What exactly is attachment parenting, and would it work for your family?
For parents who want to have a closer emotional bond with their kids, attachment parent just might do the trick!
All parents have their own style of parenting. Some tend to be disciplinarians, striving to teach their kids right from wrong, and are firm when enforcing the rules. Other parents are more lenient and seek to teach their kids discipline through conversation and by setting a good example for their children.
Attachment parenting tends to focus more on the bond that a parent and a child has, and this nurturing connection is used to raise secure, empathetic, and independent children.
Here are some basics of attachment parenting according to Attachment Parenting International (API), an association that seeks to promote this style of parenting:
1. Prepare for pregnancy, birth, and parenting
Getting you and your spouse ready for your child starting from pregnancy will help you get rid of negative thoughts and emotions you might have about becoming a parent.
2. Feed with love and respect
Breastfeeding is the best way for mothers to gain attachment with their kids. It also teaches infants that their parents will respond to their needs and take care of them.
3. Respond with sensitivity
Parents should take their children's emotions seriously, even tantrums. This means that parents need to be sensitive and be more understanding when it comes to their child's emotions.
4. Use your nurturing touch
Skin-to-skin contact is emphasized in attachment parenting, and these include joint baths and baby-wearing.
5. Nighttime parenting is important
Attachment parenting emphasizes co-sleeping as an important part of parenting. Some practice bed-sharing or sharing the bed with their kids, but remember that the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against this as it may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.
6. Provide constant, loving care
Parents should constantly be present in their kids lives in order to provide them with care and affection that they need. Most proponents of attachment parenting try to avoid babysitters or letting other people take care of their children as much as possible.
7. Positive discipline is key
In attachment parenting, parents are advised to distract, redirect, and guide even the youngest of babies, and to model positive behavior. Attachment parenting focuses on understanding the child's needs which can manifest in their negative behavior. Parents should work with their child to solve their problems, instead of spanking, shouting, or telling their children off.
8. Strive for balance
A balance between personal life as well as family life is important in attachment parenting. Avoiding parenting burn-out is also a big part of attachment parenting.
Attachment parenting works on the idea that babies can thrive and trust their caregivers when their needs are constantly met. Proponents of this parenting style add that children who aren't provided their needs early on in life suffer from insecurity, lack of empathy, and, in extreme cases, anger and attachment disorders.
It's always best to learn more about a parenting style before applying it to your kids, and if you wish to learn more about attachment parenting, you can visit their website at attachmentparenting.org.