Thoughts on fostering growth through empathy
- a blog for parents -
The Beatles said it simply. They even put it to music. But what does that even mean?
What is love?
Poets, writers, musicians and artists of all forms and fashions have tried - often in vain - to capture the essence of "love".
John Bowlby, a British psychiatrist coined the term "attachment" and developed "attachment theory" to make it easier for clinicians to talk about and decode "love".
Attachment theory, in a nutshell, it's a way of understanding the process and experience of being in a relationship with another. Attachment patterns (love patterns) reflect the patterns of the relationship. If a relationship has patterns that are respectful of mutual needs to express their individuality and autonomy while simultaneously meeting the mutual needs for safety and connection, the relationship can be described as "secure"; there is trust and opportunity for both parties to thrive.
In every (peer-to-peer) relationship, that's pretty much it! Both parties are equally responsible to create a loving relationship.
The parent-child relationship, however, does not consist of two peers and, therefore, is not an equal one. Children are vulnerable and dependent on parents for many years for having even their most basic needs met and therefore have significantly less power in the relationship.
Parents are the ones with the power in a parent-child relationship.
And, as Spiderman's Uncle once said, "With great power comes great responsibility."
The opportunity, the responsibility, the power to love....is yours.