Smiling like Sunshine: Inspiring reads:Playful Parenting by L.Cohen

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Inspiring reads:Playful Parenting by L.Cohen

 I have been reading Lawrence J. Cohen's Playful Parenting. This is one of the best parenting books I have read, especially if your child is aged 3+. Highly recommended.

I love how he explains the attachment between the child and parent:

To help explain attachment, I like to use the metaphor of filling and refilling a cup.The primary caregiver is a child's reservoir, a place  to start from and return to,in between explorations. The child's need for attachment with them is like a cup that's emptied by being hungry, tired, lonely or hurt. The cup is refilled by being loved, fed, comforted, and nurtured. Besides food, warmth and loving physical contact, a caregiver's refilling includes soothing when the child is upset, and playing and talking when he or she is happy. Mirroring is a simple game in which the baby's cup is filled by reflecting back his facial expressions, smiles,noises and feelings. As babies grow, their explorations take them further and further afield, but those whose cups have been consistently filled always carry a strong sense of security within them. They are securely attached.
Children who are not securely attached, on the other hand,tend to be anxious and clingy, or withdrawn and shut down. They may not feel safe,even with the people closest to them,or they may be unable to venture confidently. They might appear adventurous, but insecurely attached children are more likely to be reckless than truly adventurous. Their cup is empty, or nearly empty.
Between return visits for refills, children with a secure attachment can soothe themselves, can handle their emotions, pay attention, connect well with peers, and feel good about themselves and the world.
...
The infant whose cup is filled to overflowing with affection, security and attention is lucky indeed. Little upsets may spill some out, a long hard day may drain the cup nearly empty, but the caregiver is always there for a refill. As children get older, just thinking about the caregiver can refill the cup. In fact, securely attached children can get their cup refilled from friendships, from having fun, or from learning something new and interesting in school.