This is the first in a series of articles spotlighting various parenting nonprofit organizations in the United States. Parenting is a full-time job and with the wealth of information that these nonprofit organizations provide, your job as a parent can be made easier. The first organization to be featured is Attachment Parenting International.
What is Attachment Parenting International?
Attachment Parenting International (API) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose vision statement is Peaceful Parenting for a Peaceful World. From the API website, the principles that guide the organization are:
• Attachment Parenting practices fulfill a child’s need for trust, empathy, and affection, providing a foundation for healthy relationships that last a lifetime.
• Attachment Parenting practices help to reduce or prevent child abuse, behavioral disorders, crime and other serious social problems.
• Every family is unique, with unique needs and resources.
What is Attachment Parenting?
Attachment parenting can easily be summed up as responsive parenting. Attachment parenting has its roots in John Bowlby’s theories of attachment. The phrase “attachment parenting” was coined by Dr. William Sears, a pediatrician and well-known author. API has declared their Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting: prepare for pregnancy, birth, and parenting; feed with love and respect; respond with sensitivity; use nurturing touch; engage in nighttime parenting; provide consistent and loving care; practice positive discipline; and strive for balance in personal and family life.
How can API benefit you
API has support groups across the United States as well as several countries. Parents serve as leaders of the local support groups and host regular meetings, playgroups, and activities to provide support and encouragement for other parents who practice attachment parenting. In addition these support groups provide information and guidance for parents who are interested in learning more about attachment parenting. There is no membership fee required to attend these meetings. To find a support group near you click here: API Parent Support Groups.
How can I learn more about Attachment Parenting?
API has released a list of approved books and articles which will provide you with more information regarding attachment parenting. In addition to books addressing the eight principles detailed above, the API Bibliography also contains recommendations for children’s books, CDs, DVDs, and even online articles.
Attachment parenting is not an all or nothing approach to parenting. Many parents may find that one or more of the eight principles do not fit their lifestyle; this does not mean that they do not practice attachment parenting. API is an inclusive organization and strives to encourage and support families in their parenting journey. For more information on Attachment Parenting International consult the API website.