What to Know Anxious Attachment and Tips to Cope

Anxious Attachment and Tips to Cope

Anxious attachment is one of four attachment styles that develop in childhood and continue into adulthood. These attachment styles can be secure (a person feels confident in relationships) or insecure (a person has fear and uncertainty in relationships).

Also known as ambivalent attachment or anxious-preoccupied attachment, anxious attachment can result from an inconsistent relationship with a parent or caregiver.

Adults who are anxiously attached may be considered needy or clingy in their relationships and lack healthy 自尊.1

Through approaches such as therapy, it’s possible to change attachment styles or learn to have healthy relationships despite attachment 焦慮.

What’s Your Attachment Style?

There are four main attachment styles. The following are some of the ways they may manifest in relationships:1

  • Secure attachment: Able to set appropriate boundaries; has trust and feels secure in close relationships; thrives in relationships but does well on their own as well
  • Anxious attachment: Tends to be needy, anxious, and uncertain, and lacks self-esteem; wants to be in relationships but worries that other people don’t enjoy being with them
  • Avoidant-dismissive attachment: Avoids closeness and relationships, seeking independence instead; doesn’t want to rely on others or have others rely on them
  • Disorganized attachment: Fearful; feel they don’t deserve love

History of Attachment Theory

British psychiatrist John Bowlby developed the foundations of attachment theory from 1969 to 1982.2

Attachment theory suggests that early life experiences, particularly how safe and secure you felt as a young child, determine your attachment style as an adult. These events shape your ability to develop trust, boundaries, self-esteem, feelings of security, and other factors at play in relationships.3

Developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth built upon Bowlby’s theory with her “strange situation” test to determine the nature and styles of attachment behavior. The assessment consists of a mother leaving her infant alone with a stranger for a few minutes. The infant’s response is observed and coded when they’re reunited with their mother.2

Exploration of adult attachment began in the mid-1980s by researchers such as Mary Main, Phil Shaver, and Mario Mikulincer.

Attachment theory’s principles are currently supported by hundreds of studies on bonding between child and parent and between adult partners.4

How Closely Linked Are Childhood and Adult Attachment Styles?

While it’s generally accepted that early attachment experiences influence attachment style in adult romantic relationships, the degree to which they are related is less clear-cut. Studies vary in their findings on the source and degree of overlap between the two.5

Characteristics of Anxious Attachment

Anxious attachment is an insecure attachment. Insecure attachment can take one of three forms: ambivalent, avoidant, or disorganized.1

It’s believed that anxious attachment in childhood is a result of inconsistent caregiving. More specifically, the children are loved but their needs are met unpredictably. A parent or primary caregiver may respond immediately and attentively to a child sometimes but not at other times.6

This inconsistency can be a result of factors such as parental substance use, 沮喪, 壓力, anxiety, and fatigue.

Children raised without consistency can view attention as valuable but unreliable. This prompts anxiety and can cause a child to perform attention-seeking behaviors, both positive and negative.

Adults with anxious attachment often need constant reassurance in relationships, which can come off as being needy or clingy.1

One study showed that anxious attachment can affect trust in a relationship. Further, those who are anxiously attached are more likely to become jealous, snoop through a partner’s belongings, and even become psychologically abusive when they feel distrust.7

Recognizing the Signs in Yourself

Some indications that you might be experiencing anxious attachment include:

  • Worrying a lot about being rejected or being abandoned by your partner
  • Frequently trying to please and gain approval from your partner
  • Fearing infidelity and abandonment
  • Wanting closeness and intimacy in a relationship, but worrying if you can trust or rely on your partner1
  • Overly fixating on the relationship and your partner to the point it consumes much of your life
  • Constantly needing attention and reassurance (can be viewed as needy or clingy)
  • Having difficulty setting and respecting boundaries
  • Feeling threatened, panicked, angry, jealous, or worried your partner no longer wants you when you spend time apart or don’t hear from your partner during what most would consider a reasonable amount of time; may use manipulation to get your partner to stay close to you
  • Tying self-worth in with relationships
  • Overreacting to things you see as a threat to the relationship

Recognizing the Signs in Someone Else

A partner who is anxiously attached may exhibit similar behaviors as those listed above, but you can’t know for sure how they are feeling unless they tell you.

