Are You Attached?
Are you attached? Well, of course you are. No matter where you are in this new relationship, you are most likely experiencing a multitude of emotions that can only come with the unique relationship between parent and child.
However, this article isn't about the bond between your child and you. It is about the kind of parent you are and/or strive to be.
What type of parent were your parents? Did you like their style of parenting? Were they fair? Loving?
Would you describe them as authoritarian? Perhaps they were strong disciplinarians who provided much guidance and oversight to you as a child. Sometimes, too much.
Were they permissive? In other words, allowing you to create your own path, sometimes providing little guidance?
Or were they more authoritative? Maybe they provided a balance of styles.
The question is what type of parent do you want to be?
Today, there is a new trend in parenting styles; it's called “Attachment Parenting.”
In some ways this isn't a new trend, though the words “Attachment Parenting” certainly have generated a buzz. Some say that Attachment Parenting takes parents back to the basics of using their instincts to effectively parent. The goal of Attachment Parenting is something we all can agree upon: to “form and nurture strong connections between parent and child.”
Attachment Parenting has 8 basic principles:
- Be emotionally and physically prepared for pregnancy and birth.
- Feed your child with love and respect, noting their needs when they are hungry and when they are not. Also, provide healthy food choices and model good eating practices.
- Be responsive to your child and respond in a sensitive manner. Even though babies may not have words, their eyes and sounds (whether cries or coos) communicate with us. Respond to your child.
- Use a nurturing touch to support your child's need for attention, security, and stimulation. Attachment Parenting does recommend the use of carriers for babies as it supports a parent's need to take care of other things while still providing a nurturing touch for their infant.
- Help children have safe sleep. This means more than making sure that your child is in their crib or other safe sleeping environment. It also means that as a parent, day or night, you must respond to your child's needs, whether it be fear or hunger that causes them to cry out.
- Babies need consistent and loving care. This may mean you, your partner, or another caregiver. The key is consistency for your child. They need a caregiver who they can rely on and who is responsive to their needs.
- As baby grows into toddlerhood, Attachment Parenting believes that discipline should be empathetic, loving, and respectful. When possible, children and their parents should craft solutions to problems together.
- Keep yourself in balance. No matter what is “on your plate,” you must constantly evaluate your needs and abilities to take care of yourself. Balanced parents who take care of themselves and have fun with parenting are able to be emotionally responsive to their children.
Attachment Parenting…it may be the connection you are seeking.