Attachment and your Child
Attachment with caregivers is a biologically-based need. It is essential for survival. When a baby cries, the mother or father goes to the baby and looks after the baby’s needs. Attachment needs are expressed differently as children grow and develop. Babies may cry or coo, but toddlers and little children do other things to make their needs known and adolescents and adults communicate their attachment needs through other behaviours. Nonetheless, the need for attachment remains constant. We need to feel safe and secure in our connection with others and we need to feel that we can be independent and competent to explore the world. Connect focuses on helping parents understand how they can support a secure attachment with their teen.
Connect is a 10-week program to support parents and caregivers of pre-teens and teens with behavioural and emotional problems. Parents meet in small groups with two trained group leaders for 90 minutes each week. Each session provides parents with a new perspective on parent-teen relationships and adolescent development. Parents watch role-plays and try exercises that encourage more choices for responding to their teens’ difficult behaviour.
We understand that each child and each parent is different and change is part of development. Rather than teach only one way of parenting, we help parents to see alternatives in dealing with their teens in ways which support healthy relationships while setting limits and helping their teen to move forward.
Evidence Connect Works
With each group that runs parents are asked to fill out evaluation measures before, during, and after Connect so we can see whether the program is effective. Parents who complete Connect report that they feel more competent and effective in parenting and we see improvements in their mood and decreases in their levels of strain following Connect.
Parents also report improvements in their children’s functioning. We see significant decreases in internalizing problems (e.g., anxiety) and externalizing problems (e.g., conduct disorder). Parents tell us that, although the changes take time, they are well worth the effort!
To find out more about these studies and the evidence behind Connect, visit our Research page.
Find a Connect Group
The Connect Parent Group program has been offered in over 40 communities across BC, including urban, rural and remote regions of the province. If you are interested in finding out about a Connect Parent Group running in your area, please contact: