Part 1: Attachment Parenting – More Than A Fad
Maybe you never knew there was a name for it – the unique way you raise your child – but it’s in tune with your child’s needs and with your own needs, and your family lives it out daily. Or, perhaps, you do know there is a name for it, with many synonyms and variations, but you live it out without being defined.
It’s hit the news, blogs, social media and forums where parenting approaches are more contentious than politics or religion.
Some may know what they know about it from a critique or a comment. But, every day, growing numbers of parents find the name and the communities that come with it – and breathe a sigh of relief to find welcome, encouragement, information and freedom from judgment.
From professionals to media, it’s not just parents who are discussing Attachment Parenting.
The Latest Fad, or Something More?
The international dialogue about Attachment Parenting is enveloped in confusion and opinion; meanwhile, parents who practice it, knowingly or unknowingly, are simply following their instincts for attunement with their child.
Nearly 17 years ago, Attachment Parenting International was founded by two educators and mothers, Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker in Nashville, Tennessee. Both were teachers who noticed a growing need among their students for greater family security and caregiver availability.
This was the generation of latch-key children – the first generation of dual-income families where both parents work outside the home. It was a dynamic change to the family structure in the United States, one that was not supportive of parent-child relationships.
At the time, “attachment parenting” was a term known only to a small percentage of parents – many mothers learned about attachment-oriented parenting techniques, like breastfeeding, through La Leche League International and books authored by Dr. William and Martha Sears. Other parents sought out the support of Attachment Parenting International when cultural childrearing advice conflicted with their natural parenting instincts. Steadily, Attachment Parenting grew, now stretching its reach around the globe, and awareness of Attachment Parenting has blossomed.
Today, “attachment parenting” has become a buzzword. The Attachment Parenting movement is well established in our culture and influences more and more of our parenting – though not often identified as so. More parents recognize the power of touch, positive discipline, and other practices associated with Attachment Parenting.
While a secure parent-child attachment remains just as beneficial now as ever, the essence of Attachment Parenting has been muddled. It is often confused with such parenting styles as permissive parenting, helicopter parenting and natural parenting. Attachment Parenting approaches parenting in ways that can be adapted by any parent with the mutual goal and desire of helping children reach their fullest, individual potential.
Brhel, R. (2012). Part 1: Attachment Parenting – More Than A Fad. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 7, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/attachment/2012/06/part-1-what-attachment-parenting-is/