It is hard sometimes to keep in mind the growth-promoting potential of the mismatches between parent and child goals because the parents’ empathy for the child can make them feel as if it is their fault that they cannot fulfill the child’s wishes.

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The basic premise of attachment theory is that toddlers can grow into happy and competent children if they can rely on at least one adult who makes them feel safe and protected. From this basic feeling of security in relationships grows the impetus to explore how things work in the world and to try out new skills.

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