RadKid.Org: Reactive Attachment Disorder

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Parental Strategies: 24-36 Months

When attachment is poor, anticipate and allow for regressions, as your interaction with your child during these periods can strengthen the bond between you by allowing him to fill in gaps that were missed in infancy.

If separation anxiety is a problem, be particularly careful to guard against the impulse to be overprotective. Planned absences can help the child grow accustomed to brief absences.

When it becomes necessary to discipline, make a clear distinction between the child and the behavior. Be realistic in your expectations, particularly when adopting a 2-3 year-old.

As your child moves into the preschool and elementary age, unresolved attachment issues will result in increasing behavioral difficulties. Techniques that can be helpful in parenting an older child with attachment issues include the following:

  • Reinforce the concept that behavior results from choices made, and that they did not simply happen.
  • Mandate specific consequences for specific behaviors, in order to teach cause and effect.
  • Provide forced choices for your child to choose from. For example, he may pick up his toys or leave them on the floor, in which case they will be taken away for a specified period of time.
  • Teach your child that he will be happier if he learned to control his choices than by trying to control you.
  • Find a balance between your empathy for the child?s struggle and your expectations for change.
  • When disciplining, express empathy for the impact of the consequence while imposing it, preserving attachment while maintaining discipline.

Children with attachment issues can be exhausting for anyone who has taken on responsibility for their parenting. They have the capability of finding every button a parent has and the willingness to push each one of them. When you have reached the point of feeling ineffective and discouraged, professional assistance is recommended.

Information received in part from experience, observation, and other texts, but also from:

Last Modified on: Saturday, August 08, 2009



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