OUR NEXT MEETING

Friday, July 20, 2012 - 5:30 pm
AP Potluck at 355 Naughright Road, Long Valley

Topic: Attachment Parenting, Co-Parenting, and Extended Family

Attachment Parenting can be challenging in a world that still doesn't necessarily support the idea of granting children some autonomy even when they are very small and respecting them as individuals with their own ideas, wants, needs, and personalities. This can present a challenge when co-parents aren't always on the same page. And now that it's summer - which means summer vacations, often spent with extended family - the challenges can be greater when grandparents and other relatives challenge our parenting practices. At our next meeting, we will discuss strategies for dealing with these delicate issues while maintaining strong relationships among all members of our families.

Recommended Reading: On Being a Parenting Original by Kelly Coyle DiNorcia, Mothering Magazine, March/April 2008

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OUR LAST MEETING

Topic: What is Attachment Parenting? (And What Isn't?)
Date: Friday, June 15, 2012

In the wake of the infamous Time magazine cover asking women, "Are You Mom Enough?", a discussion has erupted over Attachment Parenting. Is it an extreme form of martyrdom, or is it a common sense way of raising children? At this meeting, we discussed the principles of Attachment Parenting, and talked about what it means to be AP. (Hint: it isn't about self-denial and total subjugation of the self to the betterment of the children!) We also talked about the idea put forth by Elisabeth Badinter in her new book that Attachment Parenting in general, and breastfeeding in particular, are destroying feminism by tying women to the home after they have fought so hard to gain equal footing in the workplace. For a thorough and thoughtful discussion of this idea - Why Women Still Can't Have It All - take a look at this article by Anne-Marie Slaughter in The Atlantic.

WHAT WE'RE READING

The No-Cry Sleep Solution

by Elizabeth Pantley

There are two schools of thought for encouraging babies to sleep through the night: the hotly debated Ferber technique of letting the baby "cry it out," or the grin-and-bear-it solution of getting up from dusk to dawn as often as necessary. If you don't believe in letting your baby cry it out, but desperately want to sleep, there is now a third option, presented in Elizabeth Pantley's sanity-saving book The No-Cry Sleep Solution

Pantley's successful solution has been tested and proven effective by scores of mothers and their babies from across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Based on her research, Pantley's guide provides you with effective strategies to overcoming naptime and nighttime problems. The No-Cry Sleep Solution offers clearly explained, step-by-step ideas that steer your little ones toward a good night's sleep--all with no crying.


ABOUT API

Attachment Parenting International (API) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization founded in 1994 to network with parents, professionals and like-minded organizations around the world. API boasts an impressive group of board and advisory board members, including Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears, R.N., author and co-sleeping specialist Dr. James McKenna, Lu Hannessian of LetTheBabyDrive.com, author Alice Miller and Jan Hunt of the Natural Child Project, among others. API’s mission is to educate and support all parents in raising secure, joyful and empathic children in order to strengthen families and create a more compassionate world. In addition to providing assistance in forming Attachment Parenting support groups, API functions as a clearinghouse providing educational materials, research information, consultative, referral and speaker services to promote Attachment Parenting concepts.

Attachment Parenting International promotes parenting methods that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents. Through education, support, advocacy and research, Attachment Parenting International seeks to strengthen families. More information about Attachment Parenting International can be found at www.attachmentparenting.org.

ABOUT ATTACHMENT PARENTING

The essence of Attachment Parenting is about forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children. Attachment Parenting challenges us as parents to treat our children with kindness, respect and dignity, and to model in our interactions with them the way we'd like them to interact with others.

Attachment Parenting isn't new. In many ways, it is a return to the instinctual behaviors of our ancestors. In the last sixty years, the behaviors of attachment have been studied extensively by psychology and child development researchers, and more recently, by researchers studying the brain. This body of knowledge offers strong support for the idea that this style of parenting is key to the optimal development of children.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Embracing My Imperfections submitted by Kelly Coyle DiNorcia

It's been a long week. The grind of caring for an infant is starting to wear on me - as much as I enjoy it, the constant carrying and nursing and diapering and nursing and waking is exhausting. Bess has recently taken to throwing knock-down, drag-out temper tantrums, often more than once a day. John was away for most of the weekend working. The rain kept us home, all together in our little house, trying to find things to do to pass the dreary day.

Last night I welcomed bath time, as it signaled the end of a long, long day. I put Harry in the sink, hoping that he would enjoy playing in the water for awhile so that I could enjoy a rest from carrying an extra sixteen pounds. Bess decided she wanted to "help", which really means she wants to splash water all over the place, including Harry's face, and blow bubbles in the air. Normally, I try to take this type of opportunity to teach her how to be gentle with her brother, let her make all the mess she wants (it's only water, after all) and then help her clean it up before it's time for her to hit the tub. Last night, I just didn't have it in me to deal.

Normally, I would try to ignore my growing impatience and overcome the urge to scream until, finally, I would blow my top and lose it, and then feel guilty about it for the next three days, beating myself up for failing to be a good mother.

I wonder where Bess' tantrum inclination comes from?

Yesterday, I tried something different. I said, "Bess, Mommy is feeling very anxious and agitated right now, and I'm having a hard time being patient. Would it be okay if I just gave Harry a bath without your help, and then you can play all you want in the tub when it's time for your bath?"

She agreed and went into the other room to pick her pajamas and bedtime stories.

Why is this so revolutionary for me? Seems pretty obvious, really. But it wasn't, at least to me. It took courage for me to say it out loud: I am not a perfect mother. I am losing my patience and will probably start yelling and saying things I'd rather not say pretty soon. Right now, my need for a little quiet and order is more important than my daughter's need to explore her environment and feel a part of what is going on in our house. I'm only human, and there's only so much I can take!

I am trying to teach my spirited daughter to manage her intensity by recognizing her meltdown cues before it becomes completely unmanageable for her. I have taught her to take a "time-out" when she needs some quiet time to calm down. We have a magic word she can use to ask for my help when she feels that she's losing control of herself. I have counseled her to use words instead of hands (feet, fists, teeth, shoes, rocks....) when she is frustrated and someone is invading her physical or mental space. We are working on taking deep breaths to regain our center when we are feeling out of balance - or screaming hysterically. But maybe, by admitting my weakness, I am really giving my daughter the strength to manage her emotions instead of letting them manage her?

2 comments:

Gaea Meola said...

What a great post. It really made me realize that I do need to let Natalie know when I need something, instead of allowing her to always do what she wants regardless of the effect on my sanity. Because if Mom's not happy, no one is happy. I will try this soon!

Cindy Patrie Kahn said...

I am really enjoying your blog! the writing, topics and stories are great and speak to my heart ;)
Since I have started having to take care of myself much more than I used to, I have used this tactic successfully with Toby. I did it because I had no choice, but I wish I had thought to do it sooner.
great idea!
- cindy