In this episode, we covered the following points:
Introduction – the Islamic foundation
What is attachment – difference between bonding and attachment
Why is it important – the lifelong effects of attachment on the child
What does secure attachment look like
Obstacles to secure attachment
Tips to foster the attachment bond
The 3 stages of the Islamic Parenting Contract
“The child is the master for seven years; and a slave for seven years and a vizier for seven years; so if he grows into a good character within 21 years, well and good; otherwise leave him alone because you have discharged your responsibility before Allah.”
Stage 1: Birth to 7 years – the child as Sayed The Imprint Period
Child like sponge, absorb everything as true. Period of attachment and trauma. “Give me the child and I will give you the man”.
Needs of child: Bonding with mother and to have a responsive caregiver The concept of attachment and providing a secure base – internal working models of relationships
The role of parent:
To be responsive to the needs of the child (follow the needs of the child)
To be a role model (internalized by the child)
To create a secure and appropriate environment for the child which stimulates and nurtures
To provide intentional and purposeful play activities
READ to the child and talk the child
What is the difference between attachment and bonding?
Attachment has a broader meaning than bonding.
Bonding about the parental bond of love and care.
Attachment is about both parent and baby. It's about how you build a relationship over time that helps your baby feel secure, loved, and ready to face the world.
Attachment and bonding go hand-in-hand. A strong bond makes it more likely to develop a secure attachment to parent.
Children need something more than love and caregiving in order for their brains and nervous systems to develop in the best way possible.
Children need to be able to engage in a nonverbal emotional exchange with their primary caretaker in a way that communicates their needs and makes them feel understood, secure, and balanced. Children who feel emotionally disconnected from their primary caregiver are likely to feel confused, misunderstood, and insecure, even if they’re loved.
What exactly is attachment?
According to attachment theory,almost all infants develop an attachment to their caregiver during their first year. The type of attachment your baby develops will greatly depend on daily interactions between parent and baby.
Mamas who respond to baby’s needs quickly and accurately are likely to have securely attached infants. These tots seem to know that their caregiver will respond when they are feeling insecure.
Mamas who are indifferent to baby’s needs or reject baby’s attempts at closeness may foster avoidant attachment. Avoidant infants often seem to know that their caregiver is not likely to respond to their needs.
Mamas who respond to baby’s needs inconsistently may foster ambivalent attachment. Ambivalent infants are often unsure about whether their caregiver will respond to their needs.
A small number of infants develop disorganized attachment, exhibiting confusion over their caregivers’ availability. Researchers aren’t sure why some infants show disorganized attachment, but abusive behaviors may play a role.
The benefits of a securely attached child
Children who have secure attachments tend to be happier, kinder, socially competent, and more trusting of others, and they have better relations with parents, siblings, and friends. They do better in school, stay physically healthier, and create fulfilling relationships as adults.
What does secure attachment look like?
Developmental milestones related to secure attachment
Between birth and 3 months, does your baby...
Between 3 and 6 months, does your baby...
Between 4 and 10 months, does your baby...
Between 10-18 months, does your baby...
Between 18 and 20 months, does your baby...
At 24 Months, does your baby...
At 36 Months, does your baby...
Obstacles to creating a secure attachment bond
Since infants cannot calm and soothe themselves, they rely on you to do so for them.
1) Infant’s well-being can affect the secure attachment bond
Fortunately, as the infant brain is so undeveloped and influenced by experience, a child can overcome any difficulties at birth. It may take a few months, but if the primary caretaker remains calm, focused, understanding, and persistent, a baby will eventually relax enough for the secure attachment process to occur.
2) An older child’s well-being can affect the secure attachment bond
A child’s experience and environment can affect their ability to form a secure attachment bond. Sometimes the circumstances that affect the secure attachment bond are unavoidable, but the child is too young to understand what has happened and why. To a child, it just feels like no one cares and they lose trust in others and the world becomes an unsafe place.
1) providing comfort when needed and
2) offering the freedom to explore when desired.
Circle of Security. The circle represents the ebb and flow of how babies and young children need their caregivers—at times coming close for care and comfort, and at other times following their inspiration to explore the world around them.
The caregivers’ role is to tune in to where on the circle their child is at the moment and act accordingly.
1) Be happy yourself
The youngest babies can sense ease versus impatience, delight versus resentment or irritation, comfort versus restlessness, genuine versus pretending, or other positive versus negative responses in a parent when these reactions aren’t evident to a casual observer. Little babies may pick up on the smallest sigh, the subtlest shift in tone of voice, a certain glance, or some type of body language and know the parent is genuinely comfortable or definitely not pleased.
No one can be attuned to another person at all times, though. In fact, the authors assert that the myth of “complete availability” actually undermines a child’s development.
Ruptures, small and large, happen all the time in the fabric of human relationships, and so it becomes important that repairs, small and large, become second nature to parents.
Children are not keeping a parenting score, but rather assessing whether the relationship is safe and secure overall. Good enough is truly good enough.
let go of any pressures they feel to constantly prepare their child for the future, which can inadvertently fill children with anxiety. Instead “being with” or cultivating sensitivity to what children are feeling at the moment and helping them label, understand, and manage their feelings…or simply sitting still and waiting with kindness and understanding they have their feelings. As psychiatrist Dan Siegel says, “feeling felt” is one of the most important needs children have.
“every heart is still seeking the love it was born to know.”
Ways to help your baby form secure attachments
A is for affect
B is for behavior
C is for cognition
Tone of voice
Pacing, timing, and intensity
Parenting a Secure Child by Kent Hoffman, Glen Cooper and Bert Powell.
Some resources to keep the learning going
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Contributing expert on the web project: http://parentinginthedigitalworld.com