A child with an unhealthy attachment to their mother may display clingy or needy behavior have difficulty separating from their mother or be overly dependent on her approval. They may also be possessive of their mother and view her as a possession rather than a person. This type of attachment can be harmful to both the child and the mother as it can prevent the child from developing a healthy sense of self and limit the mother’s ability to lead her own life.
does my child have a healthy attachment
There are four main attachment styles: secure anxious-ambivalent avoidant and disorganized.
To have a secure attachment your child should be able to rely on you for support and feel comfortable coming to you with their problems. They should also feel comfortable exploring their surroundings and taking risks knowing that you will be there to help them if they need it.
If your child is anxious-ambivalent they may be clingy and need constant reassurance from you. They may also have difficulty trusting others and may be quick to anger.
Avoidant children may seem independent and uninterested in spending time with you. They may be reluctant to ask for help or express their emotions.
Disorganized children may have a mix of behaviors from all of the other attachment styles. They may seem confused or lost and their behavior may be unpredictable.
If you are concerned about your child’s attachment to you
unhealthy parental attachment to child
Unhealthy parental attachment is when a parent becomes too emotionally attached to their child. This can result in the parent being overprotective not wanting to let the child out of their sight or become jealous when the child pays attention to someone else. In extreme cases it can lead to the parent manipulating or controlling the child’s behavior. This type of attachment is not healthy for either the parent or the child and can lead to problems in the future.
Reactive attachment disorder
Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is a rare but serious condition that can develop in young children who have been neglected or abused. Children with RAD may have difficulty forming attachments to others and may show little or no emotional response. They may also be aggressive defiant and hyperactive.
Early intervention is critical for children with RAD. Treatment typically involves a combination of individual family and group therapy. Children with RAD may also benefit from medication to help control their symptoms.