Attachment Tangle

Dear Parent,

From the beginning, my children rushed me at the door as I came home from work. Frequently overwhelmed, I had two wild-eyed kids, hungry cats, and excited dogs pawing at me before I sat my briefcase and groceries down. BC (before children), that iconic scene of parents coming through the door to a happy, bubbly, burst of children made me want a couple of them all the more. Everyone else is getting to have that experience, I thought; and there I was near 40 unable to hold a bun in the oven. That scene in movies and commercials was always bittersweet, never left me dry-eyed, and rarely failed to fill me with longing for the clamoring of little children.

I am not fond of the adage, Be careful what you wish for; however, Be careful what you wish for. Now, 18 years later, my adult children and innumerable dogs continue to paw me at the door. Usually, the kids reach for the grocery bags, and they are better able to step back for a minute when I say, Let me get in the door, honey. I say that sentence every day: Let me get in the door, honey.

My children reject most of my suggestions while hanging on the slightest hint of disapproval. Cursed with an expressive face, I try to keep my eyes and voice soft, but sometimes (like today) my tiredness from work and exasperation from the clamoring sneaks into the creases around my eyes and my tone. It happens in a flash before I am aware. At that moment my children are crestfallen and ashamed for nothing they have done except being highly entangled in their attachment to me. I fear I will always be powerful in their insecure right-brains, and powerless to influence their left-brains. Darn it.

The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Through love and acceptance, I continue to support the development of their secure attachment. I try to own my facial expressions out loud, so they can relax their hyper-vigilance. That doesn’t always work.

I desire internal peace for my children. I want external peace for myself. I call on faith that we will find this ever elusive secure attachment. I call on my faith in love.

Love matters,


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The next 8-hr. Attachment- and Trauma-informed Therapeutic Parenting Workshop is specially scheduled for one day–July 23rd–from 9am to 5pm. We usually hold the training on two days, but this is an exception for those who cannot find time on two consecutive Saturdays to attend a training.  To register, go to  Childcare provided for an additional fee. 

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