Our mission is to promote parenting practices that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents. We believe these practices nurture and fulfill a child's need for trust, empathy, and affection, providing a lifelong foundation for healthy, enduring relationships.
Read Our Eight Principles
As you are reading this, you might be munching on the last of the Valentine's Day goodies which are so abundant this time of year.
Yes, Valentine's Day is over, that day devoted to a time out from our normal relentless pace of being parents to getting back to the hot stuff which led most of us to becoming parents in the first place.
But why should it end? One of the people on my writers' list pointed out that it was sad, pathetic even, to have to designate one day a year for feeling special. Why just one? And what happens to the people not in a romantic relationship?
Okay, I'm declaring Valentines Every Day. Or maybe just once a week? Find something to do, something nice for you or someone you care about. If it's just once a week so be it: make that date with your best friend, or your Significant Other, or just yourself, or yourself and your children-doesn't matter what it is, but make it special.
Last week I got together with a friend, her son played with mine, and we, as adults, did an art project. It felt good, sort of a girl's night out without spending a lot of money or hiring sitters. It was a playdate for the moms.
It got me thinking how wonderful it would be to do this more often-just make that date and take a break!
API Meetings are a present that you can enjoy year round. Treat yourself to the pleasure and feeling of empowerment that comes from being with other AP parents.
If there isn't an API chapter where you are, please consider becoming a leader or co-leader. And if there is a group where you are, please give it your support by becoming a member.
|The Birth of a New Group|
by Susanne VetteMoseley
When I was preparing to give birth to my son, I had heard a lot about Babywise. Luckily, one friend was studying to be a lactation consultant and gave me a copy of Sear's The Attachment Parenting Book. AP felt right to both my husband and myself. It was as though we were being given permission to parent with love, using our instincts rather than rules and schedules.
Once our son was born, after a few unsuccessful attempts to leave him in his crib, I found that indeed attachment parenting was right for us. I read more about attachment parenting, including the book On Becoming Attached by Robert Karen.
There were no AP groups in my area and my son was too young for me to become an official API Leader*. So I turned to Meetup.com and created an AP centric playgroup which snowballed into about 23 families (and growing fast) after we were profiled in both a local mom's magazine and in a newspaper. [To read more about the Oshkosh AP group go here.]
Finding a rental space which didn't charge too much took a little time; as did making handouts on various subjects and creating a lending library of AP style parenting books for the other parents to borrow. We found a meeting hall and a parent oriented cafe that welcomes us. We are excited that we are close to becoming an affiliated API Support Group! We really find the Eight Principles helpful in reminding us of our direction and purpose. A group member even went so far as to create a kitchen magnet with API's Eight Principles on it!
*It is API's policy to have a group leader with at least one child older than 18 months; however, Susanne feels so strongly about turning her support group in to an affiliated API Support Group and in becoming an API Support Group Leader that she has already filled out the paper work! This May, when her son turns 18 months of age, another wonderfully supportive API Support Group will be born! Kudos to Susanne for going out and creating a group, and a structure for that group, to support parents in following their heart.
|Executive Director Position Open
Tick, tick, tick...
Time is running out to apply for the position of API's Executive Director!
This is an exciting time of transformation at API, and we will need someone with strong leadership and management skills at the helm. If you have the passion, experience, and business acumen to lead our organization into a place of greater societal impact and better financial stability, please submit your application by the end of February.
Contact Brandy Lance for the position description and stipend information.
Organizing principle, Catalytic power
by Raffi Cavoukian
Across all cultures, we find an essential humanity that is most visible in early childhood-a playful, intelligent and creative way of being. Early experience lasts a lifetime. It shapes our sense of self and how we see others; it also shapes our sense of what's possible, our view of the world. The impressionable early years are the most vulnerable to family dynamics, cultural values, and planetary conditions. At this critical point in the history of humankind, the irreducible needs of all children (no matter where they live)
can offer a unifying ethic by which the cultures of our interdependent world might reorder their priorities.
Child Honouring is a vision, an organizing principle, and a way of life-a revolution in values that calls for a profound redesign of every sphere of society.
