Attachment Parenting International
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April 2007
API Links
A Monthly eNewsletter from
Attachment Parenting International
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 Ideals*
In This Issue
Connections Pendant
Q&A: Should I Hit Back?
Wise Words
Never Give Up Hope
Musical Mothers
Finding the Funds
New Levels of Support
Attachment Theory Spotlight
Our Growing Team
API Membership
On the API Website
Subscribe to APILinks!

Yesterday, while shopping at a local market with my three year old daughter, I was stopped by an older gentleman who told me that he appreciated hearing my interactions with her. He lamented that it has become rare to hear parents talking "with" their children rather than "at" them and said that it was refreshing and inspiring to hear a true conversation between a parent and a young child. This unexpected compliment rejuvenated my personal spirit, and it reminded me how important it is to support parents in our villages, even if we don't know them personally.

It also reminded me of the importance of Attachment Parenting International. So often we find ourselves discussing how to intervene when we see interactions between parents and their children spiraling out of control. Unfortunately, respectful interactions are not yet the norm, and we have a lot of work to do! Through education, support, advocacy, and research, we can make a difference in the lives of children and their families. Thank you for joining API in this monumental effort!
Limited Edition "Connections" Pendant
There's Still Time to Order for Mother's Day!

PendantSupport API through the purchase of
this stunning "Connections" pendant,
exclusive to API, and perfect for
Mother's Day!

Attachment Parenting International has partnered with Barb Lattin, API Leader and owner of Little Things, to produce an original, hand-crafted sterling silver pendant. "Connections" has substantial weight, yet it is light enough to wear daily and will complement a t-shirt as well as a little black dress.

Representing the connections evident in the lives of all women, the pendant is especially beautiful as a symbol of motherhood. The inner nest and its connections to the outer frame evoke warm and powerful images of family bonds, interpersonal relationships, friendship networks, emotional support structures, and even spirituality. The stunning design embodies the name "Connections."

"Connections" is an exclusive design created for Attachment Parenting International using the same care and artistic flair that Little Things customers have come to expect. Little Things will donate 50% of the proceeds to API, contributing to programs that offer support for families around the world.

Each pendant is $59.99 plus shipping & handling. Make your gift extra special by including an annual gift membership to API, and your shipping within the United States is free!  Purchase one for yourself, your daughter, your mother, and any other woman with whom you enjoy strong emotional connections. Only a limited number of pendants can be crafted in time for Mother's Day delivery!

Should I Hit Back?
Question from a Reader, Response from the Editor
Q:  Whenever we go to play dates, my two year old hits other kids! Even if he's not playing with a toy, if another child tries to touch it, he grabs it and then hits him. We've told him he needs to share, and we've told him to use gentle touches, but he still hits.  My mother-in-law says we need to hit him back.  This doesn't feel right, but I'm at the end of my rope! What should we do?

First, understand that it is completely normal and developmentally appropriate for a two year old to hit!  Your son isn't old enough to really understand "sharing" and even though he can talk, he likely doesn't yet have the developmental capability to put his feelings into words. 

Of course, this doesn't mean that you let him hit other kids!  By remaining close by and engaged in his play, you will often be able to intervene before your son lashes out at another child.  In the event that he does hit another child, you can model empathy and issue an apology. You can help your son put his feelings into words and continue to work with him on sharing (or "taking turns," which is sometimes an easier concept to understand). By staying calm and comforting his distress, you help regulate his emotions and model empathetic behavior.

Hitting your son would only teach him to fear you rather than trust you and would model that violence is an acceptable way to change someone else's behavior. Hitting will anger and humiliate him, but it won't be effective at teaching him to regulate his emotions or to control his impulses.  

With your calm help and loving guidance combined with time for his natural cognitive development, your son will eventually learn to share. For now, prevention and compassion are your best tools!

April 30th marks Spank Out Day in the United States. For more information on events in your area, contact a local  API Leader or visit the organizer of Spank Out Day, The Center for Effective Discipline.

If you have questions about Attachment Parenting, please ask the editor! 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.
Wise Words
from Pam Leo, Author of Connection Parenting

"It takes the same amount of time and attention to meet children's needs as it does to deal with the behaviors caused by their unmet needs."

Connection Parenting is one of many wonderful resources in the API Bibliography under Discipline. To purchase this or other books about practicing positive discipline, visit the API Bookstore.
Never Give Up Hope
Meet API Leader Avril Dannenbaum
API Communities Logo
April is Autism Awareness Month in the United States. Avril Dannenbaum volunteers for API as a parent support group leader in New York City. Here she explains how Attachment Parenting gave her the tools and strength to manage her son's chronic illness.

I founded the NYC branch of API out of gratitude for my son's recovery from the symptoms of Autistic Spectrum Disorder.  When he was born, we breastfed, co-slept, and played together, creating a bond that even chronic disease could not destroy.
At eighteen months of age my son stopped making eye contact, lost all language, and began stimming (self-stimulatory behavior). For two years he grew progressively more ill and his doctors did nothing for him, even though there were clear indications of bowel problems. Because of our close relationship with our son, my husband and I never gave up hope. We found a DAN! Protocol* doctor who diagnosed our then three year old as having Autistic Enterocolitus. After treatment including a gluten- and casein-free diet, our son regained eye contact and language and stopped stimming. He was back on a normal developmental track.
I believe that without Attachment Parenting, our son would never have recovered as well as he did. While he still has inflammatory bowel disease, it has been kept under control with anti-inflammatory medication, enzymes, and special diet. On the playground, he's like any kid. I am deeply indebted to Attachment Parenting for the tools and strength it's given me to deal with my child's chronic illness.

* Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) is a project of the Autism Research Institute with the goal of bringing together the world's foremost doctors and scientists to form a protocol to treat Autism

When you support API, you support the efforts of leaders like Avril to reach out to families in their local communities, and you support the efforts of API Headquarters to develop educational materials for parents facing special challenges. Together, we can make a difference!

Musical Mothers of Music City
Intimate Mother's Day Benefit Concert in Nashville, TN

Pam TillisPam Tillis, Ashley Cleveland, Jonell Mosser and Odessa Settles gather for an intimate concert at the historic Belcourt Theatre on Mother's Day, May 13th, at 7:30 P.M. as a fundraiser for Attachment Parenting International (API). Get up close and personal wih these amazing women who have donated their time and talents to celebrate motherhood.


The Belcourt Theatre is the perfect, cozy setting for these amazing superstars and
you may never get to see them perform
quite like this again. Tickets start at $35, click here to purchase General Admission tickets from the Belcourt Theatre. A small number of $75 VIP tickets have been released,
which include premier seating and a gift
bag. Click here
to purchase VIP tickets.

Pam Tillis is a multi-platinum singer/songwriter with six top-ten hits and 1994 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year. She also earned the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.

As the Grammy Award's first female nominee in the Best Rock Gospel category, Ashley Cleveland won this award in 1996 for her album "Lesson of Love", and again in 1999 for "You Are There." She is the only woman to win twice in this category. "Lesson of Love" also won a 1996 Nashville Music Award ("Nammy") for Best Contemporary Christian Album.

The concert is rounded out with the soulful voice of Jonell Mosser, a hot up-and-comer you can hear on Adult/Contemporary stations and on her album "Time Will Do the Talkin'."  Nashville Native Odessa Settles, who comes from a musical family and has performed since the age of four will also grace the stage. She is currently the Nashville Chamber Orchestra's Gospel Choir Coordinator/Soloist and a member of The Princely Players.

Finding the Funds
API Seeks Volunteer Grant Writers!

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

This mission takes money, and we need help! If you have the skills and desire to assist API in applying for one grant or many, please send an e-mail.  Please also send an e-mail if you know of a grant for which we should apply!

Thank you in advance. Together, we can make a difference!

New Levels of Support
A Note From Brandy Lance

API Communities LogoBrandy Lance, an API Parent Support Group Leader with Cherished Children API in Boulder, Colorado recently accepted the position of Regional Director of Leader Development for the Western United States.  

"I'm very excited to accept the job of Western Regional Director for API. As a leader of a thriving support group, I have come to love the level of support my co-leaders and I have been able to give to our local community. As a Regional Director, I look to extend that level of support to fellow API Leaders and thus, their members. API is moving in an exciting direction which will offer more support than ever to group leaders, members, and communities throughout the world. It is an organization that has helped me, as a mother, to understand more about the benefits of attachment and empathy, and about the need for loving, dedicated leaders to help establish better attachment for families worldwide. I look forward to getting to know more of the leaders in the Western Region and to supporting them in the ways that they need."

By supporting API, you help us reach out to local communities worldwide.

Attachment Theory Spotlight
The Importance of Secondary Attachments

Sir Richard Bowlby Bt., son of Attachment Theory pioneer, John Bowlby, describes "secondary attachments" as those outside of the primary attachment figure with whom an attachment bond has formed.  
"Children who develop three or more secondary attachment bonds (not counting parents) are usually more resilient, have higher self-esteem, and fewer mental-health problems than children with fewer secondary attachment bonds."
Is primary attachment better than secondary attachment? How does a secondary attachment differ from someone who is just a friend? Read the June issue of Attachment Parenting: The Journal of Attachment Parenting International as Sir Richard Bowlby, Bt. explores the significance of secondary attachments in a child's life.

API Communities LogoOur Growing Team
API Announces New Support Groups and Leaders

We are pleased to announce our newest API Support Group: API
of Mt. Diablo, California, USA.

We have two new Support Group Leaders: Dedra R. Keoshian of
API of Stark County, Ohio (picture at left with her family), and
Kelly Tier of the new Mt.
Diablo, California group.

We also have over 30 leader applications pending and more new groups forming!

Check out our support group pages for a group near you. If there isn't a group near you, we hope you will consider starting a group in your community.  For more information about starting a support group, click here

The more API support groups there are, the stronger the network of AP support for families and the stronger our voice in promoting the ideals of API!
API Membership
Join Today!

By becoming a member of API, you help reach other parents and professionals through education, support, advocacy, and research. Our efforts touch the lives of parents worldwide through local support groups, our quarterly publication, Attachment Parenting: The Journal of API, this newsletter, and national advocacy efforts. In addition, your membership donation contributes to innovative projects such as the creation of a comprehensive Attachment Parenting curriculum, the formation of strategic alliances with like-minded organizations, the expansion of our network of AP-Friendly Professionals, and the upgrade of our Web site to become the premier Attachment Parenting online community.

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 is retained for use in your local community)
  • Discounts and early registration for API conferences and select other 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.  Benefits include:
  • 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
  • Invitation to join an online discussion forum of professionals who support 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.
API Communities Logo

I hope you enjoyed this issue of APILinks!  If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about this eNewsletter, please contact me.


Pam Stone, Editor

Attachment Parenting International

* Prior to May of 2007, the Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting were known as the Eight Ideals.