Archives for April, 2012
My work is mostly in educating and supporting parents in developing a secure attachment bond with their children, with lifelong implications. Unless you're a parent, you may be wondering what this has to do with you and your adult relationships. Quite a lot, if you understand the impact of healthy and unhealthy parent-child attachments on the child. By "attachment," I'm referring to the emotional bond between two people. "Attachment style" refers to a person's individual patterns in emotional bonding to another person. The attachment bond you had with your primary caregiver – most likely your mother – is your model for how a relationship should work for the rest of your life.
There’s a lot of talk in the news media about Attachment Parenting lately, especially with celebrity-turned-PhD Mayim Bialik’s new book, Beyond the Sling, in which she describes her brand of parenting, which does include Attachment Parenting (AP). And there are a lot of questions being asked. I’ve been fielding both concern and applause for the various conversations swirling around Mayim and AP. I wanted to give a little clarification. First of all, what is Attachment Parenting exactly? Technically, it’s a research-backed approach to parenting that promotes securely attached kids. What’s that mean? “Attachment” is a term to describe the emotional bond between two people. A person with a secure attachment style is able to establish and maintain a healthy emotional bond with other people. A kid who is securely attached to his parent is a kid who shares a healthy emotional bond with his parent – with all the give and take of any emotionally healthy relationship. People with secure attachment styles are less affected by stress and generally happier in relationships than those with insecure attachment styles. Research shows that parents who raise children with secure attachment in mind do two things: They provide consistent and loving care, and they respond with sensitivity. This can look different for different people. For parents who are living the natural lifestyle, this may take the form of breastfeeding and baby-led weaning, babywearing, cosleeping, and stay-at-home parenting. Of course, there are plenty of parents who do these parenting techniques who are not necessarily living a natural lifestyle, but there are also plenty of parents who bottle-feed and crib-sleep and work outside the home who are still raising their children with attachment-promoting strategies.
If you are passionate about parent-child attachment or adult attachment -- perhaps you're an author, a fellow blogger, a parent educator or child psychologist, a parent, or anyone interested in sharing an experience, suggesting a resource, offering a webinar or teleseminar, and so on...