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
Spring is just around the corner and I'm ready, so very ready, for the warmer weather and to get back to my community garden and to the bliss of enjoying the outdoors again. I planted a couple of herbs last year and this year I have already bought seeds for more. However, I also want a blueberry bush and raspberry canes. Blueberry bushes are great because they don't have thorns, but there's something incredibly lush in a fresh picked raspberry.
Unfortunately, the size of plants I can afford are three inch pots, which means it will take a couple of years for the blueberries and raspberries to mature to a fruit bearing size. I'm making up for that by also planting strawberries. I can hardly wait.
Of course, I'm also writing about Parenting. Having children is like waiting for the canes to mature, knowing that there won't be berries until the time is right. They can't be rushed. And yet we have a society that doesn't want to accept that each child has his own developmental schedule and that to hurry any of these stages results in disappointment and frustration all around.
My son is in his tweens now. Sometimes I feel like I'm ready to burst with pride at how big he has gotten, and at those ever increasing inklings of the man he will one day be. I've tried my best not to rush him and to follow his lead. Had I read a book telling me what to do, I might have missed his cues, but instead I followed attachment parenting and listened to my heart.
Thank you API for being such a good almanac!
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.
|On Being a Stay At Home Dad|
by Michael de la Force
When my wife Tamara mentioned attachment parenting, I realized that is what I have been practicing with our son, Gabriel. It seems to me you cannot give too much love or closeness to a baby. I learned about seventeen years ago that when a small baby is upset if you wrap them securely and hold them close to you that they will be comforted--and I have just expanded upon that theory. I try to treat a child as I would want to be treated. But understanding how to discipline effectively with our two and a half year old has been a bit more challenging. So I ask friends and professionals for advice. When [positive] discipline is given I always pick him up and give him a hug shortly thereafter to let him know that my love is as strong as ever but he must behave and not always throw his chocolate milk!
Being a stay at home dad has been the greatest opportunity so far in an already very full life. This was a chance to do something different without regret. Learning proper patience has been a definite process. How do I know what care someone else is exhibiting and if they have the patience? At least I know what is going on with the family in this case. The difficulty has been having other people accept my decision. Many seem to only accept the traditional family.
I heard someone say the other day that after being a parent on this level when one returns to professional life they are armed with a renewed set of skills that assists in their leadership abilities. It seems to me that will prove to be true. Also, there is no love like that of a child that knows you truly care and at any second would put your life on the line for their survival. My great-grandmother gave me that, and I am now sharing it with Gabriel and looking forward to our daughter Miriam's arrival next month.
Thank you Michael for being a great stay at home dad!
|Heads Up!!! Big News from API!
Exciting things will be happening on March 31st!
API will be announcing new parenting classes, while also unveiling our new website, forums, logo, and so much more.
Watch for a special edition of Links to arrive in your email inbox two weeks from today with all the information about this big announcement, then join us online
on March 31 to check out all our new offerings!
Two of our Advisors Weigh in on the Heavy Baby
It's always gratifying to see that your readers are paying attention.
We had a lot of responses to last month's API Link's Q&A--almost all of them making suggestions of websites, various brands of carriers and experts to help that mother sling her heavy baby.
This month Dr. Susan Markel from our Resource Advisory Council and Jan Hunt from our Advisory Board comment on slinging the heavier or older child:
Dr. Susan Markel:
There are many more ways to wear your baby that are more comfortable than a sling. As your baby is getting heavier, you need a type of baby carrier which ensures that all the weight is carried by your hips and legs with almost no weight in your shoulders or back.
A wrap or "wrap around sling" is a long piece of fabric (six meters / 6.5 yards long) that is literally wrapped around the baby and the wearer. A wrap makes it easy to feed, carry and comfort a child. Whereas lots of slings leave baby dangling in a parachute position, the wrap can be tied in a Parisian Pagne (double cross knot) formation. This method of tying puts the fabric under the baby's knees dispersing most of the baby's weight between the hips and thighs, and leaving the baby's growing spine protected in a natural curve. The wide shoulder straps make it comfortable for the wearer, and the belt in which the baby sits in allows for 80% of baby's weight to fall on the wearer's legs, eliminating back pain while maintaining a good posture.
Because most of the wraps go over both of the wearer's shoulders and around the waist, they give very good support and great security. Most people find them to be extremely comfortable, even with a heavy baby. While they do take some time to learn, it's time well spent, and just a few carriers will easily get you through to toddlerhood and even beyond.
For additional information please go to babywearing.
You can contact Dr. Markel here.
And Jan Hunt of the Natural Child Project and author of The Unschooling Manuel writes:
Massage is wonderful, but I'd like to add that there are several kinds of slings that can work for heavy babies, who after all still have the same need for carrying as lighter ones!
The Mama Toto website has a wealth of information on babywearing. For more specific questions, Tracy, the founder of Mama Toto, is very knowledgeable and helpful.
Questions for Tracy can be sent to Tracy here.
AP is all about meeting the needs of your child even if you can't use a sling. Furthermore, the principle of Using Nurturing Touch continues long after your child is too big for a sling--even when he's old enough to pick you up.--Editor
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.
George Bernard Shaw
Lady in Silk (Is Cockney for Milk)
Question from a reader, response from The API Information Team
Q: My 14 month old son is no longer nursing, but he gets about 8 ounces of breastmilk in a bottle every day. The problem is that his total milk consumption (including whole milk) for the day is often 30 ounces, which I am told is too much.
A nutritionist told me today to dilute his milk and that breastmilk is no longer of any nutritional value after one year.
