow up with this type of attachment tend to have very low self-esteem, with serious problems with relationships and bonding.

They show difficulties in contacting and expressing their emotions, which means that they may end up showing outbursts of anger or total indifference.

  • Disorganized-indiscriminate insecure attachment :

This is the most damaging type of attachment. It occurs when the caregiver is highly incompetent to take care of the child, even neglecting it (neglect).

They are generally people who repeatedly act with violence towards the child, showing behavior that is very difficult to predict. This generates great anguish in the child, as he does not know how his caregiver is going to act in the face of his demands and needs.

It is important to bear in mind that this type of attachment is not always generated by the caregiver’s negligence or malice. In most cases it is due to mental problems and / or substance abuse.

In these cases, the child seeks out his caregiver trying to find a secure bond, but this generates a lot of anxiety because he does not know what to expect .

In conclusion

The creation of secure and stable bonds with mother (or caregivers) is essential for the emotional development of children. It is important for the child to know that they can always count on the support and care of the primary caregivers no matter the circumstances.

The development of the child’s self-esteem and the way in which they will relate and create interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships when they reach adulthood will largely depend on this, creating healthy affective bonds with a strengthened self-esteem.

“It would be foolish to argue that because most individuals recover from the effects of a separation or loss, those experiences are unimportant.”

-J. bowlby-

Photos | Cover (pexels), Image 1 (pexels), Image 2 (pexels), Image 3 (pexels)

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