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  • Writer's pictureMarine Lienard

"Hold on to your kids", a book by Dr. Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté

In today's fast-paced and digitally driven world, the challenge of maintaining strong parent-child connections is more pressing than ever. "Hold On to Your Kids", a book, explores the crucial role of attachment in raising emotionally resilient and well-adjusted children.


Book cover hold on to your kids

Understanding attachment:

Attachment is the deep emotional bond that forms between a child and their primary caregivers, typically parents. Dr. Neufeld and Dr. Maté emphasise the significance of this attachment in shaping a child's development. In the face of external influences, such as peer pressure and societal expectations, maintaining a secure attachment becomes a foundation for healthy emotional growth.


Challenges in the modern world:

The modern world presents unique challenges to parent-child relationships. Increased screen time, busy schedules, and societal changes have contributed to a shift in the dynamics of family life. In "Hold On to Your Kids," the authors argue that the erosion of the parent-child attachment is a significant factor in issues like peer-oriented behaviour, early independence, and emotional detachment.


Practical strategies for strengthening attachments:

1. Quality time over quantity:

Prioritise meaningful interactions over the sheer amount of time spent together. Engage in activities that foster communication and connection, whether it's cooking together, playing games, or simply having a heart-to-heart conversation.


2. Be an emotional anchor:

Create an environment where your child feels safe expressing their emotions. Act as a supportive presence during both triumphs and challenges, reinforcing the idea that your love is unwavering.


3. Limit screen time:

Excessive screen time can interfere with face-to-face interactions. Set reasonable limits on electronic devices and encourage activities that promote direct engagement, such as outdoor play, reading together, or family outings.


4. Establish rituals and traditions:

Rituals and traditions provide a sense of continuity and security. Whether it's a weekly family game night, a special bedtime routine, or holiday traditions, these rituals create lasting memories and strengthen family bonds.


5. Encourage open communication:

Foster a culture of open communication in the family. Encourage your child to share their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment. Actively listen and validate their experiences, building trust and understanding.


6. Model healthy relationships:

Children learn by observing. Demonstrate positive and respectful relationships in your own life, whether it's with your partner, friends, or colleagues. Modelling healthy connections sets the foundation for your child's understanding of interpersonal dynamics.


"Hold On to Your Kids" serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of maintaining strong parent-child connections amidst the challenges of the modern world. By understanding the principles of attachment and implementing practical strategies, parents can play a pivotal role in nurturing emotionally resilient, well-adjusted, and connected children. Ultimately, the key lies in making conscious efforts to prioritise and invest in the relationships that matter most in our lives—the ones with our children.

Marine, mother and founder of St Pancras Recruitment

Marine Lienard, Founder of St Pancras Recruitment


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