Raising a Secure Child Book Summary - Raising a Secure Child Book explained in key points
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Raising a Secure Child summary

Kent Hoffman, Glen Cooper and Bert Powell with Christine M. Benton

How Circle of Security Parenting Can Help You Nurture Your Child’s Attachment, Emotional Resilience, and Freedom to Explore

4.3 (213 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

'Raising a Secure Child' by Kent Hoffman, Glen Cooper and Bert Powell with Christine M. Benton is a guide that outlines how to foster secure attachments with children by "Circle of Security" method, allowing them to develop emotional resilience and positive relationships.

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    Raising a Secure Child
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    A secure attachment to a primary caregiver is vital for a healthy childhood and adulthood.

    Once a child is born, the baby is programmed to latch onto at least one individual they can rely on to understand and respond to their needs. This is called finding a secure attachment, and according to the psychological model of attachment theory, it may be the single most important step to achieving a physically and emotionally healthy life.

    Attachment theory was developed in the twentieth century by psychologists who recognized that babies have an innate biological need for emotional comfort.

    After World War II, British psychologist John Bowlby noticed that children living in orphanages were miserable despite being warm, clothed and well-fed. Bowlby deduced that the problem must stem from the one thing they didn’t have – a primary caregiver. Since the children had no one to attach to emotionally, they lacked a reliable source of reassurance, encouragement and comfort.

    Psychologist Harry Harlow expanded on Bowlby’s findings by studying the habits of baby monkeys. When infant primates were given the option of a figure covered in soft cloth similar in feel to that of an adult monkey, or a non-cuddly wire figure that provided food, the baby monkeys consistently preferred comfort, that is, the cloth figure, over sustenance.

    Psychologists have also come to see a child’s secure attachment as the foundation of both physical and emotional health.

    When an attachment isn’t secure, a baby’s primary needs can go unmet, causing stress. This leads to the body producing the stress-related hormone cortisol, which causes systems within the body to slow down and become less effective. One such system is metabolism, which, when slowed down, causes an increase in abdominal fat. The immune system is also affected, resulting in a lowering of defenses to viruses and diseases. Cortisol is also known to damage memory and cognition.

    In addition to these health risks, a secure attachment can also affect the framework for a child’s future relationships.

    Studies have shown that with stable, secure attachment, children show a greater ability to empathize and form secure relationships as adults. This is also seen as a strong indicator of long life: studies worldwide have shown that socially isolated people are twice as likely to meet a premature death than those who are socially integrated.

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    What is Raising a Secure Child about?

    Raising a Secure Child (2017) is a guide for new or expecting parents wanting to make sure they meet the many needs of their child. Hoffman et al. are experts in helping caregivers form healthy bonds with their kids while reminding parents not to get hung up on being perfect. The authors also show how parents can better understand their own insecurities and make sure they don’t pass them on to their children.

    Raising a Secure Child Review

    Raising a Secure Child (2017) is a valuable resource for parents and caregivers looking to create a secure and nurturing environment for their children. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides practical strategies and insights on how to build secure attachments with children, fostering their emotional well-being.
    • Through real-life stories and case studies, the book offers a deep understanding of the significance of secure relationships in a child's development.
    • Backed by research and written by experts in the field, the book offers evidence-based advice that is both informative and reliable.

    Best quote from Raising a Secure Child

    Secure attachment is knowing that someone has your back… knowing someone has your back opens a world of new possibilities

    —Kent Hoffman, Glen Cooper and Bert Powell with Christine M. Benton
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    Who should read Raising a Secure Child?

    • Current or expecting parents
    • Nannies and childcare professionals
    • Students of social work and child psychology

    About the Author

    Kent Hoffman, Glen Cooper and Bert Powell have shared a clinical practice in Spokane, Washington since 1985. They developed the circle of security theory to assist and educate both parents and professionals, and have also published the book The Circle of Security Intervention: Enhancing Attachment in Early Parent-Child Relationships (2013).

    Christine M Benton is a Chicago-based writer and editor whose self-help books have specialized in health and psychology. She is also the co-writer of Winter Blues Survival Guide: A Workbook for Overcoming SAD (2013) and Your Defiant Child (1998).

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    Raising a Secure Child FAQs 

    What is the main message of Raising a Secure Child?

    Build strong, secure attachments with your child to support their emotional development.

    How long does it take to read Raising a Secure Child?

    The reading time for Raising a Secure Child varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Raising a Secure Child a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Raising a Secure Child is a valuable read for parents and caregivers. It provides practical guidance and insights for raising emotionally healthy kids.

    Who is the author of Raising a Secure Child?

    The authors of Raising a Secure Child are Kent Hoffman, Glen Cooper, and Bert Powell, with Christine M. Benton.

    What to read after Raising a Secure Child?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Raising a Secure Child, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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