It starts with three givens. First, the primacy of the early
years-early childhood is the gateway to humane being. Second, we face planetary degradation unprecedented in scope and scale, a state of emergency that most endangers the very young, and that requires a remedy of equal scale. And third, the crisis calls for a systemic response in detoxifying the environments that make up the ecology of the child.
In this way, Child Honouring is a "children first" approach to healing communities and restoring ecosystems; it views how we regard and treat our young as the key to building humane and sustainable world. (It's not about a child-cantered society where children rule, nor a facile notion of children being all things nice; and it has nothing to do with permissive parenting.) It is a global credo for maximizing joy and reducing suffering by respecting the goodness of every human being at the beginning of life, with benefits rippling in all directions.
Please go here to read the rest of this wonderful article. Attachment Parenting International is delighted to have Raffi as part of our Resource Advisory Council.
I am not going to die, I'm going home like a shooting star.
Baby Too Heavy To Sling
Question from a reader, response from The API Information Team
Q: We co-sleep, breastfeed and babywear our four month old son. However I have reached a roadblock with him and need some advice. He now weighs a healthy 15 lbs, and as I am not a very large person, every part of my body is aching from carrying him even when I use different slings. I have tried putting my son down near me so he can watch me do whatever I am doing but he is not yet ready to be on his own and still needs to be on me. We are both very unhappy with this turn of events as just sitting around and holding him is boring us both!
A: What a lucky baby to have such a loving and caring mother! I know it must be so frustrating for you, but I have a few suggestions:
One is to learn about infant massage. I would contact the international infant massage at www.iaim.net. I think that when you learn how to give your baby a massage, it will give you the touch time you both need and possibly make up for the time you are not able to hold him in the sling. If you can give him a massage in the morning and one in the afternoon, you may find that he naps better, giving you some time to get a few things done around the house without having to hold him constantly.
Over the next few months your son will be able to sit up in a high chair, so while you are cooking or engaged in an activity, he can sit nearby and watch you, see what you're doing and play for a few minutes with something that you give him. He'll also be starting solids, so you can keep him occupied with a few pieces of finger food. Then when he needs to get down, you will at least have been able to get something done, and holding him while your sitting down or on the floor with him won't seem so boring-he'll be learning to crawl and able to explore before you know it!
If you have questions about Attachment Parenting e-mail them here! Your questions will be considered for APILinks, for the Frequently Asked Questions section of the API Web site (currently under revision!), or for the "Ask the Founders" section of Attachment Parenting: The Journal of API.
|Our Growing Team
Welcome New API Leaders and Support Groups
API would like to welcome our newest Leader to our team, and to thank her for her dedication to Attachment Parenting and API. Her effort truly make a difference in the community she serves.
New Group Leader
- Bryn Riekstins, Snohomish County API, Washington
For information on becoming an API Leader or starting a new API Support Group, please visit our website.
New Reading Requirements for Leader Applicants
We have revised API's reading requirements. We now refer to specific books in seven categories, and we have introduced more individual flexibility at the discretion of Lisa Fiertag, Director of Leader Applicants. The new requirements are detailed on the Starting a Group page.
We're Looking For a Few Good Parents to Join Our Team!
(Disclaimer: Not a true facsimile of API Staff or Volunteers--We're Cuter!)
Junior Moderators for API's New Online Forum
API will be launching our new Web site this spring! A portion of our site will now include an online forum which will allow AP families to connect with each other while offering and receiving additional support. To make our forum a safe place for this type of connection we would like to have member volunteers to act as Junior Moderators.
If you are interested in learning more about these positions, please email Brandy Lance.
HQ Event Coordinator
An API Event Coordinator will coordinate and carry out events that bring awareness and publicity to our organization. Experience coordinating major events is highly preferred.
If interested please contact Art Yuen.
HQ Fundraising Coordinator
API is in need of a Fundraising Coordinator dedicated to helping API raise funds for short and long term funding. This individual will research fundraising ideas, present them to the Development Team, document and distribute ideas to Staff and Leaders, and manage a fundraising team, which will carry the event through to its completion.
To volunteer a few hours of your time, please contact Art Yuen.
For other team positions go here.
|Shhhh! Can You Keep a Secret?|
We've got some nifty new items at the API Store!
Supplies are limited on some books and dvds. So better head over and check them out before they are all gone!
