Our primary need as human beings is that for connection. In fact, it is hard-wired into our brains, and meeting that need is crucial for our personal development, especially in the early years of life, usually until around the age of five. If during that period, a child was unable to bond with a primary caregiver properly, problems with attachment in teenage years, and earlier, will ensue. This means a teenager with attachment issues will have difficulty not only with forming healthy bonds with other people, but will also possibly have control issues, anger issues, underdeveloped conscience, and aversion to physical touch.
What causes issues with attachment in teenage years?
There are many causes of attachment in teenage years, such as neglect, abuse, and frequent separation in the earliest stages of a teen’s life. However, although these causes may sound daunting at first, sometimes life’s curveballs cannot be avoided.
What can you as a parent do?
So, what can you as a parent do if you have just been faced with the ugly truth that your son or daughter has issues with attachment?
First of all, be aware that resolving issues with attachment in teenage years will take a while, since it takes time to rewire the brain at that age, so be patient. Second, when it comes to your teenager, it is crucial that you provide him or her with a sense of security, which will help bring their guard down. Then, you can teach your teen to learn to accept love and thus repair his attachment issues.
Some of the ways you can help repair attachment issues include:
- Setting boundaries
Since kids not only need love but structure as well, it is essential that you set up consistent boundaries, so your teen knows how to behave. Doing this will help him be at ease since he now knows what behavior is tolerated and which isn’t, making his world more predictable.
- Help your teen feel loved
One of the ways you can do that is by giving them all of the attachment experiences they might have missed in childhood like cuddling or rocking. Since it is expected that your teen may have trouble identifying his emotions and communicating his needs, you will need to teach your teen to accept all of his feelings and not to label them as dangerous or bad, and then teach him proper ways of expressing them. Also, it is vital that you give your teen your time and undivided attention, but in ways that he’s okay with. If you make a mistake, own up to it and make amends, and always be available to reconnect with your teen after conflict.
- Professional Help
Besides things that you can do on your own, seeking professional help may often be needed. Family therapy, individual psychological counseling for your teen, and specialized therapy programs are some of the routes you can take.
Also, it is imperative that your teen’s physical needs are met as well, so diet, a good sleeping schedule, and physical activity are also of the utmost importance.
BlueFire Wilderness helps with attachment issues
BlueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program for teens. We help teens, ages 11 to 17, grappling with depression, ADHD, anxiety, defiance, and other emotional or behavioral problems.
At BlueFire, we strive to help each student find their inner confidence and succeed. We believe that through a balance of self-assessment, insight-oriented therapy, outdoor living, adventure activities, and academic focus these teens will find their true selves. We provide a supportive opportunity for parents and children to reconnect and strengthen their relationship.
For more information about how we help with attachment issues at BlueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today.