Omega Solutions

Behaviour Strategies and Training


Sidsaph Hill,


DN10 4HP


Tel. 07540 707356 (Kevin)  Email:

       07968 423795 (Julie)   Email:


Attachment - How do we put it right?

We feel that a good starting point is the approach advocated by Dan Hughes, an American Clinical Psychologist who believes that the PACE parenting model can improve relationships between the child and adult in order to overcome difficulties.

Essentially PACE represents core qualities of playfulness, acceptance, curiosity, and empathy which can allow trust to develop and leave the child in an open and engaged state of mind, receptive to her parents’ guidance and love. When parents are able to consistently maintain the attitude of PACE, they are more able to relate to their child with greater patience and understanding regarding their child’s behaviour, and then be in a position to respond to it, rather than react to it.



The adult is engaged with the child in a way that invites spontaneity, curiosity, and exploration. The parent is able to engage with the child openly, using facial expressions, voice and body to join in the affective and creative life of the child.  A playful attitude conveys the message that the strength of the relationship is larger than any minor difficulties. Family members with a playful attitude don’t take themselves too seriously and are able to laugh at their mistakes. The primary intent of a playful attitude is to invite the other into one’s experience - to simply enjoy being together, with no spoken or unspoken goals. Make it fun!!



Playfulness is fostered by an attitude of unconditional acceptance. The child’s safety is enhanced when her inner self is never at risk for rejection, ridicule, or disappointment when her parents relate to him.  Rather, only her behaviour is subject to their evaluations and guidance, judgements, or criticism. The child who feels accepted knows that she is not her behaviour. Acceptance, when felt completely and taken for granted, becomes a secure base upon which the child is much more likely to learn from her mistakes and to accept her parents’ decisions regarding her behaviour. For true acceptance to take place, it is vital that the parent has a habit of perceiving the individual child beyond the behaviours.



Ideally, parents are very curious to know who their children are from the time they are conceived. From birth, parents are continuously involved in acts of discovery with their child. When an infant senses the impact of his actions and expressions on his parents, he becomes more aware of these actions and more likely to engage in actions that have a positive impact on his parents. Curiosity is important for discipline to be effective. An attitude of curiosity is a “not-knowing” stance that requires that the parent inquire about the child’s inner life that led to the behaviours under concern. When a parent holds this kind of attitude towards the child, the child is much more likely to feel accepted by the parent and subsequently more likely to follow any disciplinary action by the parent.



Empathy is a natural response to being with another person. Our brains are wired to experience empathy for others. If we have experienced empathy from our attachment figures, it is easy to access empathy for those who see us as attachment figures. Likewise, it is hard for us to experience empathy for others if we have not experienced empathy from others in the past. Parents often think empathy will not be that helpful, so they try to fix the problem, give advice, or eliminate the problem by dealing with it themselves. It is important that the parent be comfortable with the emotions the child is experiencing.  As the parent facilitates her own emotional development, she is also increasing her readiness to experience empathy for the child when he needs it.

Copyright © Kevin & Julie Hayes 2021