General

Emotional Eating: An Interview with Dr. Marian Tanofsky-Kraff, obesity researcher

Feeding a child involves more than providing nutrients. From birth on, there is a very strong emotional component. This is easiest to recognize with babies and toddlers, who rely on comfort sucking as a way to cope with stress. But we continue to see it far beyond these early years, such as in how we crave a cookie or soft drink while unwinding after a hard day.

This tendency to comfort ourselves through food is called...
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General

Working Families Can Create Secure Attachments, Too

Photo by Sebastian Danon of Buenos Aires, Argentina

There is a widespread belief that to be a good Attachment Parenting (AP) family, one parent must stay at home with the children full-time and that parent should be the mother. To be sure, this is a myth.

Some parents are mistaken in thinking that “real” AP families don’t choose to put their children in daycare.

However, parents need to...
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General

Prepare for Parenting by Healing Your Childhood Wounds

We often hear the cornerstone of healthy parenting quoted as consistently “responding with sensitivity” to our infants’ and children’s emotional and physical needs in relation to their biological-developmental stage. And while I agree this overarching idea is at the core of healthy parenting, I do not feel that it is necessarily as instinctual as many authors and parenting experts claim.

Before parents can even fathom relying on their gut feelings in...
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Attachment in the News

New Journal of Attachment Parenting Provides Step Forward for Parenting

In response to the growing interest in responsive parenting within the scientific and professional communities, Attachment Parenting International (API) with prominent health psychologist Kathleen Kendall-Tackett announce the advent of the Journal of Attachment Parenting. Access to the online publication is free of charge.

“Numerous recent studies have documented the importance of responsive parenting to both physical and mental health,” says Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA, guest editor of the Journal of...
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Attachment in the News

The Emotional Legacy of Our Family Trees

I’ve been helping my mom research our genealogy off and on over the last few years. Lately, she’s been hunting for tombstones. As I walk the oldest part of the cemeteries, reading the grave markers, I am continually taken aback by how many mark the burials of infants and young children.

We know on an intellectual level why it was difficult for our ancestors to make it through childhood, with disease and famine and lack of...
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General

Shut Off the TV: Parent-Child Interaction Best for Baby Brain Development

Very few parents can resist the urge to use television at least occasionally to entertain their children. And occasional TV viewing isn’t concerning. It’s when parents are relying on TV for frequent “babysitting” or, more likely, early educational opportunity that there’s a need for change.

Since the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a recommendation in 1999 that no child under two years old should watch any TV, there have been a number of studies that...
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Differences, Not Disorders

On High-Reactive Temperaments and Secure Attachment

I attended a mother-and-tots group the other night. There were two babies in the corner, sitting in their car seats, one about two months old and the other closer to four months. The older baby was contently looking around, and the younger was sleeping, later waking to gaze out and only fussing when it was time to eat, afterwards being happy to lie on a blanket on the floor. I asked the mom of the...
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Attachment in the News

Is Breastfeeding Worth Cosleeping?

There’s a lot of talk about the importance of secure attachment. We mostly hear of it in two circles: adult relationships and parenting, especially of adopted or foster children. We’re hearing more of it in parenting at large, mainly through organizations like Attachment Parenting International. But for the most part, the importance of individual attachment style continues to be downplayed. After all, we all grew up “just fine,” right?

As a breastfeeding educator, I...
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