Do you ever have times when you feel completely in sync with your child and then at other times feel out of sync, that at times you are dancing the same dance and at other times a different dance?
The emotional relationship or attachment that you form with your child can be likened to a dance. We refer to it as the dance of attachment. This dance you dance with your child and how in sync or emotionally attuned you with your child influences how your child relates to other people, how your child feels about themselves, and has the ability to increase risk or resilience to the development of psychological problems later in life.
When we are dancing the same steps we are following our child’s lead, we are able to recognise when our child is signaling a particular need and we are able to meet that need. This synchrony of leading and following leads to a secure attachment for our child, it feels wonderful for both you and your child. Your child feels safe, secure and self-confident in their abilities to have people respond to them.
Sometimes despite our best efforts we dance different steps to our child where the child signals an attachment need in a distorted way, the parent tries to meet the need, but the child resists. The flow of the dance comes to halt. This ‘mis-cueing’ of their needs makes the parent’s job difficult and at times frustrating.
These difficulties can be common for many parent-child relationships and sometimes in these situations the child and parent need to develop a more complex dance whereby the parent is able respond to expressed and hidden needs as well as leading the child into a new dance within which they can express their needs openly and respond to sensitive parenting.
Developing this new and complex dance with your child can at times be difficult and sometimes requires support from a professional who can help facilitate an enhanced emotionally attuned relationship with your child.
If you are concerned about the relationship with your child, want to improve the relationship you have with your child or want to know more about the importance of attachment and relational strategies please feel free to