Signs of Anxious Attachment in a Partner

  • Regularly seeks your attention, approval, and reassurance
  • Wants to be around you and in touch with you as much as possible
  • Worries you will cheat on them or leave them
  • Feels threatened, jealous, or angry and overreacts when they feel something is threatening the relationship

Strategies for Coping

While anxious attachment can be challenging in a relationship, having a loving, healthy relationship is possible. There are ways to address and get beyond attachment problems in your relationship, including:8

Short Term

  • 研究: Learn about attachment styles, which ones best apply to you and, if applicable, your partner.
  • Keep a journal: Keep track of your thoughts and feelings in a journal. This is a helpful exercise for getting out your emotions, and it may help you recognize some patterns in your thoughts and behaviors. It may be worthwhile to bring your journal to therapy sessions where you can unpack its contents with your mental health professional.
  • Choose a partner who has a secure attachment: The chances of success in a relationship for someone with anxious attachment are higher if they are paired with someone who is securely attached.
  • Practice mindfulness: Regularly engaging in mindfulness exercises can help you learn to manage your emotions and your anxiety.
Teach children how to be responsible for their own learning to gain agency

Teach children how to be responsible for their own learning to gain agency

One cannot fail to notice that concerns about mental health and wellbeing are increasingly figuring in all news media, especially in relation to young people. This raises questions as to whether this is primarily a product of our rapidly changing, volatile and unpredictable times, or a lack of parenting and schooling practices that fail to develop strong volition, perseverance and the capability to deal with life’s inevitable challenges. Challenges, albeit in different forms, have always been part of human history. For example, bullying was ever-present in yesteryear, but we hear more about it nowadays, especially in relation to the online environment. Similarly, poverty and discrimination of various kinds are not new existential phenomena, they have always been part of human interactions – or the lack of them.

Certainly, statistics paint a disturbing picture, with one in eight children and adolescents in the UK experiencing a mental illness (NHS, 2018). The high prevalence of depression and anxiety in young people is often said to be a result of the lack of resilience among them. Similarly, Loretta Breuning, in her article Why I Don’t Believe Reports of a Mental Health Crisis (2014) argues that the escalating emotional distress experienced by millennials is, in part, due to over-reliance on mental-health services, which aim to alleviate natural emotional responses. She maintains that by depending on mental-health services individuals do not learn how to manage life’s disappointments themselves, and consequently often lack self-reliance.

Invariably, aspects of all the above scenarios will apply to some individuals, certainly not all, and generalisations can be dangerous. In this article, I will focus on what can be done to help students to self-regulate their learning and maintain a positive sense of wellbeing. Also, to identify environments and experiences that have negative effects, and how best to mitigate the consequences.

In the final analysis people, young and old, irrespective of culture or context, have to make choices and take action on how they respond to the demands that the external environment may throw at them – whether caused by their prior actions, the actions of others, or serendipity. Furthermore, they must fully realise that their ability to effectively manage internal perceptions and emotional states is a crucial part of self-regulation and maintaining wellbeing.

We know from extensive research that a whole host of physical, social and emotional experiences have massive implications for brain development, physical and mental wellbeing. For example, Swaab (2015) summarising the evidence, highlights: Children who are seriously neglected during their early development… have smaller brains; their intelligence and linguistic and fine motor control are permanently impaired, and they are impulsive and […]

Why Social-Emotional Leaning Matters More Than Ever

Why Social-Emotional Leaning Matters More Than Ever

Even before the pandemic, though, kids and adults alike were having a hard time coping with life and dealing with their emotions due to the wild world we currently live in. Teens are battling extreme dysregulation, and even kids are being hospitalized for their mental health at alarming rates.

For this reason, many experts are saying social-emotional learning is more important than ever. But why?

How Social-Emotional Learning Helps Children

Social-emotional learning has become quite the buzzword in recent years, and for good reason. These skills help people develop and utilize skills that help them cope with emotions and socialize with others — skills which seem to be lacking anytime you turn on the television or read the newspaper. Furthermore, these skills can help people overcome distressing moments and deal with challenges the world throws at them, which I think we can all agree applies more than ever.

According to the team at Understood.Org, a nonprofit focused on helping children with learning differences find success, there are five types of social-emotional skills children utilize in their daily lives. These skills include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, interpersonal skills, and decision-making.

Self-awareness skills help children identify their emotions and recognize their strengths. By labeling emotions, children can accurately convey what they’re feeling to peers or adults without throwing a tantrum or harming themselves. They can also recognize their strengths and remind themselves of these strengths during challenging times, which is a part of a healthy growth mindset.

Closely connected, self-management skills can help children learn to regulate their own emotions when they feel distressed. This can help kids avoid impulsive or harmful behavior, and it can help them refocus their attention towards their goals. Then, decision-making skills can help them make decisions informed by their emotional awareness while also helping them connect possible consequences to their actions.

Social awareness skills help children show empathy, compassion, and an appreciation for diversity. Then, interpersonal skills help children communicate with others, resolve conflicts, and work cooperatively. Together, these skills can help children make friends and build lasting relationships with their peers.

With strong social-emotional skills, children can build positive relationships within their lives and face nearly any daily challenge that comes up. This can ultimately help children flourish in all aspects of their lives.

