Child feels conflicted about close relationships

Caregiver:The parent gives support and sensitive care some, but not all, of the time. It is not consistent.

Child:The child doesn't know what to expect from the parent.The child does not explore their surroundings when the parent is around. When the parent goes away, the child is anxious and distressed. When the parent comes back, the child has mixed reactions.The child goes back and forth between pushing the caregiver away and then seeking comfort. It's hard for the child to calm down.

Expectations: Children learn that the parent gives support and comfort only at some times and not at other times.These children may have a hard time truly connecting to other people, even though they need to be close to others. They are afraid that others won't be there when they need them. Children begin to think they are only worthy of love and attention some of the time.

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