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What's your child's attachment style?

Every child develops at their own pace and according to their own personality, but their attachment style can help or hinder their independent growth. Take this quiz to find out your child’s attachment style and how to nurture healthier connections in your family.

Quiz Questions

  • 1.
    It’s time for daycare drop-off, how does your child respond?
    • A.
      Kicking and screaming! They hate drop-off and pick-up is no better! And there’s usually a damage report of their acting out, too!
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Disorganized)
    • B.
      They make a bit of a fuss initially, but quickly stop crying and make friends easily once I’m out of sight. Always happy with hugs at pick-up time.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is...   Secure)
    • C.
      They don’t seem to care and head for a quiet corner to play by themselves.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Ambivalent)
    • D.
      They can’t wait for me to leave! And run away from the caregivers, always so independent!
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Avoidant)
  • 2.
    How does your child like to be comforted?
    • A.
      They run and hide and like to lick their wounds in private.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Avoidant)
    • B.
      They could take it or leave it. Sometimes they cuddle up, sometimes they self-soothe. I try to follow their lead.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Ambivalent)
    • C.
      Hugs and cuddles and reassurance, followed by freedom to make new mistakes.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is...   Secure)
    • D.
      They seem scared to let me know when they need things. Kids are a mystery.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Disorganized)
  • 3.
    How did your parents comfort you?
    • A.
      I always knew they were there when I needed them. Kind words and gentle hugs were the norm in my family.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is...   Secure)
    • B.
      My parents weren’t always around, so I learned to soothe myself a lot, but it was nice when they were there.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Ambivalent)
    • C.
      They used to belittle my feelings and I never wanted to share when I felt vulnerable.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Disorganized)
    • D.
      I would read books when I felt sad and lonely instead of reaching out to my parents.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Avoidant)
  • 4.
    How does your child ask for attention?
    • A.
      Either they hide until I go looking for them, or they come running! It’s hard to tell from one day to the next.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Ambivalent)
    • B.
      They come and climb in my lap, no matter what I’m doing. They know I always have time for them.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is...   Secure)
    • C.
      They run away all the time! It’s like they don’t need me?
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Avoidant)
    • D.
      They act out in strange ways, like hitting other kids or ruining their nice clothes, and sometimes it makes me so angry!
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Disorganized)
  • 5.
    If you were to give your child a ‘yes’ day, what would they want to do?
    • A.
      They’d plan a day with all their best friends and their family. So much love to share!
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is...   Secure)
    • B.
      I’m sure they’d take off into the woods with their friends, no parents allowed!
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Avoidant)
    • C.
      Hard to say, really. They’d probably pick one or two close friends to have a quiet day with, and we might or might not be invited.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Ambivalent)
    • D.
      I don’t even know if they’d know what to do with a whole ‘yes’ day to themselves. I think they’d cry to think of all the freedom.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Disorganized)
  • 6.
    Have you ever consulted a child therapist about your kid’s behaviour?
    • A.
      No, I feel like I have a good relationship with my child.
      (Correlates to: )
    • B.
      Yes, I try very hard to make sure I have the best insights I can get into my child’s brain.
      (Correlates to: )
    • C.
      No, but I probably should. Goodness knows my own childhood could have used some expert advice.
      (Correlates to: )
    • D.
      Funny you should ask, I just asked my doctor for a referral!
      (Correlates to: )
  • 7.
    It’s birthday party time. How does it go?
    • A.
      Pretty well, the kids mostly did their own thing, but the occasional scraped knee required some attention.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Ambivalent)
    • B.
      So good! The kids all had fun playing and exploring together, but us parents were allowed to be around for any bumps and bruises. So many hugs and kisses all day long!
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is...   Secure)
    • C.
      My kid felt too overwhelmed by all the attention and activity and ended up throwing the cake on the ground and kicking the clown in the shins, then cried when they got in trouble for it. Kids, right?
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Disorganized)
    • D.
      Hah! They took the snacks and presents and ran with them! It’s like they didn’t even need us there.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Avoidant)
  • 8.
    How does your kid respond to new authority figures?
    • A.
      With trust and open arms. Adults have always been there to protect and nurture them.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is...   Secure)
    • B.
      Very suspiciously. Stranger danger, all the way!
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Disorganized)
    • C.
      Testing, testing… Either they throw them challenges or ignore them completely.
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Ambivalent)
    • D.
      You can’t assert authority if you can’t find them, right?
