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A child’s relationship with their father is an important one. When the connection is secure, the child can successfully move through the stages of development. When a father-child relationship is insecure, it can cause behavior issues, problems developing satisfying relationships, and hardships into adulthood.
What Is a Secure Relationship?
A secure relationship with your son or daughter means the child knows that they can depend on you. They know that if they need you, you’ll be available. This type of relationship begins to develop in children when they’re very young. Infants learn that if they cry, mom or dad will come to them to offer assistance. A child who has a secure relationship with their parents will be more confident and independent. Dad can become the child’s secure base as they venture out into the world.
You Know You’re Doing it Well When…
Your toddler may cry when you leave but then settle down if there’s a loving adult face to comfort them. This indicates that the child has learned that even though dad isn’t there right now, they trust that you’ll return.
For adolescents and teens, a sign that your child is secure with your relationship is the willingness to disagree with you. Now that may not be much fun for you, but it’s a good indication that they know you love and support them even when you have a different opinion.
You know you have a secure relationship with your child when they play and interact well with other children. This applies to children of all ages, though security and attachment behaviors are usually observed in early childhood.
Your child is happy to see you. For toddlers, you might even find that children are so ecstatic to see you that they cry. Adolescents and teens greet you with a genuine smile or a hug when they’re securely connected to dad.
Developing a Secure Attachment
Attachment is generally developed during infancy and early childhood by being responsive as a parent. Dads, as well as moms, can play a role in caregiving and foster attachment. When dad consistently responds positively to a child’s needs, they lay the foundation for a secure attachment. That means responding to cries, feeding when hungry, and protecting them and comforting them when they’re afraid.
As you can see, while attachment may be something that begins in infancy, it lasts throughout a child’s life. When dad can be counted on, and a child knows their father is there to depend on, they can grow up to become happier and more confident adults.