Parenting Crisis in America: 40% of US Children Have Insecure Attachment to their Parents

Attachment is psychological term for the process that wires the social brain.  Strong attachment is correlated with strong empathy, good moral reasoning, strong faith, insight, impulse control, and  emotional and bodily regulation (i.e., the ability to reset yourself after stress).

Having poor attachment leads to deficits in all these areas.  If you’ve been wondering why so many kids are selfish, morally lax, faithless, deluded, impulsive and reactionary look no further than this study of 14,000 American children.

In a study of 14,000 U.S. children, 40 percent lack strong emotional bonds — what psychologists call “secure attachment” — with their parents that are crucial to success later in life, according to a new report. The researchers found that these children are more likely to face educational and behavioral problems.

…The approximately 40 percent who lack secure attachments, on the other hand, are more likely to have poorer language and behavior before entering school. This effect continues throughout the children’s lives, and such children are more likely to leave school without further education, employment or training, the researchers write. Among children growing up in poverty, poor parental care and insecure attachment before age four strongly predicted a failure to complete school. Of the 40 percent who lack secure attachments, 25 percent avoid their parents when they are upset (because their parents are ignoring their needs), and 15 percent resist their parents because their parents cause them distress.

…”When helpless infants learn early that their cries will be responded to, they also learn that their needs will be met, and they are likely to form a secure attachment to their parents,” Campbell said. “However, when caregivers are overwhelmed because of their own difficulties, infants are more likely to learn that the world is not a safe place — leading them to become needy, frustrated, withdrawn or disorganized.”  MORE

If  you want to “evangelize the culture”  as Blessed Pope John Paul II challenged us to do, then the most effective means is to parent with attachment in mind.  Books like Parenting with Grace can show you how to parent in a manner that makes your life easier as a parent (because you will fight less with your kids) and shows the world there is a healthier and godlier way to be a family.  The way you parent matters more than you think!  Love your child and save the world.

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About Dr. Greg

Dr. Gregory Popcak directs the Pastoral Solutions Institute, an organization dedicated to helping Catholics find faith-filled solutions to marriage, family, and personal problems. Together with his wife, Lisa, he hosts More2Life Radio. He is the author of over a dozen books integrating psychological insights with our Catholic faith. For more info about books, tele-counseling and other resources, visit www.CatholicCounselors.com.


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