Have you ever known someone who despite the overwhelming odds against them, has overcome incredible trauma to lead a healthy, happy life? Every once in a while I meet someone like this and I am always in awe. So what's the best recipe for helping your child be resilient in the midst of whatever they face? Research says, it's you!
Today Aimee Rust focuses on creating healthy attachment with our kids. First she’ll define attachment, and then share things that can help you in your parenting, regardless of the stage you’re in. She talks about newborns through adolescence, and even discusses how attachment can affect us as adults in our relationships and with our children. She’ll discuss how to heal unhealthy attachment including in foster care and adoption situations.
I have so missed sharing a piece of myself with you every week. Hopefully you haven’t given up on me! I have been working so hard to get my life organized so that I could come back and share insights and resources with you. And I’m finally here. But I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I have decided to pursue a master’s degree in Family and Human Development. This will enhance my skills as a family life educator and give me more access to tools and resources that I can share with you! The bad news is that my time is more limited and I will only be able to release two new episodes a month for the foreseeable future. But today’s is one of those new ones. You are in for such a treat with my guest, Aimee Rust. Aimee has been on before, you may remember she spoke about how to lift your kids when you are down, and went into things like depression, anxiety, and even postpartum depression. Today she is going to focus on creating healthy attachment with our kids. First she’ll define attachment and then share things that can help you in your parenting, regardless of the stage you’re in. She talks about newborns through adolescence, and even discusses how attachment can affect us as adults in our relationships and with our children. She’ll discuss how to heal unhealthy attachment including in foster care and adoption situations. She mentions some books and other resources that I will link to on my shownotes at raisingtodayskids.com.
I know you’ll love Aimee. She has a soothing voice and a peaceful demeanor and some incredible wisdom to share with us today. So here’s Aimee to introduce herself.
conversation with Aimee
Thank you Aimee!! Wasn’t that amazing? I mean, it’s so incredible to think of the power of making eye contact, or looking when our kids say, “Look Mom or Dad!” When we put our arm around them or touch them in a way that is comfortable for them.
I liked the idea of staying close during a “think it over moment” rather than sending them away for “timeout” if you can emotionally handle that.
I like how Aimee said, validation doesn’t mean you have to agree with your child’s feelings or choices, just acknowledge and accept that for whatever reason it’s upsetting to them.
It totally hit home for me when Aimee talked about positively engaging with children as they get older, like finding things you have in common with child, or having family rituals to give them a sense of belonging, or showing kids they are important when we go to their practices as well as their games...showing them they are significant to us.
The other day I was at my daughter’s soccer game. I cheered loudly for her on the sidelines, but when the game was over, after they lost, I didn’t go over and greet her right away (I was waiting for my other kids to bring our wagon over so I could load up all of our stuff, so I pulled out a book and hung out for a few minutes - her dad is her coach so I knew he was there for her, plus she was busy shaking hands with the other team and getting her snack so I didn’t think she’d really notice my absence), but later she expressed feeling like I didn’t really care. I couldn’t believe it! I had watched every move and been so proud! But she wanted eye contact, a hug, and some encouraging words after the game. It was a good reminder to me, and I was so grateful she was big enough to articulate her feelings so that it was very clear what I needed to do better.
Thankfully repair is possible, just like Aimee emphasized!
I hope you know what an incredible source of strength and security you are for your kids! You and I are not perfect, but we love our kids and we are trying! And that is all they need. So keep up the amazing work.
Thanks for listening, and have an awesome day!
P.S. Here are some resources Aimee recommends for helping with attachment:
Hold Onto Your Kids, Why Parents need to Matter More Than Peers
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog (Aimee’s absolute favorite book!)
Any book by Daniel Siegel or Bruce Perry
video: The Still Face Experiment