Beautiful this video… a must watch it will warm your heart … although, I have seen it before it always makes me tear up because it is simply beautiful
First appearing in the mainstream in 1958, attachment theory in psychology was pioneered by John Bowlby, a London-based psychiatrist who worked in a Child Guidance Clinic in London.
Bowlby’s hands-on experience led him to postulate on the importance of the child’s relationship with their mother in terms of developing cognitive and emotional functions.
Specifically, it shaped his belief about the link between early infant separations with the mother and later maladjustment and led Bowlby to publish his revolutionary theory.
Contrasting dramatically with other intellectuals of the time and the established status quo, Bowlby believed that children are born biologically pre-programmed to form attachments with others.
The motivating factor is pure Darwinism– this attachment will help them to survive and thrive.
The survival instincts include crying and smiling with the immediate goal of stimulating caregiving responses from their parents.
As opposed to other theories of the day, Bowlby stressed that determinant of attachment is not food, but care and responsiveness.
This is, of course, was met with widespread opposition and is still attacked by academia to this day.
Equally interesting, Bowlby’s theory placed paramount importance on early childhood attachment to parents.
In his research, he established that the critical period for developing an attachment was between birth and five years.
The consequences of not developing an attachment during this period were dire in his view.
Specifically, the child would suffer from several permanent developmental consequences, namely inability to regulate anger and reduced intelligence.
Although it is unknown how well versed Bowlby was with Ancient Greek notions of love, but his attachment theory has all the hallmarks of a storge-influenced concept.
Ideas of commitment to children, community and the sense of security all central to storge ideology are present in Bowlby’s work. Equally important, attachment theory is also grounded in the type of love that binds families together an idea that the unity of the group remains complete and unbreakable.
Again, this is highly consistent with the ideas of the Ancient Greeks when it came to parental love.
Notions of unconditional love and storage go hand-in-hand, despite the former being a relatively new phenomenon in the world of parenting.
Let’s take a step back here to fully understand the link though. It is easy and convenient for parents to openly declare to love their children unconditionally.
However, when children test the limits of parental love through acts of disobedience, defiance, and disrespect, this notion can be challenged, at face value at least.
According to psychologists, the dominant parenting approach practiced in the US was more conditionally based until the 1960s. The key keeping this order was rooted in fear.
But times have changed, and so have parenting styles, which have embraced unconditional love in both name and principle.
The textbook definition of raising a child with unconditional love is typically based on the idea that no fear is brought into parent-child interactions, from discipline to major arguments.
Further examination and subjective analysis define to love unconditionally as the ability of parents accepts their children completely and without restrictions or stipulations.
And yes, this need for unconditional love begins at conception and grows and grows.
The idea that storge necessitates certain familial loyalties, responsibilities, duties, and entitlements links it directly with the unconditional love of parenting.
Think of the expression “blood is thicker than water” and storge and unconditional love associated with parenting become basically synonymous.
Furthermore, academics also believe that a practice of more unconditional love will benefit children in the longer-term and encourage them to do their best and achieve the highest level of which they are capable.
Again, this complies with storge notions of duty and responsibility to one’s family and one’s self.
Interaction and your child’s mental health:
- If storge love is an instinctual love, it ultimately guides your interactions with your children.
- Over the past half-century numerous groundbreaking papers have reinforced the idea that the mental health of children depends on the way parents interact with them, hence the importance of following natural parental instincts rather than ego based responses.
- Psychologists have long debated the correct way to interact with children, and through their interactions have identified four methods.
Within the context of exploring the link between parent-child interaction and storge, we will focus on two extremes.
Firstly, type-A parenting is characterized by high control and low on warmth interactions towards children.
This style stems from the idea that by instituting discipline a child will become a functional adult.
While driven by the kind of parental love bucketed into the storge category and linked closely with the philosophy’s focus on family responsibility and duty, type-A interaction generally runs counter to this idea.
Children of type-A parents often fail to develop characteristics such as self-confidence and independence and thus fail to achieve what is expected of them by parents.
Secondly, and more in line with the storage principle of parental love and support is type-D parenting. In psychological circles, this style is characterized as high on control and high on warmth.
Taking a step back, parents with who favor overt expressions of love demonstrate a high love of unconditional love to their children.
Looking at this style more holistically, this type of parenting can distinguish between the child as a person and the child’s actions, decisions and attitudes.
This is a classic type –D parent. To ensure the continuity of a functional family unit, these parents are extremely consistent in their interactions with their children.
Rarely do they confuse children with the erratic behavior of punishing them one today and rewarding them another day for the same behavior.
Irrespective of the event, the key takeaway here is that when the child is punished for his and her behavior, self-worth remains intact.
The child doesn’t feel rejected, rather accepted for who they are.
It is here where the link with storage can be articulated.
Adopting a controlled yet loving parenting style, the storge precepts of a sense of security and emotional refuge are established.
As a result of this style of parenting the child has a sense of belonging to a family unit wholeheartedly and a sense of the permanence of love, also another storge trait.
Through the lens of mental health, a withdrawn, draconian style can have dire consequences for children.
Feelings of total rejection brew in children, as a result, leading to intense loneliness and misery, and most un-surgically, isolation.
Other mental health conditions such as depression, self-harm and suicide spike under parenting styles high on control and low on warmth.
Parent and child love will continue to arouse intense debate, new theories, and explanations.
While the answer to the strength and immediacy of this bond might eventually be proven by science or psychology, the most logical answer is more than likely to be based in a philosophical argument.