In psychology the way a persons parents raised them is often given a lot of weight as to the person they become as an adult. The idea of attachment parenting is a psychology idea that applies the attachment theory to parenting. Attachment parenting is said to help children grow into adults who are able to develop very secure and empathic relationships.
Attachment parenting was developed by William Sears. It is based on the attachment theory which says that as infants we tend to seek a close bond with parents to feel secure. Attachment is a normal part of childhood and something every child will experience. In attachment parenting there are 8 principles that are used to create healthy attachment between parent and child.
The 8 principals are as follows:
1. Preparing for Pregnancy, birth and parenting
This means reading and researching and generally just being ready for parenthood. This can include taking classes and joining groups to help learn more about parenting.
2.. Feed with love and respect
This means to handle children with love and respect. Parents treat children like they want to be treated. Instead of a parental, strict role, a parent is instead a campaigning and a friend.
3. Respond with sensitivity
This means parents responds to problems with a listening ear rather then in an accusing or angry manner. Parents discuss with the child what went wrong and why it was wrong and they seek a good conclusion together.
4. Use nurturing touch
This means no spanking or anything or the sort. Instead punishments are handled in a hands off way. A parents hands are only used for loving touches, likes hugs or pats on the back.
5. Engage in nighttime parenting
This means that parenting is a 24/7 job. Just because the children are going to bed it does not mean parenting stops. Parents need to handle their children’s needs in the same caring manner during the night as they would during the day.
6. Provide consistent loving care
This is simply saying that parents need to be consistent. They need to always respond to their children in a loving manner.
7. Strive for balance in personal and family life
This recognizes that sometimes parents must leave their children to work. This means finding a steady and constant caregiver who will respect the attachment style of parenting. It means setting up schedules to ensure that there is family time and time for each family member to do what they need to do.
8. Practice positive discipline
Positive discipline goes back to no spanking or harsh punishments. Instead it is about putting more emphasis on the positive things a child does and handling bad things with a calm manner.
While these are considered important in attachment parenting, they are not strict rules. More important is that parents use creativity in their parenting.
Discipline, as mentioned, under attachment parenting is handled in a proactive way. It starts with parents setting realistic goals and expectations for their children so that their children may succeed more often then failing. Positive reinforcement is given the most weight. Attachment parenting focuses more on setting rules based upon the child, their age and their mental and physical abilities then on any strict guidelines.
Attachment parenting has been criticized as causing a lot of stress for mothers who believe that working outside the home is harming their children. It has been said to have created this paranoia over trying to provide for a family and trying to allow for enough bonding and together time with family. It is said to be a sort of intensive parenting that requires a lot of time and effort that is just unrealistic in today’s world.
While every parent is free to choose their own parenting style, attachment parenting is something that will naturally occur whenever parents and children interact. Bonds will be made regardless of whether a parent strictly follows the attachment parenting style or not. Attachment parenting is for parents who want to create a more positive childhood for their children. Parents have to be very patient and able to devote a lot of time to positive reinforcement. Attachment parenting is wonderful, but many parents find it just takes too much time to practice a complete attachment parenting style.
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