4 S’s of Secure Attachment

Last week was Mother’s Day, which is still a challenging day even 34 years after her passing. I thank her for the presence and love she showed me throughout the early years of my life.  

I’ve thought and read a lot about secure attachment. It is something I care deeply about.

Daniel Siegel, M.D., writes about secure attachment, parenting, and how the brain works. One of my favorite books is titled, Parenting From The Inside Out (2004) co-authored with Mary Hartzell, M.Ed. His newest book, co-authored with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., is titled, The Power of Showing Up.

They state, “Every child needs to feel what Siegel and Bryson call the Four S’s:”

  • Safe
  • Seen
  • Soothed
  • Secure

I love the simplicity of this list because it can easily be applied to other relationships.

Over the weekend, I read about the conundrum facing administrators, educators, and parents; the how and when to reopen schools, and the endless what ifs. The answers are not immediately clear, that’s for sure.

Educators are going to be faced with the task of processing all kinds of emotions, and information. How do we provide educators with the same 4 S’s – being safe, seen, soothed, and secure? The reciprocity is critical for them to keep showing up and doing this critical work.

Stop asking educators to survive as they teach. Respect them, listen to them, honor their voices, and give them the support they need. For goodness sake find ways to replenish their capacity to show up, teach AND hold the container for our children.

That’s my message.