October is Attachment Parenting Month.
When I sat down to write this I knew I had my own ideas of what “attachment parenting” meant but I wasn’t sure I knew everything I needed to know. When I think of attachment parenting I think of a few different entities-Attachment Parenting International, The Sears Family and Mothering Magazine. I decided to look at the first two websites to find an official definition. According to Dr. Sears-attachment parenting is “a style of caring for your infant that brings out the best in the baby and the best in parents.” According to the API website if we nurture and fulfill our children’s need for trust, respect, and affection we can create a lifelong foundation for healthy, enduring relationships. With different words carrying similar meaning both sites mentioned a few main principles that are integral to attachment parenting; pregnancy and birth bonding/mindfulness, breastfeeding, babywearing/nurturing touch, co-sleeping/close bedding, recognizing the language value of a baby’s cry, positive discipline, and balance. Attachment parenting is an approach-not a set of rules-more like a parenting toolbox. It seems like common sense to me. Though I do realize it may not be for other parents so I am grateful that such organizations exist. Many of us have been practicing attachment parenting without even realizing it but it’s always great to have a resource to turn to on those especially difficult days.
In an effort to raise awareness about attachment parenting issues API and the Sears Family have designated October-Attachment Parenting Month. They had a vision:
To create one strong voice for Attachment Parenting through activities, events, and information and to celebrate what we believe in-the value of giving our children prescence.
This year’s theme is “Full of Love: parenting to meet emotional and physical needs for children.” The focus is on raising healthy kids and childhood obesity prevention. It is no secret this country has seen a rise in childhood obesity but I really had no idea how bad it was until I looked at some of the statistics available on the AP month site.
Not only will you be shocked by the facts and statistics but the articles on obesity and attachment will surely open your eyes. Studies have shown links between insecurity and obesity, early trauma and obesity, and even how attachment styles can affect eating behaviors.
As I read over the goals of Attachment Parenting month I started to see a reflection of this information in my own life. I read about how if we can create caring adult-child relationships that help keep our children emotionally full and feeling secure we can reduce their reliance on emotional connections to food. I thought about how on vacation days I can always predict my son is going to eat much more than he usually does. I always encourage it because my son is definitely on the “he needs to eat more” side but I am starting to think that perhaps its pure boredom that creates this ravenous monster lurking around my house. Even on road trips-he is “hungry” every 5 minutes. I always know when I need to have more food around and its usually when not much is going on. On days when for whatever reason I can't give him all the attention I would love to.
One of the very first blogs I wrote for ICEA was about Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity. My focus was on adding breastfeeding to the list of solutions. Now I am beginning to see that one of the key ingredients in childhood obesity prevention is establishing secure attachments with our children.
There are many ways to get involved in Attachment Parenting Month.
1. Participate in their online auction! Help Fill API’s Online Auction Catalog Full of Love! Donate auction items!
2. Be a Sponsor. Be seen by a list of over 100,000 individual online charitable auction fans!
3. Tell Your Friends. Blog about AP month, tweet, Facebook this auction, use the Refer a Friend feature–or use plain old email!
For more information visit The Attachment Parenting Month website