A: You need to find a new nutritionist! You are absolutely correct, and you are doing your son a tremendous favor by continuing the arduous task of pumping breastmilk for him every day.
Your son can drink as much breastmilk as he'd like. He may eat fewer solids than a child who is not drinking breastmilk, but that is because breastmilk delivers him so many of the nutrients and calories he needs. The breastmilk your child is eating now is not the same as it was when he was an infant. One of the fabulous things about human milk, unlike cow's milk in a bottle, is that it changes and adapts to the nutritional needs of the baby as he grows. The milk of a mother who has been lactating for more than a year has increased fat and energy contents as compared to that of a mother who has been lactating for a shorter period of time. Plus, immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year of production.
For additional information go to kellymom or La Leche League.
There is also a wonderful book called "My Child Won't Eat" by Carlos Gonzalez that discusses some of the science behind breastmilk and nutrition, and explains in detail why consumption should not be limited at any age. You might want to recommend it to the nutritionist.
And finally, here is a link to the AAP policy which discusses there is no upper limit to the duration of breastmilk.
Please Join Us In Our Garden!
Web Technology Researcher - needed immediately
We are looking for a volunteer or two to help us on a short term basis while we research various companies which offer webinar technology and podcasting abilities. We would like for these volunteers to simply compare the options offered to determine which companies best meet our needs.
If you are interested in learning more about these positions, please email Brandy Lance.
Junior Moderators for API's New Online Forum
API will be launching our new Web site in just a few short weeks! 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.
Journal: Contributing Writer
Provide interesting non-fiction, feature or research-based articles that effectively present science-based Attachment Parenting information so that it can be easily understood by both parents and professionals.
If you are interested in learning more about these positions, please email Rita Brhel.
For other team positions go here.
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 efforts truly make a difference in the community she serves.
New Group Leaders
- Amy McGovern, API of Norman OK (pictured above with family)
- Jennifer Leigh, API of Frederick, MD
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.
Questions On Vaccines
In the News
Many parents may be questioning the current CDC recommended vaccine schedule in light of a recent Federal Vaccine Court ruling that nine vaccines administered in one day to a girl may have aggravated an underlying medical condition resulting in her development of autism. Click here
to read the CNN news account.
API has always asked that parents do their research on whatever medical procedure they are considering--planning to get pregnant or planning a birth--knowledge empowers informed consent. This doesn't change after we give birth, it's all part of being a parent.
API covered this topic in a recent edition of the Journal that included an interview with Dr. Bob Sears. He said:
The media has brought various potential problems with vaccines out into the open. With the mercury debacle, parents have lost faith in the current system of vaccine safety research and accountability. Now with autism on the rise, parents are even more worried. Every question, concern, and potential problem with vaccines is answered by the medical community with, "There's not enough evidence to show that there's a problem." However, virtually all vaccine safety research is done by the vaccine manufacturers themselves. And vaccine side effects are not compared to large "control" groups of unvaccinated children. These inadequacies in the system create doubts in the minds of many parents.
To purchase this copy of the Journal go here.
API works with families who have made a variety of healthcare decisions. We celebrate diversities of opinion, and take pride in giving a forum for families to share the stories behind their individual choices. API does not recommend any particular healthcare choice, type of healthcare provider, or vaccination schedule, nor do we take a position on whether vaccinations might be the cause of developmental disabilities. We encourage parents to become educated and make informed decisions that fit their unique situations.
Join us online on March 31 to check out our news page which will help direct you to breaking information on this controversial subject. In the meanwhile, Dr. Sear's Vaccine Book can be obtained here.
And In the Next Issue of the Journal
For the Parents Bringing Home Another New Baby...
As you're flipping through the pages of the Winter 2007-08 issue of the Journal of API this month, it's time to start looking forward to the always much-anticipated New Baby issue due out later this spring.
The New Baby issue has traditionally been geared to mainly first-time parents, but this year's offers a number of articles to those parents bringing a new baby to a home already blessed with children. This Journal of API explores such veteran-parent issues as sibling spacing considerations, dealing with first-born jealousy, and what to expect when you receive news that you're carrying twins or more!
Join today! If you join today and you choose to receive the journal online, you will receive a copy of this exciting issue. If you join today and choose to receive the Journal through postal mail, your first Journal will be the issue of AP in a Non-AP World. All members current in their dues as of March 17th will be receiving the New Baby issue in their selected format.
In addition, the Journal is now accepting article submissions and advertising placements for its 2008 issues. Submission deadlines are:
- 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) - October 10th
If you are interested in submitting articles to The Journal please contact our editor.
Advertisers please go here.
|Free Copies of the Journal?|
No, You Don't Have to Pinch Yourself
If you know a parenting organization that could use the API Journal, please let us know.
We have a new API Journal Grant Program in which Grantees will receive the API Journal at our cost, and applicants will receive up to 200 totally free copies of the upcoming New Baby issue as a bonus for applying before March 24. Our Journal is a trusted and valuable resource which they can use to help support parents.
This low cost subscription is available only to groups which meet certain criteria. Information we need:
· The organization name
· contact name
· phone number
· mailing address
· email address,
· a short description of how you know about them and any additional comments or questions.
Please send an e-mail with the above information to development.
You are the One!
Who Makes it all Happen
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.
- All the benefits of Individual / Family Membership
- Two extra outreach copies each quarter of Attachment Parenting: The Journal of API
- Opportunity to purchase 25 additional copies of each issue of The Journal of API (100 total copies) for only $100 per year
- Special invitation to professional events hosted by API and our partners
- Access to professional brochures and materials as they become available
Join API Today!
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