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



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.


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.


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.


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.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

When the Going Gets Tough, AP Gets Going

Last Wednesday, my baby Harry went in for a bilateral inguinal hernia repair - same day surgery. All went well, the surgery was successful, and he was sent home about six hours after surgery.

He was very tired that day, as were we all. He ended up falling asleep before six o'clock, and I fell asleep right along with him. The doctor had recommended that we give him Tylenol every six hours to maintain his comfort, so at midnight I got up and gave him a dose. I noticed that he had a bit of a fever, but I wasn't alarmed because the surgeon had told me to anticipate a bit of this due to the effects of the procedure and anesthesia. I went back to sleep, but woke out of a dead sleep at 2 am in a panic. I reached over to touch Harry's forehead, and he was on fire. I called his pediatrician who suggested that we get him to the ER right away.

In the end, it was probably viral, but we spent four stressful days in the hospital while we waited for his temperature to normalize, for him to be hydrated intravenously, and for all his blood and urine cultures to come back normal. I do believe that our Attachment Parenting style helped him to recover quickly and fully, but it ended up being even more useful once we got home.

My three-year-old daughter Bess was home with her Aunt Lauren while Harry and I were in the hospital and my husband John was back and forth to home, hospital and work. Once we were home safe and sound, Bess basically had the preschooler version of a nervous breakdown. She had one hysterical meltdown after another about anything and everything. She didn't know what she wanted, so she just kept asking for this doll, this snack, this outfit, but nothing was quite right or quite enough.

I was beyond exhausted and barely had the energy to get up and move around. I definitely didn't think I had it in my reserves to deal with the non-stop tantrums. But I took a deep breath, sat back, and listened to what she had to say. Eventually, she admitted that she was afraid that we had brought Harry to the hospital - which happened to be the same hospital where he had been born - because we were "giving him back" to the nurses. I never would have dreamed that was what she was thinking, but there it was. Once I assured her that Harry was here to stay, with us, things got much better very quickly. She was still tired and a little clingy when she was separated from her brother - she called me on my cell phone with a desperate "Where's Harry?" when I brought him to the doctor for a follow-up visit without her - but I think that having the space to figure out her feelings and the permission to express them did her a world of good.
It's easy to talk about AP with a little baby. Breastfeed, co-sleep, baby wear, just simply be around - it's physically exhausting, but really not so hard. It's when they get older, and issues and personalities begin to come into play, that the real work begins. It is then that the groundwork of trust and cooperation that has been laid really comes in handy.

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