Go here! But don't tell anyone (or maybe just your best friend).
And In the Next Issue of the Journal
A Modified 'Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting' for the Adopted Child
The Winter 2007-08 issue of the Journal of API should soon be on your doorstep, and included inside is an array of articles about Attachment Parenting specific to the relationship between families and their adopted children. You'll read personal stories from adoptive parents, advice from professionals, and even testimonies from children who experienced adoption themselves.
Some adopted children, especially those who are older or those who have suffered trauma, may bring challenges into the new families that make attachment difficult. One article, "Attachment Parenting for the Adopted Child," gives parents ideas to improve the attachment process with their adopted infant or child -- from realizing the importance of the pregnancy and birth experience on young infants to helping older children learn how to accept nurturing touch. This list is an adaption of the Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting specifically for adoptive families.
Whether you've already been through the adoption process or are considering adopting a child, this next issue of the Journal of API is sure to remain a great reference for years to come. Look for it in your mailbox by mid-March.
Join today so you get a copy!
On another note, the Journal is now accepting article submissions and advertising placements for its 2008 issues. While the deadline has passed for the Annual New Baby Issue, the Editor is still considering submissions.
Submission deadlines for articles:
- AP in a Non-AP World (nurturing touch, criticism from family) - April 11th
- AP and the Growing Child (parenting children ages 5 through adult, school choices) - July 11th
- Healing Childhood Wounds (changing the patterns of our past, controlling anxiety and anger) - Oct 10th
If you are interested in submitting articles to The Journal please contact our editor.
Advertisers please go here.
|Tired of Being Attached in a Detached World? |
Spread the Love!
Do you or your friends annually give to a charity? If so, please make API your charity for this year!
Do you like to give meaningful and heartfelt gifts to family and friends? If so, then please consider giving gift memberships to API!
Does your employer or your spouse's employer match contributions? If so, how about signing up with API as your matching gift fund!
Please consider how you might make a difference... our children and yours will reap the benefits. Please send in your donations to: Stephanie Petters.
Attachment Parenting International
PO Box 4615
Alpharetta, GA 30023
Mailing your donation ensures 100% goes to API - PayPal takes their fee from all online donations. To donate online please go here.
Benefits of Individual / Family Membership, which is $35 per year, include:
- Four issues of Attachment Parenting: The Journal of API
- Membership in local parent support group (mention your local group when you join and $15 of your membership will be retained for use in your local community)
- Discounts and early registration for API conferences and other select events
- A chance to share your passion; opportunity to become an API leader, start a new support group, or donate your skills to the API Headquarters Team
Professional Membership, which is $75 per year, is recommended for individuals who promote Attachment Parenting through their professional endeavors. This level of membership is open to anyone whose job impacts the physical, psychological, or emotional health of children and families.
Join API Today!
|The Montage Appeal Continues!|
The Best Part? It's Free!!!
Do you have a testimony of Attachment Parenting, a specific Principle found in the Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting, or of the support you have received from your local API Support Group?
Do you want to help inspire other parents by sharing this testimony with them?
API has found a beautiful way of capturing your precious thoughts so that we may share them with our web visitors! We will create a touching montage of written testimonials, photos, and music. The montage will be displayed on the Web site as a testament to how API makes a difference in the lives of families across the world. API needs your stories and photos to make this happen!
If you are interested in submitting your brief testimony and digital picture (a picture is optional but would be appreciated) to help with the creation of this amazing montage, please email Brandy Lance as soon as possible. If you prefer your submission to be listed with only your initials and state, please note as much when you email your submission.
Thank you very much for your willingness to inspire and support families interested in or practicing Attachment Parenting!
The mission of Attachment Parenting International (API) is to promote parenting practices that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents. These practices nurture and fulfill a child's need for trust, empathy, and affection, providing a lifelong foundation for healthy, enduring relationships.
Through education, support, advocacy, and research, API seeks to strengthen families and increase awareness of the importance of secure attachment, ultimately helping to reduce or prevent child abuse, behavioral disorders, criminal acts, and other serious social problems.
I hope you enjoyed this issue of APILinks! If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about this eNewsletter, please contact me.
Avril Dannenbaum, Editor
Attachment Parenting International