This is posted directly from Ce Eshelman, LMFT at the Attach Place. She offers relevant and truthful advice for parenting our challenging children.
Attachment panic in our children is painful and scary. It occurs when insecurely attached children are triggered by some kind of deprivation--major or minor, real or perceived--to experience abandonment at the core of their being. When the child feels that core abandonment, s/he goes into survival mode--fight, flight or freeze--because at least once, and often many times in the past, s/he endured the bone chilling fear of eminent death by abandonment.
What you need to know is that YOU cannot always prevent this kind of triggered panic. Over time YOU can build in your child a felt sense of safety by creating a safe, sensory-rich environment, being a safe and attuned parent, and helping your child understand that manipulation, excessive control and violence are misguided ways to get connection. It takes a long time to turn this around and heal the wounds. Keep the faith. Healing happens with consistent therapeutic parenting.
Love Matters,Ce Eshelman, LMFT