Attachment 101

What do we mean by attachment and what can parents do to help their child attach. What can parents do if they are struggling with attaching to their child. We talk with Dr. Casey Call, the Assistant Director of Education at the Institute of Child Development at TCU. She is a researcher and trainer for Trust-Based Relational Intervention.

Hit the Highlights
  • What is attachment and why is it so important to a child’s development?

  • How does attachment develop in children who are raised from infancy in a healthy functioning family? What does healthy attachment look like?

  • What events can interrupt the normal development of healthy attachment? (e.g. multiple caregivers, abuse, neglect) What about a primary care giver with mental illness? What about long term hospitalization?

  • When we have a child placed in our homes for either adoption or fostering, what are some signs that this child may have attachment issues?

  • Attachment issues fall along a spectrum from mild to severe. Describe typical behaviors that might appear along this spectrum.

  • Reactive Attachment Disorder

  • We have people contacting us with worries after only a few weeks in their home when the child and family are still adjusting to a total change in their lives. What is a reasonable time to give a child before parents begin to worry about major attachment issues?

  • What are some things parents of newly adopted or fostered kids can do to help their child attach?

  • What type of therapy is effective for children with attachment issues?

  • How can you find a therapist who will be knowledgeable on how to help a child and family that is struggling to attach?

  • How to discipline while still focusing on attachment.

  • The importance of parental attachment.

  • What interferes with a parents ability to attach to their child?

  • What are some things that a parent can do if they are struggling to attach to their child?

  • Post adoption depression.

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Music credit: Michael Ashworth