Attachment Q&A

Regina Kupecky answers follow up questions from Expert Advice on Your Top 5 Attachment Concerns.

Is there a connection between the ability to have empathy and attachment?

Children who have not learned attachment (a process that usually takes three years or so 0-3) will probably not have empathy because it is a higher level skill.

In the three years a child learns attachment there are different stages, stranger anxiety, times when a child follows mom around, times when a child tries to see if they can be in charge etc. Children with attachment disorder are usually not at one stage but move around.

However, very few children have no attachment. Attachment is a process between two people. It includes empathy on the part of the adult, even when little children aren't yet capable.

Do you have some ideas or suggestions on how to support the primary parent who is receiving the "abuse" from the child?

The spouse needs to get on the same side. He or she can show support by saying "you are being mean to my wife and I don't like it."

Professionals need to support by helping the parents understand the issue, give some ideas for parenting, and reassure the parents this is not their fault, they are not alone and the family can get better.

Friends family etc. should help the person and that will vary. Offer to take child for respite, drop by to chat, search for resources on the web, go out for coffee with the person, listen, don't judge, bring a meal for therapy nights, throw in some wash, help fold clothes while you visit. Ask the person what do you need?

If you missed it, make sure to check out Expert Advice on Your Top 5 Attachment Concerns.

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