The attachment figure, or attachment theory, is a phenomenon that was discovered by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowbly in 1978. Yet, although it is 40 years old, few people know the meaning of this theory. Do you constantly hear your parents, the nanny, the nursery staff say “he was very good, he ate all his meal and slept 2 hours without any problem” when with you it’s the cross and the banner? There is an explanation!
1. No, you don’t have an authority problem.
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You begin to tell yourself that if your child is a little demon with you when you find him after a day at the crèche or at the nanny, when he was adorable there, it means that you are doing the job badly. On the contrary ! It’s because with you, he feels confident enough to unload all he has accumulated during the day.
2. It’s a primitive instinct
Because we are above all mammals, and we keep certain reflexes which allow us to perpetuate the species and not to be eaten in a hostile environment. So, naturally, a baby is not going to behave around strangers the way they behave around those who raise them, so as not to be vulnerable and be eaten. In fact, it’s survival.
3. Attachment figures are those who raise the child
Generally the mother and the father, or those who take care of them every day, every moment. The attachment figure is the one who lavishes his care and is present and reassuring in case of distress and anguish.
4. If your baby is harder on you, that’s a good thing.
It’s that he feels safe enough and unconditionally loved enough to be able to release all the tension and negative feelings he had to keep to himself when you were away from him. If he allows himself to be terrible with you and that the slightest event can make him overflow, it is because he knows that you are there, to be able to reassure him no matter what.
5. The more pronounced the attachment figure, the more independent it will be
Believing that letting a baby cry at night will help him manage his autonomy is wrong. The more you meet his emotional needs, the more he will be able to take flight, since he will know that in the event of problems/stress/panic, you will not be far away, ready to reassure him. The more the base of emotional security that you bring to him is anchored, the more he will be able to detach himself from you in a healthy and serene way.
6. A baby cannot handle negative emotions.
He needs you, his attachment figure, to learn how to regulate his emotions and calm down, to succeed, little by little, in mastering them on his own. The more you are present and respond to his emotional needs, the more he will feel confident and learn to calm down.
7. It calms down around the age of two
After two years, your baby will be able to learn to calm down on his own and will find it easier to become independent. Well that doesn’t mean he’s going to get an apartment, pass his baccalaureate and find a job, but at least he should stop rolling on the floor and screaming when you tell him “no, you don’t eat the cat” .
8. You have the right to piss people off.
Some people tell you “You’re not firm enough with him, because when he’s with me he’s very wise” or “With me, he knows it doesn’t work, he doesn’t even try” and other small shitty thoughts. Now you know he behaves like that with you because you are the person he trusts the most in the world. So yes sometimes it’s not easy, but at least you know the importance you can have for your baby.
Come on, it’s time to cuddle, only that works to calm crises.