      (Correlates to: Your child’s attachment style is… Avoidant)
  • 9.
    What do you think your own approach to attachment is?
    • A.
      I want to feel connected to other people, but I sometimes worry that they don’t like me.
      (Correlates to: )
    • B.
      I love creating connections with new people! And I love all my people openly!
      (Correlates to: )
    • C.
      I worry that becoming attached to other people can give them too much control over me. I guess I’m distrustful.
      (Correlates to: )
    • D.
      Opening up to other people makes me very uncomfortable. So many people in my past have let me down.
      (Correlates to: )

Quiz Outcomes

  • 1.
    Your child’s attachment style is...   Secure
    A securely attached child is one that’s happy to be around their parent – most of the time. A secure child will be happy to see you when you return after absence, feel comfortable exploring their world when you’re nearby, and will actively seek you out when they feel stressed or unsure. The healthiest of attachment styles, a secure child will test their environment and learn to build resilience through trial and error, knowing that no matter what, you’ve got their back.A secure child will believe that kisses applied to owies hold healing properties, that there’s no monster that won’t disappear with a hug from daddy, and that no matter what, they can do whatever they put their mind to.What to look out for in a Securely attached child…Sometimes a child feels so secure that they don’t feel the need to branch out and test their world. It’s important to nurture the independence that will bring resilience later in life.We’ve all heard the term ‘helicopter parent’ bandied about and while it’s important to let your kids know they’re watched and nurtured, you also need to let them fail so that they can learn to cope with the trials life can throw at them.The real, true focus is that of respecting children -- even newborns -- as people with valid and complex emotions, who need respect, understanding, and love.“A secure attachment is the ability to bond; to develop a secure and safe base...”― Asa Don BrownSo how do you Nurture Secure Attachment?4 Things to Focus on to Build Security1. Structure. A predictable daily routine is essential to your child's development, helping her feel more secure and more able to deal with change.Stick to a schedule, and designate proper places to play or do homework, and help your kid keep her room organized. These will help calm fears of the unknown and chaos, fostering a more secure attachment style.This dimension works well for overactive, disorganized, resistant or overstimulated children.2. Engagement.Plan fun group games and activities that promote interaction with your child, such as Monopoly or Sorry.Encourage your child to participate with you and her peers.All children need engagement, but these exercises can particularly benefit kids with insecure avoidant or withdrawn attachment styles.3. Nurture.Hugging, kissing and affectionate environments help your child feel loved and valued.You can often improve your child's attachment just by turning up the dial on your "nurture meter."Nurturing activities promote a calm, predictable and safe environment to help kids relax.4. Challenge.Challenging activities are fantastic for drawing out more timid or rigid children.Securely attached children are natural explorers, and often take risks—usually while we hold our breaths and cross our fingers for their safety! While jumping off the back of the couch isn't always the best idea, learning to take mild, age-appropriate risks—such as playing a new instrument, or joining a sports team—is part of growing up. This helps foster confidence and independence.Attachment and YouHey there, I’m Dr. Asha Powell, Child Psychologist, Parental Coach, and Best Selling Author of “Attachment and Your Child.”It’s my dream to help every parent nurture healthy relationships with their children early on, so they can get the best start on building a life of resilience and happiness.Learning about your child’s attachment style can bring great clarity to the boundaries you need with your child – and every child brings its own unique challenges.I believe by healing our own attachment wounds, we make ourselves better parents for the next generation. I’ve been a guest on many podcasts, including “Heal Your Child” and “Healing Attachment,” and you can find my new book, “Attachment and Your Child,” wherever books are sold.Secure CommunityHere are some resources to help you with the challenges that come with being a parent.1. Check out my Youtube Channel, Family Matters. You’ll find videos to help you understand your child’s behaviors, the root causes of their struggles, and how you can adapt your parenting style to help your child grow into a healthy adult. 2. Feeling like you’re alone in your parenting struggles? Join me on Facebook, where I’ve created a support group for parents to share their struggles in a judgement free zone. I’ll also be sharing some parenting hacks and security building exercises.3. Don’t know where to begin but know that your child is struggling to form healthy attachments? Book a consultation with me and we’ll not only determine what’s holding your child back, but how to heal your own trauma so it doesn’t negatively impact your family. Stay connectedHead on over to your inbox to grab the free attachment guide I’ve created to help you create security for your child.Over the next few days, I'll be sharing more parenting psychology tips and tricks to help you create love and security in your relationship with your child.“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”— Dr. Seuss
  • 2.
