You may want to re-evaluate how you address your child's need for parental support during times of stress, as according to a study on, too much or lack of a loving response may spell commitment issues for your child.

Dr. Sharon Dekel, a psychologist and researcher at the Bob Shapell School of Social Work, together with colleague Prof. Barry Farber of Columbia University, worked with 58 young adults from ages 22 to 28 years and found that 22.4 percent of them were “avoidants” when it came to relationships. These are people who seem reluctant to be intimate with their partners in all aspects.

Basing their findings on “attachment theory,” the researchers tried to link adult behaviors to experiences during infancy. Attachment theory assumes that during times of stress, infants tend to cling to emotional caregivers (specifically, parents), and if they fail to respond or are overly responsive, the children learn to avoid them. When they grow up, they “try to satisfy unmet childhood needs” every time they get into a relationship, but continue to shy away from intimacy as a defense mechanism.

Dr. Dekel explains, "Avoidant individuals are looking for somebody to validate them, accept them as they are, can consistently meet their needs and remain calm--including not making a fuss about anything or getting caught up in their own personal issues."

Of course, as a child grows older, other factors also cause fear of commitment. But in order to shape your child into someone who won't break hearts, your presence is important. Be far enough for him to experience the world on his own, but be near enough to give support when the going gets tough. This way, he'll grow up to be well-adjusted and able to take emotional risks without fearing the future.

(Photo by MonkeyMyshkin via Flickr Creative Commons)

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