It hit me like a bolt of lightning as I was preparing a workshop that I presented at a national children’s spirituality summit last month. (My topic was spiritual learning styles and how a child most naturally connects with God.) God is a primary caregiver and attachment theory applies to a human being’s relationship with God, not only to our human relationships.
Others have the same perspective.
For example, Peter Lovenheim, author of The Attachment Effect, discovered:
“Of course I can have a true attachment relationship with God even though God cannot be seen. My sister, after all, had been unseen by me for more than a year now, yet I still had a relationship with her that met the attachment criteria…. I continue to keep her close (proximity) with photos and other objects, and by talking to her. And our love continues to strengthen me (secure love) and comfort me in times of stress (safe haven). My love for Jane and hers for me survives her death, as does our attachment relationship.”
We are born to connect.
Harry Reis, Professor of Psychology at the University of Rochester, writes: “Attachment theory always captivates students. When I lecture about attachment theory, even the most distracted student soon starts to pay attention.”
In my experience, if the subject of a relationship with God has come up in conversations I’ve had, everyone has admitted, “If it were possible, I would want to know God personally.” Kids are no different. Most of us want to feel attached to God.
How can I help a child strengthen his or her attachment bond with God?
All of these previous blog posts give a description of different styles children use while bonding to God, with practical ideas and conversation starters. This is so valuable to a child’s continued growth in faith.
“Attachment theory’s observations are at once wise, astute, and intensely personal–it’s hard to listen to an account of attachment theory without thinking, “Yes, that’s it!” (Professor Harry Reis)
Tweetable: Is your child asking about God or interested in knowing about God? Or maybe your kids resist going to religious services? Be sure you know the child’s natural way to connect with God. It’s almost certainly not the same as yours. Click to Tweet