I hear this a lot! You’re not alone. Sometimes we can think too much about avoiding being the parent we had, and too little about being the parent we want to be. Dodging the parenting styles we received growing up can often result in over-compensation and a scrambled approach where there isn’t a clear separation between parent and child.

Remember, it isn’t selfish to establish that separation either. It’s important for your child’s personal development to be independent, even from a young age. Children are innately empathic and will pick up on how you feel, including your anxieties and insecurities, and because their world is very small at this age, they’ll assume all these feelings of yours are caused by them.

But it’s never too late to bring about that separation in a positive way that benefits both you and your child. Ensuring your child knows you love them, no matter what they’ve done, will help to create a strong foundation in your child and sense of who they are. In practical terms, here a few tips:

Secure attachment happens with practice – so set up your child with an activity in the same room as you then practice popping in and out. remember that secure attachment isn’t being with your child. The only thing you need for secure attachment is your attention.

Secure attachment comes from your attention and ability to share joy with your child. This is closely linked with internal family systems work, which in short is about what emotions are being passed through a family.

Take breaks regularly to fill your internal reservoir so that you’ve the capacity for helping your child

This won’t be easy but if you remain consistent and predictable, you and your child will create the relationship you want, and deserve, to have.

If this resonates with you and you’d like practical support for creating the foundations of this important relationship, join the Calm Parenting Club today and be the change your children needs. The Calm Parenting Club is my online parenting community with daily access and parenting advise and support from myself to help you to be the mindful, gentle parent you’d like to be. Membership starts at only €10 a month.

Remember that accepting them and helping them now pays off so much when they are older.