Parenting styles: Attachment Parenting

Author: Mary 10:02, 22 April 2013 1533 0 0

Parenting styles: Attachment Parenting

What is Attachment Parenting?

Attachment parenting is a philosophy popularised by paediatrician William Sears and Martha Sears that emphasizes respect and developing connections with your child from birth. This philosophy is based on the principles of attachment theory in developmental psychology.

The concept is that if a child’s needs are met then they will trust their carers and develop healthy attachments throughout their life. Supporters of attachment parenting say that it raises independent, caring and secure children. Many parents decide to conduct attachment parenting before their child is born, while others realize after the fact that there is a name for their parenting style.

Attachment Parenting International

Attachment Parenting International (API) is an organization that works with parents around the world to educate them about attachment parenting and support families who already practice it.
There are eight principals API has to help families develop these connections during their daily life.

  •     Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
  •     Feed with Love and Respect
  •     Respond with Sensitivity
  •     Use Nurturing Touch
  •     Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
  •     Provide Consistent Loving Care
  •     Practice Positive Discipline
  •     Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

Some people think that attachment parenting is a pile of strict rules that must be followed. This is not so. Attachment parenting is a philosophy, not a specific checklist of how to raise your baby. But many common parenting practices such as letting a baby "cry it out" are contrary to attachment parenting values.

Putting it into practice

Attachment parenting varies with every family that practises it. There is not one way to apply API’s principals to your family.

For instance, some parents apply the 'Feed with Love and Respect' principal by breastfeeding until the child chooses not to. If you decide not to breastfeed, API supports bottle nursing as a second option. Bottle nursing is when a mother feeds her baby from a bottle while imitating breastfeeding behaviours (holding the baby close to your breast, switching from side to side, feeding on cue).

Many parents who plan on practising attachment parenting are worried about the amount of time involved in attachment parenting.  Experienced attachment parents actually find that this parenting style takes less time than traditional parenting. How come? Because the baby is with you most of the day and night a rhythm and relationship is developed that makes interpreting the baby’s cries and needs much easier.
Dads are also very important in attachment parenting, they can wear the baby, change nappies and support the mother with feeding.
API recommends bed sharing only for breastfeeding families. For families who decide not to share a bed with their children, API suggests co-sleeping. Сo-sleeping is when the baby sleeps in the same room as the parent, but on a separate sleep surface.
To conclude - the attachment parents see lots of benefits their children get with their parenting style, among them is a very strong bond the children and parents have plus they find that they are more confident parents.

Stay tuned for the next parenting style!

What do you think about attachment parenting? Let's discuss!

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