Ep 151: Is Your Teen’s Attachment Style Causing Problems?


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It’s important for our teens to connect to others. When we send our kids off into the world, we want to know that they’ll be able to bond with friends, work associates, and romantic partners. Since we won’t be around all the time, we hope that they can find nourishing, fulfilling relationships with other people! But some young adults aren’t quite able to form those types of connections. They become too clingy or distant, trying to force people in or push people out. Not every teen has the capability to maintain healthy relationships!

And while the teen years are influential, attachment styles are usually developed in the first three years of a child’s life–meaning it’s not always easy to help teens who are struggling to form strong bonds. But if we can educate ourselves and our families about the psychology of attachment, we can guide teens to recognize their own patterns. If we give them the ability to analyze their own behavior, they can work towards creating the positive friendships and romantic relationships they deserve.

In this week’s episode, we’re talking to Peter Lovenheim, author of The Attachment Effect: Exploring the Powerful Ways Our Earliest Bond Shapes Our Relationships and Lives. Peter is a journalist and author who dedicated six years to interviewing experts and scouring publications to understand the ins and outs of how we bond to one another! Now, he’s here to touch on some fascinating facts about relationships, attachments, and more.

Today, we’re getting into the different styles of attachment: secure, avoidant, and anxious–and talking about what parents can do to help teens who have difficulty with friendships or early romantic partners. Pate and I are also sharing the strengths and weaknesses of each kind of attachment, and why it can be so important to help teens discover their own personal tendencies when it comes to forming bonds with others.

Click for full show notes, exercises, and parenting scripts from this episode

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