Ways To Foster Social-Emotional Skills At Home

As you can imagine, all of these social-emotional skills are important, but kids aren’t born with them. Therefore, we must help our children develop these skills at home as much as possible.

In many cases, mindfulness exercises can help children develop social-emotional skills and a deeper connection with their own feelings. In fact, the team at the multi-brand wellness retailer Standard Dose is now expanding their offerings just to help children hone their social-emotional skills. According to Standard Dose’s founder, the company “really wanted to provide tools to help nurture kind, confident, and emphatic humans who are equipped to navigate our changing world.”

Rooted in evidence-based techniques, their newly-launched Mindful Kids product line includes mindful games, gratitude journals, yoga flashcards, and other tools that encourage children to become aware of their thoughts, understand big feelings, and manage stress. These new, inclusive tools can help children foster understanding and awareness to help children cope with big feelings like loss, frustration, and anger — which the pandemic has only increased.

In addition to mindfulness techniques, the National Association for the Education of Young Children says there are many tools parents can utilize to help their children develop social-emotional skills at home.

For example, puppets are a great way to work through several social-emotional skills. Puppets can help children understand emotions, practice conflict resolution, and discuss complicated topics in a fun, engaging way.

Most importantly, though, parents can foster social-emotional skills at home just by modeling the skills in their own actions. Children love observing their parents and often learn a lot through just watching how adults act on a daily basis. Parents can use this to their advantage and model healthy coping skills when they experience difficult emotions and demonstrate empathy, conflict resolution, and compassion when interacting with others. Children can learn a lot just from seeing you do these small things.

Social-emotional skills are needed now more than ever. Luckily, it’s not hard for parents to foster these skills in their children and help them grow in all the best possible ways.



聖誕節很快就要到了。什麼可能會讓你感覺更好——收到禮物,或者送給有需要的人? 研究 is clear that, as the proverb goes, it’s better to give than to receive.

“Doing kind things makes you feel better,” says Andrew Miles, a sociologist at the University of Toronto. “It fulfils a basic psychological need, like giving our bodies appropriate food. It helps you feel like your life is valuable.”

Miles is currently leading a large, controlled study aiming to quantify the ways in which doing good may help to counter the 焦慮 and depression that currently undermines the health and well-being of many people in all walks of life.

And the need for kindness may have never been greater. The economic, educational and vocational stresses associated with the pandemic continue to take a toll. In addition, the media, the internet, and even neighbourhood streets are often filled with physical threats and hateful remarks directed at large segments of the population.

Although members of minority groups, be they racial, ethnic, religious or sexual, are increasingly willing to speak out against verbal and physical attacks and discrimination, many targeted individuals continue to suffer in silence. Little wonder that rates of anxiety and depression remain high.

Children, who can readily sense the emotional distress of their caregivers, often share the pain. But experts say there’s an antidote that could benefit everyone. They call it “prosocial behaviour”, or acting in ways that help other people.

Too often, parents place a higher value on getting good grades or winning at sport than on helping people who need it

In her recently published book, 社會正義育兒, Traci Baxley, an associate professor of education at Florida Atlantic University, emphasises the rewards of teaching compassion and kindness to a new generation. Her goal in fostering a more just world for all is to raise children “who can ultimately self-advocate, empathise with others, recognise injustice, 以及 become proactive in changing it”.

Her book, which I found hard to put down, is replete with excellent examples and advice that can help parents raise children with a healthy self-image and regard for the welfare of others. She writes, “It is our obligation to teach our children to stand up and be allies for groups that are marginalised and silenced.”

Baxley, the mother of five children, tells me that upon returning to school after the pandemic lockdown, many young people experienced an increase in depression and social anxiety that can be counteracted by prosocial behaviour. “Just seeing compassion and kindness in action releases chemicals in the brain that helps them calm down,” she says. “It slows the heart rate and releases serotonin, which counters symptoms of depression.”

Prosocial behaviour may come naturally to some. Even children as young as two or three may spontaneously share a treat or toy with an unhappy playmate. But most children need to learn it from the same people who teach them to say “please” and “thank you”, and the earlier in life that happens, the better.

For starters, prosocial behaviour requires compassion and empathy, the ability to recognise and care about the needs and well-being of others. But compassion without constructive follow-up benefits no one. Step two is kindness, aka compassion in action. You may be distressed to see an elderly person struggling with heavy packages, but unless you offer to help or at least express a wish to help but explain why you can’t, your compassion goes to waste.

One of my proudest moments as a grandmother was learning that a grandson, aged six, comforted a classmate who had become motion sick on a school bus trip. While other children on the bus moved away in disgust, my grandson put his arm on the ill child and asked if he felt better.

