Attachment Parenting: What does it mean?

Attachment Parenting: What does it mean?

Sometimes I hear people say they practice “Attachment Parenting” because they breastfeed or cloth diaper or even because they feed their child organic foods. While these are lifestyle choices that often coincide with Attachment Parenting, they do not define it.

So what does Attachment Parenting mean?

Attachment Parenting International has identified 8 principles of attachment parenting. They are as follows:

    1. Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
    2. Feed with Love and Respect
    3. Respond with Sensitivity
    4. Use Nurturing Touch
    5. Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
    6.  Provide Consistent and Loving Care
    7.  Practice Positive Discipline
    8.  Strive for Balance in Your Personal and Family Life

These 8 principles provide a solid framework for understanding how to create, support, and sustain a close connection with your child. Naturally we desire a healthy attachment to our children. While our instincts will guide us accordingly, sometimes it is difficult to escape external pressures that may directly interfere with attachment. However to me one of the most important aspects of Attachment Parenting is interacting with your child consciously.

When you approach parenting intentionally you are more likely to follow your heart and to truly listen to what your child needs in the moment. For me this means there are very few “absolutes” in our family. Some people might argue that consistency is most important in child-rearing, although I prefer to be consistently flexible with myself and my children. This might take extra time, energy, and effort to analyze individual situations and develop resolutions; however it allows for connections to be preserved or even strengthened.

Over the next several weeks we’ll examine each one of the 8 principles further to better understand the evidence base in relation to attachment theory. Every Friday for the next 8 weeks I will attempt to dissect one principle and provide ideas for practical application. I look forward to learning and growing together! As always I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas as we navigate this parenting journey together. 🙂

RESOURCE TIP: If you are practicing or trying to practice AP, Attached Resources is a great place to gather and share.

Peace and joy,
Sarah

Tags: attachment parenting, attachment parenting international, attachment theory, breastfeed, cloth diaper, lifestyle choices, positive discipline, practice attachment parenting

Comments are closed.