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Attachment Styles In Kids

by Gabriela Casanas

Parents often wonder how their child’s attachment will affect them as they grow up. Would they become a “mommy’s boy” or a “cold fish”? The role of attachment in a child’s development is frequently neglected and underestimated. Parents and guardians must find the best way to evoke positive bonds in children. This process will mold them and transform them into sane children and adults. By assessing the different attachment styles and how they can bring out the best in them, this article is your guide to adopting the finest attachment style for your little one!

Attachment Styles In Kids

Secure Attachment

The secure attachment style is the most desired in children. It ensures that children develop positively for the future. Children with a secure attachment style show stress when their caregiver leaves them. However, they quickly calm down and regain composure when their caretaker returns. They can explore and play more, using their caregiver as a starting point for exploring the world. Research has shown that securely attached children are more empathetic later in childhood. These children are also described as being less aggressive, and more mature than children with other attachment styles.

Ambivalent Attachment

Ambivalently attached children tend to be very suspicious of strangers. These children experience significant distress when separated from a parent or caregiver. However, they do not seem to be reassured or consoled by the return of their parents. In some cases, the child may passively reject the parent by refusing to feel comfortable or openly displaying direct aggression toward the parent. As adults, people with an ambivalent attachment style often feel reluctant to get close to others and fear that their partner will not reciprocate. It leads to frequent breakups, often because the relationship seems cold and distant.

Avoidant Attachment

Avoidantly attached children avoid parents and caregivers. This avoidance often becomes particularly pronounced after a period of absence. These children may not reject parental attention but do not seek comfort or contact. Avoidantly attached children show no preference between a parent and a stranger. As adults, avoidant people tend to struggle with intimacy and close relationships. These people don’t invest much emotion in relationships and experience little stress when a relationship ends.

Disorganized Attachment

Children with a disorganized attachment style show a lack of overt attachment behavior. Their actions and reactions to their close ones are often a combination of behaviors, including avoidance or resistance. These children are described as exhibiting dazed behavior and sometimes appearing confused or worried in the presence of a caregiver. They may exhibit anger and erratic behavior but may appear depressed, withdrawn, and unresponsive. The disorganized attachment style is not effortless, as it is an attachment pattern that stems from trauma, fear, distrust, and abuse. The child never manages to feel safe, even when it seeks closeness.


Early childhood development lays the foundation for lifelong learning, behavior, and health. Early childhood experiences shape the brain and a child’s ability to learn to get along with others and respond to daily stresses and challenges. Attachment style is amongst the factors that play the most critical role. Hence, parents should invest time and effort to ensure that their children foster the best attachment style to set them up for personal and professional success.