Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick

Encouraging people to think critically about everything.

Alarming Number of Children in US Lack Attachment to Parents

on July 5, 2015

I truly fear that I created my second child’s anxiety and inability to regulate emotions by leaving her to cry herself to sleep at just 14 mo old =( I wish so badly that I could go back and change that. I honestly don’t know what I can do now that would help her thrive and learn to manage it. Have I damaged her permanently?? I hate to see her struggling, and it’s no picnic for me to try and deal with, either. I just feel so helpless…

40% of babies lack a secure attachment

The review of international studies of attachment, Baby Bonds, found that infants aged below three who do not form strong bonds with their mother or father are more likely to suffer from aggression, defiance and hyperactivity when they get older.

This is basically what I did…

The ‘graduated extinction method’ (‘controlled crying’ — also known as ‘controlled comforting’ or simply ‘sleep training’), which instructs parents to leave their infant alone at sleep time. They are to alternate between minimal attending and unattended crying at increasingly longer intervals. This practice has long continued against the recommendations of the Australian Association of Infant Mental Health. Read about the con of controlled crying here. Recent studies have shown that, after using extinction types of sleep training, babies do cry less at night and mothers stress levels were correspondingly decreased. However, babies stress levels remained high – indicated by elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Quite simply, the babies had stopped seeking the mother but were not coping without her.

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11 responses to “Alarming Number of Children in US Lack Attachment to Parents

  1. Amie Elna says:

    It’s not to late… She’s not too old for bedtime stories and songs – half the time I put my kids to sleep in the same bed (king size) or room (blankets on floor). I know it’s harder with multiple ages but perhaps after they fall asleep you can move them to different beds, they get the comfort of falling to sleep securely but still sleep in their own bed. Good luck 🙂 P.S. your a great mom!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve recently thought of that, as it seems like the one logical thing that could help. We have a queen bed and bed share with both little ones, the toddler rarely sleeps in her own bed that’s in our room, and she always falls asleep and wakes up in my bed lol

      We don’t have the funds for another bed right now, but I think I will be changing the room around so that I can put a queen air mattress on the floor next to the bed! The 9 year old currently sleeps on the couch because she can’t bear to sleep in her room alone, and her big sister needs her own space. I’ve turned down her requests to sleep in my bed many times recently, so I think that having the air mattress option would make her very very happy =)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. webbermd says:

    My wife and I are adopting an eight year old boy within the next few weeks and attachment disorder is a real possibility.

    Like

    • Do you happen to have any helpful links or other resources about caring for an older child with attachment disorder? I would be interested to read them!

      Like

      • webbermd says:

        We attended an online class called “Because they waited.” We also took the P.R.I.D.E. classes for foster parents in Idaho. One thing we realized from these courses is that discipline is different for a child from a trauma background. That time-outs have to become time-ins in which the parent becomes an objective sound board for children as they express their frustrations, not taking it personally since they are learning to search and express buried emotions. The other thing we learned was children develop trauma from having a continuous cycle of unmet needs. Sitting in a dirty diaper for hours, not being fed for hours after crying, not being cuddled or held. Not being talked to or played with, but ignored. Not having stimulus for their eyes or sounds to focus on or conversations with their parents. These types of unmet needs are the catalysts of trauma and development delays. From your concerns, I have confidence that you are not traumatizing your children, but loving them, setting boundaries, teaching patience, and slowly, but cautiously removing the egocentric behaviors to make them aware there are others in their universe. Hang in there. We’re about to join your parenting adventure and we’re just as unsure as any parent out there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for this thoughtful comment! You are doing an amazing job of preparing yourselves!

        I had a somewhat traumatic childhood and am unfortunately just recovering from it in the last few years. It’s my greatest fear that I’m perpetrating the same emotional abuse on my children. It’s also my greatest motivation. How I acted when they were younger is my biggest regret, and it’s my goal to undo as much of that damage as possible before they leave home. Intellectually, I know I’m doing my best and that the fact that I’m consciously changing is a sign that they will turn out better than I did. But emotionally, the knowledge that I’ve harmed them in any way is heartbreaking.

        Liked by 1 person

    • And how lovely that you are adopting an older child! There are so many who will never have a good home because most people only want babies and young children!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ida says:

    Bless. You might enjoy reading this: evolutionaryparenting.com/recovering-and-moving-on-from-crying-it-out/

    Liked by 1 person

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