I write a lot about the central role of healthy attachment for child wellbeing. But what IS attachment and how do you get it?? It can be easy for someone like me who is steeped daily in the topic to take it for granted that people know what we mean when we say “attachment.” And as Gordon Neufeld points out in the video below (forgive the ads, it’s worth watching, but see my caveat below), attachment is not an intuitive word — in other words a word whose meaning is naturally and easily understood.
Author of an excellent book on attachment, Hold On to Your Kids, Neufeld points out that the word attachment was invented as a way to have a term to unify a science around. (The scientific study of attachment began in the 1950s with John Bowlby’s landmark work.) To further complicate our popular understanding of the concept, the term “attachment parenting” was copyrighted by William Sears. “So,” notes Neufeld, “now people know it as associated with a particular organization and particular strategies.” (Neufeld avoids using the term.) (more…)