Are you ever curious as to why you behave the way you do in certain situations and relationships?
You wouldn’t be alone if you do. What most don’t know is that a lot of how we behave, react, interact and treat others is deeply rooted in our childhood experiences, all the way back to being a newborn. The originations of attachment theory were based on the belief of a link between the newborn becoming separated from its mother and later behavior disturbances or maladjustments. Further research was done to find different stages of attachment that an infant goes through and infants were likely to form attachments to those that responded accurately to the infant’s signals and not necessarily the person they spent the most time with. It was found that the most important factor in forming healthy, secure attachments was based on play and communication with the infant and not just addressing basic needs such as feeding and changing.
This is where the importance of parental mental health comes into play. Parents’ lack of responsiveness to an infant’s needs the first year of life, inconsistent responses to the child’s activities, consistent rejection or ignoring of needs can produce children who explore less, cry more, are more anxious and sometimes try to avoid contact with others. Over time, these repeated patterns will produce almost natural responses to similar situations as adults.
There are many facets to explore when it comes to the parent (caregiver)/child relationship and how it impacts us as adults. Finding awareness of upbringing as a child is the first step in repaving your path to healthy relationships.
There are many resources out there that discuss the different attachment styles as well as how our adult behavior reflects our childhood experiences or how we can develop grace and compassion for others knowing their childhood years were not as optimal as your own. A book I would recommend for reading or listening to about this topic is Dr. Bruce Perry’s book What Happened to You?