I’m pretty excited about this announcement. I chose to follow the philosophy of attachment parenting before I even knew what it was or met my child. Promoting healthy attachment with your child seems to be the most normal way to parent. Once my child was born and her heart defect discovered, I honestly believe that this approach helped me keep my sanity (or what I had of it to begin with) and save her life. I’m hoping that the new API website, forums, and classes, will help all parents find their own best way of raising their children and clear up some of the misconceptions about Attachment Parenting**.
If you are interested in talking more about Attachment Parenting with me. I have started posting each of the eight principles of attachment parenting, beginning with preparation for pregnancy, birth, and parenting. So far no one has bitten (on the blog at least, we’re having a great discussion at Maya’s Mom)…but I do hope you’ll drop on my and share your thoughts.
Attachment Parenting International (API), a non-profit organization that promotes parenting practices that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents, has several exciting changes they would like to announce, including:
- A newly redesigned web site and new logo at Attachment Parenting.org;
- Attachment parenting worldwide support forums;
- Parent Education Program – a comprehensive series of classes for every stage and age of child development from infancy through adulthood;
- A new book based on API’s Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting by API co-founders Lysa Parker and Barbara Nicholson which is expected to be available this summer;
- A series of podcasts, webinars, chats, and forums with API Advisory Board members and other supporters of AP. Future events are scheduled with Dr. Bob Sears, Dr. James McKenna, and Kathleen Kendall Tacket. Check out the events page for more information.
These are just a few of many exciting things going on at API. I hope you’ll stop by and check it out for yourself.
** I was getting wordy, so I’ll add this down here. Common Misconceptions I’ve Encountered About Attachment Parenting:
MYTH: If you don’t do everything an expert says, you aren’t following attachment parenting.
REALITY: AP is a philosophy of parenting, not a plan that must be followed step by step. There are many practices that are common among AP parents, and fit the AP philosophy better than other practices, but there is no litmus test. A lot of parents seem tired of so-called experts telling them what to do. And they think AP is just another example. The truth is that there is no “leader” of AP. It is a heterogeneous movement, not an orthodox one. While Dr. Sears’s books can seem a bit overwhelming, I’ll admit, if you are exhausted, even he is clear that each family must find its own balance.
MYTH: AP will make your child needy, entitled, and overdependent.
REALITY: Research suggests otherwise. By forming a strong bond of trust, your child will feel freer to explore. Your child is more likely to follow your lead, in terms of behavior. The idea is that a lot of “acting out” is done because a child’s basic needs aren’t being met–once the child trusts those needs will be met, he or she is less likely to “misbehave.” This one gets my goat, a bit, because I find it insulting when, during a theoretical debate, someone counters that “all the AP children they know are brats.” Anecdotes don’t really hold up as solid arguments, the parents and children aren’t there to defend themselves, and who knows what they are really doing as parents? Attachment Parenting isn’t giving your child everything he or she wants…it is taking the journey together.
MYTH: If you start a pattern of attachment now, you’ll have to continue (breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, etc.) forever.
REALITY: The pattern you are creating is one of trust. It is the expectation that you will help your child fulfill his or her needs. Obviously the form this takes will change over time…initially your child is all need and parental involvement is necessary to fulfill those needs. Gradually, with your help, your child will distinguish between needs and wants. Eventually, the child will be able to meet many of his or her own needs (with age-appropriate assistance) and learn to wait or do without certain wants. For most of human existence, people parented this way and still produced healthy, functioning adults. I promise, you will not have a breastfeeding, co-sleeping 20 year old, who needs to worn in a sling.