    Your child’s attachment style is… Ambivalent
    A child who gets anxious, seeks you out, but then struggles to get away has an ambivalent attachment style. They might also hesitate to check out their surroundings, and can be frustrated with how you respond to their actions.Children with an ambivalent attachment style appear to have uncertain feelings towards their parents. They may appear to be dependent on their caregiver in some moments – only to completely reject them in others.Ambivalent attachment to a caregiver may cause a child to have a hard time exploring new places, seeming more worried about where their parent is. However, when their parent returns, that child still may not appear to be comforted enough to explore. Their parent's presence doesn't seem to soothe their distress entirely.When this type of child feels the need for love and nurturing, they’ll often find the worst ways to get the attention they’re looking for, and in doing so get the exact opposite of the love and encouragement that they crave.What to look out for in a Ambivalently attached child… An ambivalently attached child will ignore or express ambivalence around their caregiver, but become anxious, angry, or upset when they leave.When a child with ambivalent attachment grows into adulthood, those attachment issues can come across as constantly looking for proof of love and affection. They can be distrustful of others and seek to verify the relationship, often with extreme behaviors that can backfire and alienate the very person they want to connect with.While trying to nurture an independent child, it can be difficult to find the balance between supporting your child and smothering them, but their ambivalence will tell you when you’ve erred on the side of playing it too cool.The real, true focus is that of respecting children -- even newborns -- as people with valid and complex emotions, who need respect, understanding, and love.“Say yes to the feelings, even as you say no to the behaviour.” – Dr. Daniel J SiegelFrom Ambivalent to SecureHow to Help Your Child Feel Safe to be Themselves1. Structure. A predictable daily routine is essential to your child's development, helping her feel more secure and more able to deal with change. Stick to a schedule, and designate proper places to play or do homework, and help your kid keep her room organized. These will help calm fears of the unknown and chaos, fostering a more secure attachment style. This dimension works well for overactive, disorganized, resistant or overstimulated children.2. Engagement.Plan fun group games and activities that promote interaction with your child, such as Monopoly or Sorry. Encourage your child to participate with you and her peers. All children need engagement, but these exercises can particularly benefit kids with insecure avoidant or withdrawn attachment styles.3. Nurture.Hugging, kissing and affectionate environments help your child feel loved and valued. You can often improve your child's attachment just by turning up the dial on your "nurture meter." Nurturing activities promote a calm, predictable and safe environment to help kids relax. 4. Challenge.Challenging activities are fantastic for drawing out more timid or rigid children. Securely attached children are natural explorers, and often take risks—usually while we hold our breaths and cross our fingers for their safety! While jumping off the back of the couch isn't always the best idea, learning to take mild, age-appropriate risks—such as playing a new instrument, or joining a sports team—is part of growing up. This helps foster confidence and independence.Attachment and YouHey there, I’m Dr. Asha Powell, Child Psychologist, Parental Coach, and Best Selling Author of “Attachment and Your Child.”It’s my dream to help every parent nurture healthy relationships with their children early on, so they can get the best start on building a life of resilience and happiness.Learning about your child’s attachment style can bring great clarity to the boundaries you need with your child – and every child brings its own unique challenges.I believe by healing our own attachment wounds, we make ourselves better parents for the next generation. I’ve been a guest on many podcasts, including “Heal Your Child” and “Healing Attachment,” and you can find my new book, “Attachment and Your Child,” wherever books are sold.Secure CommunityHere are some resources to help you with the challenges that come with being a parent.1. Check out my Youtube Channel, Family Matters. You’ll find videos to help you understand your child’s behaviors, the root causes of their struggles, and how you can adapt your parenting style to help your child grow into a healthy adult. 2. Feeling like you’re alone in your parenting struggles? Join me on Facebook, where I’ve created a support group for parents to share their struggles in a judgement free zone. I’ll also be sharing some parenting hacks and security building exercises.3. Don’t know where to begin but know that your child is struggling to form healthy attachments? Book a consultation with me and we’ll not only determine what’s holding your child back, but how to heal your own trauma so it doesn’t negatively impact your family. Stay connectedHead on over to your inbox to grab the free attachment guide I’ve created to help you create security for your child.Over the next few days, I'll be sharing more parenting psychology tips and tricks to help you create love and security in your relationship with your child.“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”— Dr. Seuss
  • 3.
