Archives for General

Attachment in the News

Better than a time machine

Your life experiences have made you who you are. They shaped you into the person you are today.

For some of us, this may not be a bad thing. Despite life’s challenges, we have overcome. And we are now free to share and inspire and support others on their journeys to hopefully do the same.

For others, if there was an option to go back in time and make a different choice at a critical point in...
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Differences, Not Disorders

How Our Childhood Affects Our Health as Adults

It has been awhile since I've written. I feel too young to be writing it, but I have been dealing with some serious health issues. After being ill for a long time, I stubbornly visited a new doctor who referred me on to a specialist and now I have a diagnosis for what's been ailing me for years and increasingly getting worse until this summer, when I was too sick and weak for many weeks to even sit at my home computer: an autoimmune condition called Sjogren's Syndrome, primary type.

The diagnosis is a relief in some ways: I now have an explanation for a collection of confusing symptoms and I have a starting place for learning how to manage those symptoms and work toward wellness -- well, at least more wellness than I've been having lately. But in other ways, it's a hard thing to swallow. I was hopeful for a diagnosis that included some sort of easy fix, like a diet or magic pill that took it all away. The treatment for Sjogren's is far from that.

My doctor feels that I may have had Sjogren's for much longer than I thought I did, that my recurrent kidney stones starting way back in college may have been my first sign of things to come. But knowing what I know from my journalistic connections through Attachment Parenting International, I wonder if there weren't tell-tale signs even earlier.

Last spring, I had the opportunity to talk with a fellow health journalist, Jane Ellen Stevens, editor of ACEs Too High, a news site that reports on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and our society. ACEs refer to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kaiser Permanente's Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego, California, USA. The ACE Study investigated associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being.
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General

What’s the Big Deal with Attachment Parenting?


I hear, from time to time, that Attachment Parenting is not the only way to form a secure attachment with your child.
“Attachment” is very literally the relationship style between parent and child, and “secure” or “insecure” describes the quality of that relationship style. Secure attachment develops out of an appropriate and sensitive responsiveness to a child by a consistent, loving caregiver. Consistency and sensitivity, especially in moments of distress, are key.

The hallmark of a secure parent-child attachment is trust but also includes affection and empathy. Children with insecure attachment are more likely to have difficulty with social skills, behavior and emotional self-regulation, language development and school readiness, as well as more likely to develop low self-esteem and obesity, to name a few. Adults with insecure attachment continue to struggle with relationships and stress-coping.
Often, the question above is being asked by someone referring to the stereotypical “attachment parenting” lifestyle—the vision coming to mind of a mother giving birth at home, wearing her baby in a sling, breastfeeding through toddlerhood and other child rearing techniques that constitute choices some parents make but are not what define Attachment Parenting.

Attachment Parenting is a term that covers any parenting philosophy with the goal of forming secure parent-child attachment. The attachment parenting lifestyle is included under the Attachment Parenting umbrella, but it’s far from the only option.
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Different, Not Disordered: an interview with Dr. Barbara Probst

We often hear the importance of treating children fairly, but at Attachment Parenting International (API), we advocate rather to love each of our children uniquely. Because every child—just like every adult—is one of a kind, each individual parent-child relationship forms to the distinctive shape of each other’s differences in temperament, interests, opinions, aversions, conversions and other subtle nuances of what makes each person and their interactions unique.

API celebrates every person’s unique traits, but some children’s differences set them apart from societal expectations enough that daily interactions—whether at home, childcare or school—can be challenging. Rather than viewing our children through the lens of understanding, however, our society’s response is often to see these differences as “symptoms” of a disorder and to follow up with treatments that may not resolve the problem.

I am excited to share a discussion with Barbara Probst, PhD, LCSW, author of When the Labels Don’t Fit, on her approach to facilitate understanding among parents and teachers in order to discover a new relationship with sometimes-challenging children based on appreciation and respect instead of illness.

RITA: What inspired your alternative approach to “treating” children whose differences often lead them to being diagnosed with disorder?

DR. PROBST: I feel quite strongly about the way our culture seems to be viewing every difference, difficulty, struggle and quirk—every extreme or unusual behavior—as a disorder, especially when it comes to kids!
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Pocket Full of Feelings: An Interview with Dr. Ann Corwin


Part of the core of Attachment Parenting is teaching our children about emotions—what they’re feeling and what to do about it, as well as how to empathize with others—a skill referred to as “emotional literacy” by parenting consultants like Ann Corwin, PhD, MEd, of Laguna Niguel, California, USA.

We know more than ever that emotional literacy is critical for healthy human development. Unfortunately it’s a skill that was not regularly nurtured in past generations, and many parents are learning about difficult emotions like jealousy and disappointment alongside their children. It was evident as I talked with Ann, mother to two grown children, that her life’s passion is in empowering parents in strengthening their relationships with their children and that emotional literacy is very much central to her work.

RITA: Thank you, Ann, for your time. Let’s start by learning how you came into your line of work?
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General

Are You an Attachment Parent?

By Jennifer Scoby, AttachmentParenting.org. Reprinted with permission by Attachment Parenting International, www.attachmentparenting.org. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

Attachment Parenting International is often contacted by confused parents like a mother who recently asked, “I no longer breastfeed my baby, but I try to babywear and I like the idea of having a securely attached relationship and using positive discipline. Is it OK to do some of Attachment Parenting but not all of it?”

Many parents could be disillusioned about what it fundamentally means to practice Attachment Parenting and where they fall into the parenting philosophy spectrum. How many parents out there wonder where they fit in?

As far as we’re concerned, you can babywear, breastfeed, cosleep, be a stay-at-home parent and more but still not be practicing Attachment Parenting if you don’t let yourself get emotionally attached to your baby or child. Or you can choose to do almost none of the above parenting techniques and still practicing Attachment Parenting as long as you form a genuine emotional connection with your child.
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Conflict Resolution

Children Are People, and We Don’t Hit People

It’s time to acknowledge that children are people.

That may sound silly, but there are parents who swear by discipline methods that don’t reflect their child’s value as a person.

This reminds me, there's new study led by George Holden of Southern Methodist University has found—based on real-time audio recordings of parents who volunteered to wear a wire during their daily interactions—that of parents who use corporal discipline, spanking and slapping is a very frequent child-rearing practice.
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