Exploring Attachment Parenting

Great news!!  There is a new support group in the Phoenix, Arizona area for parents who want to learn more about and practice Attachment Parenting.

I had the pleasure of attending the first meeting yesterday.  It was so great to be in a room with 6 other families who are seeking to nurture their families the AP way.  Dr. Sears is credited for coining the term “Attachment Parenting” and with bringing awareness to it in his book, The Attachment Parenting Book.  Here is his explanation of what it is from his website, 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.  Attachment parenting implies first opening your mind and heart to the individual needs of your baby, and eventually you will develop the wisdom on how to make on-the-spot decisions on what works best for both you and your baby.

A close attachment after birth and beyond allows the natural, biological attachment-promoting behaviors of the infant and the intuitive, biological, caregiving qualities of the mother to come together. Both members of this biological pair get off to the right start at a time when the infant is most needy and the mother is most ready to nurture. Bonding is a series of steps in your lifelong growing together with your child.

Amanda Santana is the facilitator for the Phoenix group.  She is certified through Attachment Parenting International.  Her goal is to start a support group to educate and empower other parents, and to find people who are interested in becoming certified so that there can be co-leaders in place to start more groups throughout the Phoenix area.

The topic of yesterday’s meeting was, “What is Attachment Parenting?”  The next few meetings will be devoted to exploring each of the eight principles of AP in more depth.  The group will also talk about how to incorporate them into your family life if you think that the principle will work for you.

One of the takeaways from yesterday’s meeting:
4 P’s to help you identify child(ren)’s needs

  • Proximity – babywearing and co-sleeping for maximum comfort children 
  • Protection – practicing safe sleeping and babywearing
  • Predictability – responding to baby’s cues as they are demonstrating their needs
  • Play – provide a safe environment for discovery, and as the child grows, facilitating interactions that empower and teach children about peaceful social interaction

The other take-away from yesterday that I want to share with you:
The Eight Principles are guidelines.
Amanda emphasized that Attachment Parenting provides guidelines.  The Eight Principles are not Hard and Fast Rules.  They are ideas that have worked for other families to facilitate peaceful parenting.  Your attendance does not mean that you have to accept all eight principles.  A family does not have to practice or own any of the principles that do not “fit”, they just have to honor that other families may choose differently.

Amanda also stated that while the goal was to work through the eight principles in the next few meetings, she is open to being flexible.  The support group addresses topics as they arise as per the needs of the group.  If she is a cluster of getting emails along the same topics, she will bring them up to the group for discussion so that meetings are useful and relevant to those they are attending.

The group will be meeting on the third Thursday of every month at 10:00 am.  It is held at the Moxie Midwifery office, 5505 W Chandler Blvd Ste #5, Chandler, AZ 85226.  For any questions about Attachment Parenting or the Phoenix support group, you can reach Amanda via email at AZNB.Amanda@gmail.com

HERE are some questions to discuss with your partner whether you are expecting, living with a newborn, or rethinking your parenting style with older children.  We worked through these to help clarify what our goals were for our family.  As it turns out, a lot of what Attachment Parenting believes are choices that fit for our clan of six.  Even if these answers don’t lead you down the path to attachment parenting, having some clarity about your goals as a family may be helpful in guiding you to the choices that are right for your family.

What do you think – have you explored Attachment Parenting?  Has it worked for you? Please leave us a comment – it will be moderated and posted.

More about Attachment Parenting:
From Dr. Sears

From Attachment Parenting International:

The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman, Bowman House, LLC and Cassandra Okamoto accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.

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