2 Things You Must Do If You Want Your Child To Form Secure Relationships As An Adult

If you want your child to form secure attachments when they grow up, you need to meet these basic needs.

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As parents, we all want the best for our kids. We aim to see them grow into their best selves and create a space where they can learn and flourish in happy, secure relationships.

However, figuring out how to get there isn't always so straightforward. Every child is different, and what clicks for one might not click for another.

So, how can we, as parents, help our children build strong, lasting relationships? Attachment therapist Eli Harwood shares two tips to help your child get there.


2 Things You Need To Do If You Want Your Child To Form Secure Relationships

1. An effective safe haven

It's important to be both connected and empathetic with our children, while also knowing how to stay calm and grounded, says Harwood.


And it's our job as parents to create that safe haven for our children. This safe space can help them handle their emotions, while also helping them to make sense of the world around them.

So, be understanding and patient with their outbursts. Try to connect with your child and listen to how they are feeling.

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2. A secure base

Kids need a secure base with their parents, where boundaries and lessons can help them grow.

Harwood continues, "It also means that we need to be the kind of parents who can handle the emotional process of our children leaving our arms, going out into the real world, and exploring the real world."

During this period, your children will make many mistakes. Yet, they'll learn from these mishaps and even bond with others because of those silly mistakes.

Remind yourself that your job as a parent is to be the secure base that they can come back to. To be the home base that helps them feel understood and secure, while they figure life out.


And as you begin to find balance, your child will naturally seek you out more. They'll acknowledge what you represent and will respect the fact that you respect their independence.

However, while this advice is great, finding the right balance between gentleness and firmness is key.

But, many parents struggle to strike this balance, as they don't want to seem too harsh or too lenient.

So, how do we create these firm but healthy boundaries with our children? Clinical psychologist Dr. Annabelle Chow has two tips that may help.

Two Ways To Create Boundaries With Your Children

1. Be clear and direct

Always be clear and direct while setting boundaries, says Chow. However, being firm and direct doesn't have to be cruel. Remember, your goal here is to make your expectations clear.


For instance, instead of saying, "Make your bed now," you could say, "Please make your bed now."

Both responses have clear and direct expectations, but one response is kinder than the other. And this kindness can help you create mutual respect between you and your child.

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2. Have appropriate expectations

One thing parents often miss with boundaries is whether they're right for their kid's age. Sometimes, they expect kids to stick to rules that don't fit their stage of development.

For instance, your child might not be capable of cleaning their room by themselves. So, be reasonable with your expectations and if necessary, help them out.

Chow suggests, "Look up what healthy expectations you can have for your child and use these as yardsticks for their growth."


Keep track of their progress and let them know how well they're improving. This can motivate your child, which makes it easier for them to stick to those boundaries.

Parenting is no walk in the park. And while we strive to help our children develop secure relationships. figuring out how to do so can be tough.

But, with these two tips, your kids can grow, flourish, and build healthier relationships in the long run.

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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.