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Insecure Attachment

Resource Type

Parent Handouts and Info - Parent


Advises parents how to foster independence and avoid being overprotective with their children. If your child is feeling doubtful or insecure about his or her ability make decisions these suggestions may help.


All Ages

Age Groups

Preschool/Kindergarten (3-5), School Age (6-12)

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Insecure Attachment

Insecure Attachment

As a parent, it's easy to be too protective of your children, guiding too strongly each choice in their lives. Your child needs your help with what is right and wrong, but as he grows, he'll need to make those decisions more independently. If you have been overprotective with your child, there's a high chance that he is insecure. Thus, your child may be feeling doubtful his or her ability to do things and make decisions on his or her own. What can you do to help?

  • Your child's self-esteem is important. It is also closely related to your relationship with him or her. If your child has a positive and healthy closeness with you, he or she will have high self-esteem. If your child has a negative, difficult relationship with you, he or she will have negative self-esteem. Also if you are controlling, your child will have negative self-esteem. Convince your child that you believe in him or her, and then your child will believe in himself or herself.
  • Don't be afraid to let your child make decisions. Your child needs you to show them what is wrong, dangerous, unacceptable, or in bad taste. But you also need to allow him to make the decisions himself. This way your child will become more independent and sure of his or her abilities.
  • When your child makes a mistake, correct it in a loving way that focuses on the action, not the person. Avoid scolding your child in front of friends. Talk to him privately, and discuss ways he could have behaved differently, and ask your child for his thoughts.
  • It is important to make your child's punishments fair and short in length (i.e. grounding for 1 day, not 1 month). You also need to give your child a chance to earn back privileges. If your child doesn't think he get can get anything back, there is no reason for him to try to improve his behavior.
  • Be supportive of your child's relationships with other adults. These include other family members, neighbors, teachers, and so on. These adults can have a positive impact on your child's growth and self-esteem. They can also help you raise your child to be healthy, independent, and confident.

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