Gratitude

by Leyani Redditi on October 25, 2014

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API-Logo-20th-themeI am grateful for many things big and small, grand and mundane. Today, it is the joyful shriek of my girls running in the twilight.

And this month especially, I have been thinking about how grateful I am for Attachment Parenting International (API).

I learned from the words of Gretchen Levy, a writer on habits and happiness, that to be happy I need to “feel right in an atmosphere of growth.”

When I am with my API friends, I just feel right. I see others nurturing their children with care and thoughtfulness. I hear conversations about the details of parenting from the perspective of deeply secure attachment and care. And I know it is a place where I grow.

LeyaniRedditiFrom the time I was a new mother feeling so strongly that my baby needed to be close to me and not knowing why…to now, when I step into a room filled with old friends and new who are all there to support the journey we are on to parent as we wish we were parented.

To parent to change the world.

To parent with intention and presence.

To heal ourselves and accept our shortcomings so that we can grow in and with our families.

The “atmosphere of growth” I feel in API keeps my mind searching for more and my heart coming back to connect with my community. I could not be the parent I am without this atmosphere and this community.

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Taking time for self makes me a better Mommy

by Kelly Shealer on October 24, 2014

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Kelly ShealerIt was 8:00 at night. I was putting my oldest son to bed, and I realized that I hadn’t eaten dinner.

I had made dinner for both of my sons, had nursed my baby multiple times and had even made sure that my husband took food to work with him. But I had completely forgotten about myself.

And because of it, I was getting irritable and was on the verge of losing my patience with my son, who was doing nothing wrong except not relaxing for bed as quickly as I wanted him to.

I quickly made a decision to leave the room for a few minutes, grab something to eat and then go back to my son. I almost immediately felt better. My whole attitude shifted, not just because I finally ate but also because I felt good about taking the time that I needed for myself.

When I went back to my son, I exaggerated how happy I suddenly was, hugging him, tickling him and being silly with him. I told him that I knew he had wanted me with him but that I’d needed to eat so that I could be happier and be a better Mommy. I wanted him to see that it’s important for my needs to be met as well and that I’m much happier when they are.

I believe balance is one of the most important of Attachment Parenting International’s Eight Principles of Parenting, because you need to take care of yourself in order to be able to take care of your children. But it’s also the hardest to put into practice.

I know so many other moms who spend all day caring for the needs of their children, giving their all to the point where they don’t have anything left for themselves.

We fail to make time for our own needs, because often our children’s needs are greater than ours. We cosleep in uncomfortable positions and wear our babies for an extended time, so our bodies are sore. We respond to our children with sensitivity and feed them respectfully, but we don’t treat ourselves with the same kindness and care.

When we do take the time to care for ourselves, we often feel guilty, even though we shouldn’t. We need it. Our children need it, too, because we’re better parents when we take care of ourselves.

With three children ages 4 and under, I generally don’t make much time for myself during the day. Lately I’ve been trying to find quick, simple ways to help me feel like I’m doing something for myself throughout the day — things I can easily do with my children present.

Some of my favorites are putting on perfume or lipstick, finally taking the time to brush my hair that I’d thrown into a messy ponytail at the start of the day, looking at family pictures that always cheer me up, doing some stretches or just taking a few deep breaths.

When I need something more than this, I’ve found that putting on some of my favorite music and letting my boys have a dance party usually helps us all feel better.

And when all else fails, there’s always chocolate.

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The time-in technique

October 23, 2014
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 27, 2008, but I love the message it offers to parents about how positive discipline dovetails with responding with sensitivity in observing what underlying needs children may be expressing when they act out. Recently there has been a discussion about time-out technique on a Yahoo group. […]

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Editor’s Pick: AP Month on “How to get from there to here”

October 22, 2014
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“We nod our heads recognizing scientific ‘child outcomes’ as…parenting goals regardless of our style of parenting. But how do we get from there to here? What’s the parenting analogue that allows us parents to be all that, enough of the time, so that these child benefits are possible?” ~ “How to get from there to […]

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Why not the status quo, and instead Attachment Parenting?

October 21, 2014
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By Lysa Parker & Barbara Nicholson, cofounders of Attachment Parenting International and coauthors of Attached at the Heart It was 20 years ago when we hatched our idea to “save the world.” We were, and remain, hopelessly optimistic that we can effect change in our society. Both of us are parents, with six sons between […]

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The happiness of pursuit

October 20, 2014
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As an Attachment Parenting parent, I’ve always listened to my children. I always will.  I treat them with respect, and I truly care what they have to say.  I do my best and hope they always know that someone hears them. I don’t want them to go through their lives wondering and feeling like they are […]

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There is no night and day

October 18, 2014
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Attachment Parenting International is 20 years old. Twenty years of promoting connection and spreading reassuring support to parents across the globe! When I first became a mother, I followed every instinct to connect with and nurture my baby. I held her, I nursed her, I gazed into her eyes…regardless of the time of day. Strangely […]

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Attachment Parenting in shared custody

October 17, 2014
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We are in the midst of October, which happens to be Attachment Parenting Month,  and I am wondering what this year’s theme — “Cherishing Parents, Flourishing Children” — means to me? As I sit with this question, I am reminded of the many times lately that I have found myself in conversations about how people […]

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