Parents who decided to adapt a more natural way of rearing their children called attachment parenting (AP), a term coined by a famous pediatrician and father of eight.
The entire process starts at the very beginning with pregnancy and childbirth remaining natural. Once the baby is born, attachment parenting encourages breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing, and later when the child is older, positive or gentle disciplining and homeschooling.
Each of these practices helps build a strong and healthy attachment between parents and their children. Many of the choices AP parents make, create controversy and disapproval especially from grandparents. These concepts are very modern.
Attachment parenting may seem like a deviation from the norm or traditional, but actually isn’t new. Its principles, in fact, date back to the natural practices and primeval behaviors of our ancestors.
Attachment parenting encourages treating our children the same respect, kindness and dignity that we would like them to give to us and other people.
Corporal punishment never fits into it, so spanking is definitely ruled out. What endeavors to ingrain in children is the tremendous capacity to emphasize and connect with others.
Attachment parenting does not have a fixed set of rules. It simply espouses principles that guide the actions of parents.
1.) As a good start – It is important that parents be prepared for pregnancy, birth and for being a parent. Fostering a strong bond between the parent and the child from the moment of birth or even conception is ideal.
2.) Breastfeeding – Breast milk is still the best food for babies. Breastfeeding does not only satisfy a nutritional need but an emotional need as well which is part of the bonding process between mother and child.
3.) Nurturing closeness – Being physically close to your child provides security, stimulation and familiarity. Touching time to cuddle, shower kisses to your baby can convey the deepest feelings of affection to your child.
4.) Responding to baby cries – Attachment parenting believe that crying is a baby’s way of communicating a need. To ignore it is to deprive the child of an appropriate, emphatic and loving response while promptly responding to baby’s need is beneficial to parent and child relationship.
5.) Night time baby caring – Babies have night time needs too and co-sleeping allows you to be readily available to your child during the sleeping hours. Night time is scary for children and knowing that you are near at hand enables them to realize that sleep is a safe and pleasant state.
6.) Tender loving care – Children need to have consistent loving care present with them. Make sure that the alternate care given you choose is somebody whom your child feels comfortable, can sense sincere affection and tender loving care.
7.) Gentle disciplining – Discipline does not have to be punitive. In attachment parenting, parents set limits and encourage desired behavior in such a manner that they do not damage the child’s self esteem. Allow your child to feel valued, cooperative and motivated to take the responsibility for self help and solving problems. Discipline is internal, prompted by compassion and respect for oneself and other people. It is not reactive to potential punishment.
8.) Balancing your personal and family life – You can be a better parent if you care for yourself. Though some practices get tiring sometimes in parenting your child, you need to strive for balance between your personal and family life not to jeopardize your other work and activities. Parenting, even the non-intensive mothering kind, can be strenuous but it is still important that parents do not neglect their own needs.
9.) Worth the effort – Though attachment parenting may seen to be a very demanding endeavor of parenting, but many find that the rewards are worth their efforts. Through attachment parenting, attached children are more secure, joyful, emphatic and compassionate about the world around them.