This week I want to cover a series on Attachment Styles. You’ll read a lot on this in romantic relationships, however I don’t feel it is covered enough from the viewpoint of generational passing within the parent-child dynamic.
The Anxious Attachment usually stems from a child who worries a parent will leave. Boundaries are blurred + attunement is inconsistent (yoyo style). They often fear they are responsible for their parents unhappiness or anger, and feel anxious because their feelings aren’t ever noticed, validated or are labeled “high maintenance/needy.” They people please, try to perfect, and tend to those around them, slowly abandoning their inner emotional needs.
⭐️ When this child becomes a parent themselves, this tendency will reveal itself most commonly in needing affection, affirmation or reassurance FROM their child. They have a strong desire to connect, but the lack of boundaries, insecurity and fear leave them feeling anxious, turbulent + even angry. They unload this responsibility onto their baby to fix + the cycle continues.
You will see this commonly when a parent guilts a child for leaving the home to enter college, spending holidays with a new partner, or creating any sense of autonomy at all.
I have experienced this myself when my parents split and I dropped out of college to comfort + “help.” After years of people pleasing + walking on egg shells, I have learned that boundaries are my main tool to heal this anxiety within me. I also thrive from inner child work + engaging with safe people. Here I can hear + respond to my own needs, and practice communicating them without guilt to those with stable + secure relational skills.
Now, as a mother, I have broken the cycle of transferring the burden of responsibility onto my child. It isn’t theirs to heal, it never will be. Plus, I can gratefully watch them blossom without placing any expectation on them. They are free. I have more resources in my bio link if you’d like to dive deeper as well as an IGTV series.