Ava's Bedside: Making Sense Through Attachment

by Nobo Komagata and Sachiko Komagata
(Ewing, NJ)

Ava's Bedside (front cover)

Ava's Bedside (front cover)

Although not a usual parenting book, Ava’s Bedside discusses one of the most important aspects of parenting, namely, child-parent attachment. According to current research, child-parent attachment is essential for more satisfying close relationships later in life and even for the ability to make sense of one’s life. In order to set a stage for the discussion, Part 1 of the book introduces a fable in which a dying hippo struggles with a question, whether her life was meaningful. Through conversation with other hippos, she finally realizes what is missing from her life. Part 2 of the book is a detailed commentary on the fable. The commentary discusses the importance of secure child-parent attachment for a meaningful life, referring to ideas in attachment theory. One of the most striking point is that a child’s attachment pattern forms during the first few years, before she develops explicit memory. Thus, most adults never know their attachment patterns. In many cases, childhood attachment is the source of various life issues: e.g., uncomfortable with one’s own parents, feeling not ready for having children. By learning attachment theory, parents will be able to reflect upon their own attachment patterns with their parents, and adjust the interaction with their children so that they can improve their children’s attachment to them. Furthermore, as the fable suggests, one may even be able to make better sense of her life in general. Note that “attachment parenting” books rarely discuss “attachment theory” and thus are not that helpful in this regard.

Part 2 contents
- Introduction
- Meaningful Life and Close Relationships
- Attachment Theory
- Attachment Patterns
- Strange Situation
- Attachment Continuity
- Adult Attachment Interview (AAI)
- Critical Discussion of Attachment Theory
- Mechanisms Underlying Attachment
- Parenting
- Other Close Relationships
- Bereavement
- Attachment and Meaningful Life
- Conclusion

The book also contains notes, bibliographic references, and index.

About the authors:
Nobo Komagata is a lifelong learner/scholar with interests in diverse areas involving complex systems, including, but not limited to, child-parent attachment, moral development, and linguistic pragmatics. For his exploration, he often adopts a phenomenological approach, i.e., suspending presuppositions, so that we are truly open-minded and not limited to conventional information and thinking. Prior to his current commitment, he was doing research in computational linguistics and taught computer science at the University of Pennsylvania (where he received a Ph.D.) and The College of New Jersey.

Sachiko Komagata is the Program Director of Holistic Health Studies at Georgian Court University. For this position, she combines her professional background as a licensed physical therapist with her cultural background rich in holistic health philosophy and practice. Her emphasis is on promoting the inner healing ability within us through close examination of the meaning involved in our everyday activities. Prior to her current commitment, she was teaching physical therapy at Temple University (where she received a Ph.D.), UMDNJ, and Thomas Jefferson University.

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