    Your child’s attachment style is… Avoidant
    Avoidant children do just that—steer clear of your presence, avoid engaging with you, and ignore questions you ask. If you don't get a reaction, or see few displays of emotion from your child, they’re likely avoidant.Having an avoidant attachment style means that your child may feel free to explore their environment without concerning themself too much with what you’re doing.They are more physically and emotionally independent from you and may not cry when they are separated or reunited.A child with an avoidant attachment style may be more likely to have a parent or caregiver who is not as sensitive to their needs and is unavailable when the child is experiencing emotional distress, which leads to them believing that they can’t depend on them. The idea of “crying it out” can lead to a child developing avoidant attachment, so while you build resilience, you can sometimes damage the security of their relationship with you.As a result, your child can often appear to be more interested in toys and their environment than they are in connecting with you.What to look out for in an Avoidantly attached child…An avoidant child will be more comfortable with their own company, and will either avoid their parents completely, or show little preference for them over any other adult presence.In adulthood, an avoidantly attached person will avoid contact with their loved ones, be emotionally unavailable to their own children, and will have difficulty expressing their emotions. They’ll also withdraw from confrontation, often choosing their own company over the stresses of trying to relate to others and their needs.It’s possible to nurture a child away from avoidance into a more secure attachment style, to help them grow into more easily connected adults.The real, true focus is that of respecting children -- even newborns -- as people with valid and complex emotions, who need respect, understanding, and love.From Avoidant to SecureHow to Help Your Child Feel Safe to be Themselves1. Structure.A predictable daily routine is essential to your child's development, helping her feel more secure and more able to deal with change. Stick to a schedule, and designate proper places to play or do homework, and help your kid keep her room organized. These will help calm fears of the unknown and chaos, fostering a more secure attachment style. This dimension works well for overactive, disorganized, resistant or overstimulated children.2. Engagement.Plan fun group games and activities that promote interaction with your child, such as Monopoly or Sorry. Encourage your child to participate with you and her peers. All children need engagement, but these exercises can particularly benefit kids with insecure avoidant or withdrawn attachment styles.3. Nurture.Hugging, kissing and affectionate environments help your child feel loved and valued. You can often improve your child's attachment just by turning up the dial on your "nurture meter." Nurturing activities promote a calm, predictable and safe environment to help kids relax. 4. Challenge.Challenging activities are fantastic for drawing out more timid or rigid children. Securely attached children are natural explorers, and often take risks—usually while we hold our breaths and cross our fingers for their safety! While jumping off the back of the couch isn't always the best idea, learning to take mild, age-appropriate risks—such as playing a new instrument, or joining a sports team—is part of growing up. This helps foster confidence and independence.Attachment and YouHey there, I’m Dr. Asha Powell, Child Psychologist, Parental Coach, and Best Selling Author of “Attachment and Your Child.”It’s my dream to help every parent nurture healthy relationships with their children early on, so they can get the best start on building a life of resilience and happiness.Learning about your child’s attachment style can bring great clarity to the boundaries you need with your child – and every child brings its own unique challenges.I believe by healing our own attachment wounds, we make ourselves better parents for the next generation. I’ve been a guest on many podcasts, including “Heal Your Child” and “Healing Attachment,” and you can find my new book, “Attachment and Your Child,” wherever books are sold.Secure CommunityHere are some resources to help you with the challenges that come with being a parent.1. Check out my Youtube Channel, Family Matters. You’ll find videos to help you understand your child’s behaviors, the root causes of their struggles, and how you can adapt your parenting style to help your child grow into a healthy adult. 2. Feeling like you’re alone in your parenting struggles? Join me on Facebook, where I’ve created a support group for parents to share their struggles in a judgement free zone. I’ll also be sharing some parenting hacks and security building exercises.3. Don’t know where to begin but know that your child is struggling to form healthy attachments? Book a consultation with me and we’ll not only determine what’s holding your child back, but how to heal your own trauma so it doesn’t negatively impact your family. Stay connectedHead on over to your inbox to grab the free attachment guide I’ve created to help you create security for your child.Over the next few days, I'll be sharing more parenting psychology tips and tricks to help you create love and security in your relationship with your child.“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”— Dr. Seuss
  • 4.
