Parents often ask me how they can best support their children’s growth. Inevitably, the conversation will centre around how much love and affection is too much, and where the boundaries should lie.

According to Developmental Scientist Dr Deborah MacNamara, “there is a general fear and persistent myth that if we focus on building relationships with our kids, we may hinder their growth as independent and self-sufficient beings. There is a paradoxical relationship between attachment and separation, which is often misunderstood.

The short story is this: Attachment doesn’t slow down growth, it fuels it.”

So love freely, with deep affection, and be present with your child. When your children feel secure in their relationship with you, then they will no longer feel the need to look for love, and instead focus on thriving.

Read Dr Deborah MacNamara’s full article for more information, and strategies that parents can use to encourage the development of their growing humans.