Attachment Parenting Encourages Parents to Make Time for Kids
by Danielle Rice
We all have busy schedules – work, school, playdates, soccer, and dance – and are always stressing about the need to do more, more, more for our kids. But is this what really matters most? What about just spending time with our children? And it doesn’t matter how old they are, and how little “extra” time you have. Quality, not quantity, is what counts when it comes to parenting.
“Research confirms the immense emotional, social and cognitive benefits to children from receiving one-on-one, unstructured time with their parents,” said Barbara Nicholson, author and co-founder of Attachment Parenting International (API).
API promotes parenting practices that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents for life. Children take these bonds with them into their adult lives and share them with their own children, creating a life cycle of compassion and connection.
According to William Sears, MD, noted parenting author, speaker, and founder of www.AskDrSears.com, Attachment Parenting is a style of caring for your infant that brings out the best in the baby and the best in the parents. “In nearly 40 years in pediatric practice and parenting our own 8 children, Martha and I are seeing the long-term benefits of attachment parented kids,” said Dr. Sears. “They are caring kids who thrive on the quality of empathy. They are able to get behind the eyes of other people and imagine the effects of their behavior on others.”
The essence of Attachment Parenting is about forming and nurturing strong connections, also known as secure attachment, between parents and their children, through the use of eight principles:
- Prepare for pregnancy, birth and parenting
- Feed with love and respect
- Respond with sensitivity
- Use nurturing touch
- engage in nighttime parenting
- Provide consistent and loving care
- Practice positive discipline
- Strive for balance in your personal and family life
Attachment Parenting challenges parents to treat children with kindness, respect and dignity, and to model in their interactions with them the way we’d like them to interact with others It is not a one-size-fits-all recipe for raising children, therefore API recommends parents use their own judgment and intuition to create a parenting style that fosters attachment and works for their family.
For more information, visit the API website.