6 thoughts on “On High-Reactive Temperaments and Secure Attachment

  • October 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Thank you for this fabulous, balanced, thoughtful and sensitive article. I had two very fussy babies, and was myself depressed and struggling with a difficult marriage which ended when my youngest was just 2. One of my children experienced a depression requiring treatment at 9 years old, and both were diagnosed with bipolar disorder as young adults. It would be easy to fall into guilt, but I refuse. My children grew into beautiful adults, loved and admired by many, with lots to contribute to the world. I gave them all the love I had. Like most moms, I did my very best, gave everything I could, and would still do anything for them (and they know it – which makes me one of the lucky moms of kids with major mental illness).

    My question now is, how can our wider communities better support fragile families like mine was? It’s clear to me that better community support is part of the answer. Not many could have done more than I did, under the circumstances. Yet we know that outcomes, like the future mental health of kids raised in such circumstances, are negatively effected. We can’t just change the culture that teaches us to value independence over health and wellness. But are there small, practical things we can do?

  • October 20, 2013 at 11:13 am

    How did you go from “high-reactive” infants to “fearful-temperament” infants???

  • October 24, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I am also failing to see the correlation between “high reactive” and “fearful-temperament.”

    My daughter was a high-reactive infant, securely attached, but certainly not fearful. We were always there for her, and she is now bold and confident. I suppose she may have been “fearful” if we had ignored her emotional needs. I don’t think all high-reactive infants are “fearful-temperament” unless their caretakers give them reason to be.

  • October 25, 2013 at 5:26 am

    I could not agree more! Both of my kids are highly attached. To some people, they would be appalled to see that my kids won’t let me out of their site. I have always worn them in a sling or wrap, we co-sleep, breastfeed, etc. Now that my older daughter is a pre-school age kid, I can see that all that strong attachment that I encouraged and nutured when she was a baby is really starting to pay off. She’s one of those ‘highly sensitive’ kids. If I hadn’t been so nurturing in the beginning, I’m not sure that she would be the confident little 3 1/2 year old that she is today. Short term effort, long term benefits 🙂

  • October 25, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I think my daughter is a high-reactive baby and can become a fearful one when her needs are not met or simply when she doesn’t get attention she needs. To thrive she needs me close by, when she plays with her toys I have to sit by her and watch, can’t even read this article because she gets distracted and wanders off so I can chase after her… Hehe when she was newborn most times she slept in my arms, refusing her own bed, waking straight up when placed there ( it is getting better now at 11months;)) It is hard being a responsive parent to your child needs in every aspect and situation to help them learn and archive they full potential. My daughter started taking her first wobbly steps by 10 months of age. Unfortunately I was more concentrated on my housework and completing orders (I work from home on a handmade business Munchkin KT Designs) at that time than helping her in practising and developing her new skill. As she just started walking she wasn’t stable with her steps and fall and hit herself a few times. I did respond immediately to her cries but wasn’t fast enough to stop her falling back or cushion her landing. Then I noticed she wasn’t doing so much standing and walking but more crawling, and realised she was simply scared that when she fall there won’t be anyone to catch her! She is fascinated with other kids walking and likes to stare at them, when she took steps on her own she was laughing happy and wanted to continue on her own without holding my hand. Seeing her skill of walking receding I decided to take time away from housework and business do pay attention to her! And after a week or so it is paying off she is taking larger walks by herself but if unsure sits down or clinch to me and holds my hand strong. Sorry for a long post but all I wanted to say is if you stand by your child and help them get through rough period of not sleeping or walking, or any other you will soon see a reward! They will sleep better, walk quicker speak clearer! Just hang on in there it won’t take forever for them to sleep on their own, walk by themselves, play on their own with their friends, and then you will have all time in a world to do your bits around the house!

  • July 3, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Brilliant article! Thank your very much!


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