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A brief guide to secure attachment for parents

Team StoryWeavers|June 21, 2022, 17:29 IST|

secure attachment benefits

Parenting is full of simple moments such as smiling reassuringly at your child who is going to join other children to play. It creates a profound impact on the little ones. These not so little moments create a bond of trust as the parent shows up for their child and predictably cares for them. It is said to help children form secure attachments.  

In today’s article, we will try to understand:

What is secure attachment? 

A book, Raising a Secure Child, written by psychotherapists Kent Hoffman, Glen Cooper, and Bert Powell clarifies a few things about secure attachment. The book says that secure attachment is about knowing that someone has your back and this knowledge opens a world of possibilities for children. 

The book also lists three ways of forming a secure attachment with children:

  • By helping them feel safe when frightened or uncomfortable
  • By helping children feel secure about exploring their world
  • By helping children accept and manage their emotional experiences.

Another research explains that secure attachment allows children to be comforted by parents when they are distressed. It also helps them explore their environment when not stressed by using parents as a secure base.

What does secure attachment teach children about life? 

Dr Newton is a licensed clinical psychologist and is endorsed as an Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist. Dr Ruth Newton’s book, The Attachment Connection, mentions a few things that children learn through secure attachment: 

  • They can get their needs met through their parents and hence are likely to have a greater ability to explore the world. They are likely to explore the world with confidence and autonomy as they know that their parents will be there for them if the need arises. 
  • They can be successful in the world as they have been successful in getting their needs met through their parents. 
  • They can be empathetic as they have seen from their parents that when one of them is in need, the other one responds with sensitivity. They learn that responsive, respectful interactions are possible from their parents. 
  • They are likely to be aware that they are worthy of positive attention and trusting interactions with others as their parents interact with them in the same manner. 
  • They can learn to regulate their emotions well as their parents have shown them. They are likely to have successful relationships in the future because they have a successful relationship with their parents. 

As a result of all these learnings, children who form a secure attachment learn that they are competent, capable, cooperative and lovable. 

That is why, it is critical that parents help their children form a secure attachment. Parents can do that by consistently showing up and predictable caring. Predictable caring does not mean that parents never make a mistake. It means making amends with your child when you slip up. It allows children to thrive as they form a secure attachment with parents and eventually others around them. 

Did you enjoy reading this article? Would you like to learn more about things like these? Share your thoughts and insights in the comments section below. 


  • Cooper, G., Powell, B., Hoffman, K. (2017). Raising a Secure Child: How Circle of Security Parenting Can Help You Nurture Your Child’s Attachment, Emotional Resilience, and Freedom to Explore. United States: Guilford Publications. Retrieved from  
  • Newton, R. P. (2008). The Attachment Connection: Parenting a Secure & Confident Child Using the Science of Attachment Theory. United States: New Harbinger Publications. Retrieved from 
  • National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK). Children’s Attachment: Attachment in Children and Young People Who Are Adopted from Care, in Care or at High Risk of Going into Care. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK); 2015 Nov. (NICE Guideline, No. 26.) 2, Introduction to children’s attachment. Available from: 

About the Author

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!

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