As my four grandchildren continued to grow, I realised that all of them had too much “stuff”, and I’d been remiss by adding to the pile with my Christmas gifts of toys and clothes. Henceforth, I told them, I would give them money to donate to any nonprofit group they choose that works to better the lives of others or the world. One boy picked a tutoring programme for needy children; one chose an after-school sports programme; another with deep interest in the environment sent his gift to the American Forests; and the youngest, age 10, gave to a local food bank.

Baxley recounts similar episodes in 社會正義育兒. She tells of a son’s excitement at finding a $20 bill, then soon after giving it to an immigrant family holding a sign that read “Can you please help us with our rent?”

Too often, Baxley said, parents place a higher value on getting good grades or winning at sport than on helping people who need it. She said it’s also important to foster a child’s emotional well-being by accepting and nurturing the child you have, not trying to forcefully create the one you want. A child who lacks athletic ability and spurns sport should not be made to participate in one because the parent values it and it could help the child get into college, she said.



除了可能在學校受到欺凌外,現在還增加了對 父母 在線網絡欺凌,這可能難以監控和檢測。

反欺凌慈善機構 Ditch the Label 發現,英國 10-15 歲的兒童中有近五分之一 (19%) 經歷過網絡欺凌,相當於大約 764,000 名兒童。 That’s a huge and worrying number.

To help parents navigate online bullying, 環境音 與兒童發展專家和在線育兒社區創始人 Kalanit Ben-Ari 博士合作, 村莊, to share tips on how to spot if your child is being bullied online and how to approach the situation.

How online trolling can affect a child

Short term effects

“Online trolling can harm a child’s sense of safety, joy, and trust in others. It can cause them to withdraw from social interactions, anxiety and be closed off in their bedroom, affecting their self-esteem, mental health, and in some cases their body confidence. If the child has a strong connection with their family, they can reach out to an adult for appropriate support and guidance. Sleeplessness is also a common short-term effect of online bullying.”

Long term effects

“Unfortunately, the effect can even be more devastating when children don’t have a strong connection with their family, and the child or teenager has no educational or emotional support systems to enable them to cope with the situation. This can worsen the long-term consequences of being bullied. Such as chronic depression, substance abuse, self-half, and suicidal thoughts/attempts.”

How to spot the signs your child is being bullied online

Changes in your child’s behaviour

“Changes could include, but are not limited to, anxiety, withdrawal from friends and family, closing themselves off in their bedroom, feeling upset and expressing sadness without a clear reason as to why.”

They stop taking part in activities

“Many victims of online and offline bullying experience that they no longer participate in activities they used to enjoy. This usually ties in with victims of bullying no longer seeing people that they used to.

“Look out for an obsession with being online, checking messages all the time, feeling stressed and anxious if they are not able to do so constantly.”

They are isolating themselves

“Your child may appear to be isolating themselves within the home, expressing anger, or showing an unexpected decline in their schoolwork. The signs can vary in intensity and quantity from one child to the next, but if there is very little joy in their life, or they are trying to avoid school or their usual social life this can be a clear indicator of an issue such as online trolling.”

How to help if you think your child is a victim of online trolling

Initiate a safe conversation

“Initiate a conversation while you are busy doing another activity, such as walking or driving, so the child or teenager doesn’t need to maintain eye contact. Safe conversations mean speaking without any judgment or strong emotions as this can lead them to close up even more.

“The message that you want to portray is that your child will not regret sharing their struggle with you. Parents should avoid blaming or shaming, allowing space for the teen or child to talk about what is going on for them and explore together what can be done to resolve the situation.”

Get the school involved

“Reporting bullying incidents to the child’s school is essential for the bullying to be taken seriously. There is also a need, between parents and schools, to educate children about online safety.”

Show them privacy settings

“It is important to educate them about privacy settings on social media, and about not engaging with people they do not know directly and in person.”

Monitor your children online

“From restricting screen time, blocking apps at certain areas and filtering what content kids can see, security apps permit parents to customize the apps to their family. There are many apps you can choose from, some free and some at a subscription cost.”

我的孩子和 #039; 的自閉症診斷是如何導致我自己的







有趣的是,一旦這兩個被診斷出來,我仍然不知道我的大孩子,我 13 歲的孩子,他在小學時在社交和學業上的表現都非常出色,可能會出現在譜系中。當他們開始上高中時,一切都分崩離析,讓我們發現他們也患有自閉症和多動症。

在我所有的孩子都被診斷為自閉症之後,我開始閱讀我推薦的有關自閉症女孩的書,以幫助我更好地理解和支持我的女兒。我決定突出任何與我產生共鳴的東西是個好主意。在這本書讀到一半時,我強調了其中的大部分內容,並意識到這根本不是針對我女兒的。它解釋了從我還是個小女孩到現在的生活對我來說是怎樣的。很多我不知道的事情與自閉症有關,我認為它們只是 Anthea 所做、想到或感覺到的事情。