    Your child’s attachment style is… Disorganized
    Is your child's behavior completely unpredictable? If they don’t cope easily, you can't seem to comfort them and calm them down or they seem confused around you or another caregiver, they could have disorganized attachment.A child may have a disorganized attachment style when they appear to be disoriented by their parent's presence. They may seem confused and have no strategy to help them get across what they need to their caregiver.The caregiver of a child with a disorganized attachment style may seem to frighten the child who appears apprehensive by their presence.What to look out for in a child with Disorganized attachment...Parents might recognize disorganized attachment in their child if they seem constantly on edge.They may consistently crave the attention of their parents or caregivers but then frightfully respond to that attention. Parents might also note their child responds to their presence with tears, avoidance, or another fearful response.Children with disorganized attachment are often distressed when their parents leave, but they remain distressed when they return. They both crave and fear their parents.Parents who foster a disorganized attachment in their children often respond to their distress without the calm, soothing temperament that would foster a secure attachment.They may also send mixed signals: one moment soothing, the next angry or overwhelmed.Instead of attending to their child’s needs, they might respond to their child’s fear or distress by:laughing at a child’s fears or tearsyelling at a child to stop cryingsometimes responding to a child’s cries, but ignoring them for long periods at other timesbriefly soothing a child before losing patience and yelling or intimidating the childmocking a child in distressNo parent tries to create these responses in their child, but often we unthinkingly mimic the parenting styles of our own parents, without realizing that they were harmful the first time around, and don’t get any better with repetition. It’s important to seek outside help when trying to overcome harmful intergenerational habits. Only by addressing the patterns that created the disorganized attachment in your family can you work to correct them.The real, true focus is that of respecting children -- even newborns -- as people with valid and complex emotions, who need respect, understanding, and love.“The level of cooperation parents get from their children is usually equal to the level of connection children feel with their parents.” – Pam LeoFrom Disorganized to SecureHow to Help Your Child Feel Safe to be Themselves1. Structure. A predictable daily routine is essential to your child's development, helping her feel more secure and more able to deal with change. Stick to a schedule, and designate proper places to play or do homework, and help your kid keep her room organized. These will help calm fears of the unknown and chaos, fostering a more secure attachment style. This dimension works well for overactive, disorganized, resistant or overstimulated children.2. Engagement.Plan fun group games and activities that promote interaction with your child, such as Monopoly or Sorry. Encourage your child to participate with you and her peers. All children need engagement, but these exercises can particularly benefit kids with insecure avoidant or withdrawn attachment styles.3. Nurture.Hugging, kissing and affectionate environments help your child feel loved and valued. You can often improve your child's attachment just by turning up the dial on your "nurture meter." Nurturing activities promote a calm, predictable and safe environment to help kids relax. 4. Challenge.Challenging activities are fantastic for drawing out more timid or rigid children. Securely attached children are natural explorers, and often take risks—usually while we hold our breaths and cross our fingers for their safety! While jumping off the back of the couch isn't always the best idea, learning to take mild, age-appropriate risks—such as playing a new instrument, or joining a sports team—is part of growing up. This helps foster confidence and independence.Attachment and YouHey there, I’m Dr. Asha Powell, Child Psychologist, Parental Coach, and Best Selling Author of “Attachment and Your Child.”It’s my dream to help every parent nurture healthy relationships with their children early on, so they can get the best start on building a life of resilience and happiness.Learning about your child’s attachment style can bring great clarity to the boundaries you need with your child – and every child brings its own unique challenges.I believe by healing our own attachment wounds, we make ourselves better parents for the next generation. I’ve been a guest on many podcasts, including “Heal Your Child” and “Healing Attachment,” and you can find my new book, “Attachment and Your Child,” wherever books are sold.Secure CommunityHere are some resources to help you with the challenges that come with being a parent.1. Check out my Youtube Channel, Family Matters. You’ll find videos to help you understand your child’s behaviors, the root causes of their struggles, and how you can adapt your parenting style to help your child grow into a healthy adult.2. Feeling like you’re alone in your parenting struggles? Join me on Facebook, where I’ve created a support group for parents to share their struggles in a judgement free zone. I’ll also be sharing some parenting hacks and security building exercises.3. Don’t know where to begin but know that your child is struggling to form healthy attachments? Book a consultation with me and we’ll not only determine what’s holding your child back, but how to heal your own trauma so it doesn’t negatively impact your family.Stay connectedHead on over to your inbox to grab the free attachment guide I’ve created to help you create security for your child.Over the next few days, I'll be sharing more parenting psychology tips and tricks to help you create love and security in your relationship with your child.“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”— Dr. Seuss