Practical Strategies for Attachment issues.

Help guide to Attachment & Reactive Attachment Disorders has some practical advice:    (http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eqa_attachment_bond.htm)

▪ Have realistic expectations. Helping your child with an attachment disorder may be a long road. Focus on making small steps forward and celebrate every sign of success.
▪ Patience is essential. The process may not be as rapid as you’d like, and you can expect bumps along the way. But by remaining patient and focusing on small improvements, you create an atmosphere of safety for your child.
▪ Foster a sense of humor and joy. Joy and humor go a long way toward repairing attachment problems and energizing you even in the midst of hard work. Find at least a couple of people or activities that help you laugh and feel good.
▪ Take care of yourself and manage stress. Reduce other demands on your time and make time for yourself. Rest, good nutrition, and parenting breaks help you relax and recharge your batteries so you can give your attention to your child.
▪ Find support and ask for help. Rely on friends, family, community resources, and respite care (if available). Try to ask for help before you really need it to avoid getting stressed to breaking point. You may also want to consider joining a support group for parents.
▪ Stay positive and hopeful. Be sensitive to the fact that children pick up on feelings. If they sense you’re discouraged, it will be discouraging to them. When you are feeling down, turn to others for reassurance.

▪ Respond to your child’s emotional age. Children with attachment disorders often act like younger children, both socially and emotionally. You may need to treat them as though they were much younger, using more non-verbal methods of soothing and comforting.
▪ Help your child identify emotions and express his or her needs. Children with attachment disorders may not know what they are feeling or how to ask for what they need. Reinforce the idea that all feelings are okay and show them healthy ways to express their emotions.
▪ Listen, talk, and play with your child. Carve out times when you’re able to give your child your full, focused attention in ways that feel comfortable to him or her. It may seem hard to drop everything, eliminate distractions, and just be in the moment, but quality time together provides a great opportunity for your child to open up to you and feel your focused attention and care.

These are suggestions only, not recommendations!

UK based charity “YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Driven by their experiences we campaign, research and influence policy and practice.” This website has some practical advice.

Reactive Attachment Disorder Support Group, Facebook

The Bowlby Centre

Mary Ainsworth ” The Strange Situation”