Thursday, June 2, 2011

"He's Really Attached to You..."

As I stated earlier, my inlaws moved back recently. After a hello and a kiss (oh, I am so not the huggy and kissy type), my mother-in-law said to me, "We heard [Bubby] is still really attached to you, so I guess we won't be getting any hugs."

I was pissed.

I don't know why, other than the obvious negative connotation she implied. It was an accurate statement. Bubby is really attached to me. The likelihood that he would give a near stranger (sorry grandma, but you haven't seen him since he was 2months old which makes you pretty much a stranger) an instantaneous hug was slim to none. As I relayed this story to my therapist she asked me what I could have said in response. I replied that I could have said, "Yes, he is. We don't see him being  attached to his mother as a problem."

Ooh, I wish I would have thought of that one on the spot!

Children who are securely attached grow up being trusting of others and without concerns of abandonment; they have a high degree of self-worth and feel liked. Attachment is "a secure base from which to explore close relationships."

My children know that they can count on us, as their parents, to be a safe haven and a place of comfort. They know that from that safe place they are free to explore their world and live to their fullest potential.

And, you know what, that's exactly what he did. Once he got acclimated to the situation, a new environment, new people and three little yip dogs pitter-pattering around, he was running around blowing kisses and giving away hugs.

So there.

Score: Secure attachment - 1; Nay-sayers - 0


  1. Hell yeah Secure Attachment - 1!! I'm right there with you. Mostest is just now at almost 4 not doing things that get those kinds of comments. Matter of fact it would take a couple of hours before he would get anywhere near my ILs when they/we visit and it sounds like it was more often than Bubby's contact.

    I like your after-the-fact comeback! That *is* a good one! :)

  2. That comment would have pissed me off, too! And of course, I would have thought of the perfect reply LATER as well. Just ignore people like that, they are either ignorant, or secretly jealous that they didn't raise their kids as lovingly as you! You're doing good, go attachment parenting! =)

  3. Gah! I would've been irritated. Honestly, do we want our children to run up to and hug people that they don't know? It's always a bit scarier to me when a child will instantly give that kind of affection to anyone.

  4. I get this too. My sisters like to say A is "spoiled" but he is also the most low-maintenance of the 3 babies, and the most content to do his own thing because he knows when he wants attention or cuddles again he will get it!

  5. Sometimes it seems like the grandparents forget what it was like to have small children. I don't know that many kids (none come to mind actually, though I'm sure there are some) who just run up and hug strangers. Who aren't even dressed up in Elmo costumes! ;-P Family, especially elders, are often going to judge and make little snippy comments. They are annoying, but not worth battling. I just smile & nod, and then we can have conversations about it when the family visit is over. And I try to limit the visits as much as possible. Beyond that, hubby HAS TO deal with it. It's his family -- and I feel like it's unfair for me to be put in the middle like that. He's much more comfortable having me fight the battles, and after a particularly awful Christmas, never again!!!

  6. You know, what bothers me about those kind of comments is that it's making it all about *them*. Like it's a personal insult. And never mind seeing the child as a human being with their own needs and desires.

  7. Argh! I hear this often from my MIL. I mean she hardly sees my kids and she expects them to be all lovey dovey to her because they are with my mom. But my mom cares and sees them everyday. I feel your frustration.

  8. "You know, what bothers me about those kind of comments is that it's making it all about *them*. Like it's a personal insult. And never mind seeing the child as a human being with their own needs and desires."


  9. Hi! You commented on my blog way back at the start of May (thank you, and sorry I'm so slow!) and I've finally had a look at some of yours.

    I can relate to this post in particular - I'm not the huggy kissy type either, and the MIL is very much a kiss-upon-greeting-and-offended-if-you-don't type of person. I've always tried to encourage/enforce (not always successfully) the concept that I don't want my kids to feel "forced" into things they're not comfortable with. Apart from simple respect for their decisions, I feel that teaching them early that they *have to* hug and kiss even when unwanted sets them up for potential abuse (or at least, simply confusion when they have to learn about appropriate behaviour) later.

    It's so difficult when we're feeling like we have to tread lightly to avoid offending the people we care about, but at some point they sometimes need to be reminded that they're the adults, and they are responsible for their own feelings (i.e. their reaction is not our children's responsibility).

    And I totally agree that there is nothing wrong with a child being attached to his own mother! (don't you hate thinking of the right things to say after it's too late!)

    Sorry to write so much; I just agree wholeheartedly with you and it's a big issue for me too.


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