Attachment Parenting Month 1st – 30th October. Can you take the challenge? – Ten Main Principles of Attachment Parenting.
Babies and children require empathy and respect for their feelings to help them learn to feel safe and secure. Attachment Parenting is all about forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children. Attachment Parenting challenges us as parents to treat our children with respect and kindness, and to develop our relationship with them the way we’d like them to relate to others.
According to attachment theory, the child forms a strong emotional bond with parents during childhood with lifelong consequences. Sensitive and emotionally available parenting helps the child to form a secure attachment style. Less sensitive and emotionally available parenting or neglect of the child’s needs may result in insecure forms of attachment style, which is a risk factor for many mental health problems.
Starting from the very beginning, you can build the foundation of trust and empathy by understanding and responding appropriately to the needs of your newborn baby. Babies communicate their needs in many ways including body movements, facial expressions, and crying. Building a strong attachment with a baby involves not only responding consistently to his physical needs, but spending enjoyable time interacting with him and thus meeting his emotional needs as well. So in these early days it is very important to respond to your child with sensitivity.
Attachment Parenting Principles
1. Attachment Parenting starts from the birth. So try forming an early connection to your child, using the first hours after birth to bond with your newborn, having your baby “room in” with you after a hospital birth, and enjoying the skin-to-skin contact – the most gentle and memorable first mother-and-baby hug.
2. Respond quickly to your baby’s cries and know that you can’t “spoil” her by feeding, kissing and holding her whenever she needs you to. This is biological and emotional need for the baby to get your attention and be soothed. What is more natural that following your mother instincts?
3. Breastfeed exclusively and on baby’s demand for at least 6 months followed by the weaning of solids when your child is ready combined with continued nursing. Be aware that it is natural and normal for children to be breastfed for well over one year.
4. Promote closeness and physical connection by wearing your baby in a sling.
5. Separation fears? – Intense fears of separation will naturally subside as the child matures. It may take considerably longer for more sensitive children to be comfortable in the care of non-parental adults. Follow the child’s cues and do not force children to accept strangers or expect them to overcome stranger/separation anxiety before they’re ready.
6. Use gentle discipline techniques. You need to make clear difference between discipline and punishment and to avoid physical or shame-inducing punishment.
7. Try to be flexible when it comes to parenting techniques – we are all human beings, learning every day. You should know that what worked last week might not work this week, and that your child is different from the others. Putting some extra effort to understand and educate yourself about parenting and a battle half-won.
8. Understand that real “quality time” with your kid is every second spent in cuddling, reading, playing, learning or just being together, and not short frantic bursts of “fun” activities.
9. Nurturing is of vast importance in your child! Those early years at the day care might be a necessity for some families or single parents, but if you can afford it, spent at least the first two years raising your child at home. Be a proud to be “stay-at-home-mother” and consider it the most important thing you could possibly do right now. You want to raise your children yourself, not hand them over to someone else to do the job. Your career will be still there for you in a couple of year’s time.
10. Go out of the timed regime and leave your baby to lead you in his own routine. Understand, following and meet your child’s needs. Know that your child has his own schedule for physical, emotional and social development, toilet learning and independence issues rather than trying to force him into an “expected” time frame. Understand that by meeting your child’s needs during infancy and toddlerhood you are encouraging the development of a healthy, happy, independent person.
2 Comments October 14, 2009