I'm sitting on my couch listening to the unmistakable sound of the end of summer and the beginning of fall. In Texas, we don't get the storybook signs of the change of the seasons. There's no robin red breast in spring (they're here all winter), no single brown leaf gently cascading to the ground in autumn (what trees we have stay green), and no biting gust of arctic wind on an otherwise cool, sunny day (our "cold" winds chew rather than bite).
No, here in Texas, it's the muffled voice of the announcer on the high-school stadium's PA system, with the play-by-play action of the football game. Outside it might still be 98 degrees at 8:00 at night, but that sound can only mean one thing - the school year has started and another summer is behind us.
As my kids get older and yet another school year starts, I find myself a blubbering mix of emotion. I'm excited and reluctant. I'm thrilled and melancholy. Relaxed and worried. Confident and unsure.
Sometimes all in the same hour.
I stress about college, their careers, their futures, how little time we have left together, and a bunch of other stuff I'm too young to worry about.
But one thing I'm never torn about? That decision, all those years ago, that changed everything about the years to come. The choice to embrace my kids and remain attached.
Sure, it would have been easier in the short run to let them cry it out, to make them behave out of fear, to force them to "self soothe" and be independent at an early age.
But what would our long run have looked like? Obviously, I have no way of knowing. But I think it would have looked very different.
Here's one way I know our choice to be AP worked: When my kids (now all teenagers) see parents with their children, they notice. They notice when a child's opinion isn't valued, a need isn't met, or a flame isn't fanned. So my hope ... my belief ... is that they will value their own children's opinions, fill their needs, and fan their flames.
The cheer of the crowd outside my window tells me that the home team has made yet another glorious play, and that time is moving on. There are only so many hours to snuggle with your baby, laugh with your toddler, hold your preschooler's hand, stroke your preteen's hair, or share jokes with your high schooler.
So do your best to enjoy the inexpressibly joyous moments of being an AP parent when they come and look past the difficult ones (as they, too, will undoubtedly come). In the long run, it'll all be worth it.
This month we welcome three new members to our AP family: Tiffany Hamblen of API of Huntsville/Madision, Alabama; Karaleigh Salmi, Resource Leader in Illinois; and Cheryl North of South Northants API, England. Welcome!
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API is a free enewsletter, dedicated to bringing you information to support you in your parenting journey.
Must-See Rap Video Teaches Mamas How to Breastfeed
[VIDEO] If you are a breastfeeding mom and need some encouragement, or if you just need to know you are not alone in your breastfeeding journey, or if you are pregnant and worried about breastfeeding, even if you are breastfeeding, have breastfed, or are just curious about it, this video is a must-see. Under the YouTube tag UrbanMatriarch, TaNefer Lumukanda manages to teach a thing or 10 about breastfeeding while simultaneously bonding all moms who watch Teach Me How to Breastfeed.
Various parenting approaches are usually categorized as either child-centered or parent-centered, and there is great contention about which is better for both children and parents. Child-centered, critics say, compromises a parent’s sense of balance and may lead to children feeling entitlement. Parent-centered, critics counter, compromises a child’s need for parental attention and attunement.
But is this polarization, this black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking, reality? Should we be debating for which is the better of the two “evils”?
Using Harsh Verbal Discipline with Teens Found to Be Harmful
Many American parents yell or shout at their teenagers. A new longitudinal study has found that using such harsh verbal discipline in early adolescence can be harmful to teens later. Instead of minimizing teens' problematic behavior, harsh verbal discipline may actually aggravate it.
Check out the rest of the news here ...
Why do we choose the partners we do?
Why do they seem to have some characteristics that resemble those of our caregivers?
Why does it seem that opposites attract?
How is the communication in the relationship enhanced so that both parties are heard?
How can the relationship be taken to the next level of love?
We'll discuss these questions as well as passages from the book in our September and October API Reads program of Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix
Remember our discussions happen online at GoodReads.
Attached at the Heart launch party in Los Angeles:
Dr. Jay Gordon, Susan Stiffleman, Dr. Bob Sears, Soul Eye (Mario Treadway), Brian Grumet, Alanis Morissette, Jamie Grumet, Barbara Nicholson, Lysa Parker, Martha Sears, Dr. Bill Sears
Our Tea at Isabelle and Bob Fox's Home Was a Great Success!
Celebrating the release of the newly revised edition their book at the home of Bob and Isabelle Fox.
Lysa and Barbara shared some of the new information in the Attached at the Heart and celebrated the recent piloting of the parenting curriculum based on the book. A beautiful day in Southern California with dear friends from many years and meeting new friends for the first time!
"API + NVC =
Growing Your Peaceful Family"
Harness Your SuperPower
Compassionate Parenting and Nonviolent Communication
- The story of unmet needs: in our kids and ourselves
- The powerful intersection of AP and NVC
- The practice and purpose of nonviolent communication: what is NVC?
- Making NVC a natural part of your parenting
- Balancing and nurturing an AP marriage with NVC
- The heart of nonviolent communication
- Common misconceptions and (therefore) challenges
- The benefits of API + NVC in your family...
- ...and more!
Don't miss this opportunity to understand why and how you and your family get bogged down with painful conflict, and learn the power you already have to shift your family from resentment and defense to empathy, understanding, and forgiveness.
September 24, 2013
9:00 pm EST and 6:00 pm PST
With special guest Ingrid Bauer
Co-moderated by Lu Hanessian and Barbara Nicholson
Register now to listen in!
Send questions to email@example.com and be entered to win a copy of Dr. Laura's new book, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting.
In memory of
Betty Pearce Lowery
To my mother who had
a strong influence on my path in life and to whom I dedicate my work.
~ Lysa Parker
In honor of Kathy Dowd
~ Caitlin Fisch
In honor of Donna Reedy
~ Jillian Amodiollin
Holistic Moms Network NLC
API Volunteers Make
All the Difference
See the messages from the AP community in acknowledgment and appreciation for all our volunteers do for families.
Thank you to all the API volunteers,
from 1994 to today!
Want to Help
Change the World...
One Family at a Time?
Make a donation to API and API will post your tribute to your honoree, notify them of your message, and enlist you to learn more and share about API by sending you these great resources!
Picture Your Creativity
Show us your creative families! Send us photos of you and your family in your creative moments and we’ll feature them during AP Month! Our theme this year is "Parenting Creatively: The Art of Parenting!" so pull out all the stops! Up to 5 photos will be selected as features in upcoming API publications.
Get all the details here!
Do Well and Do Good...
Support the mission of API and connect with your target audience.
to help you create an advertising package to fit your message and budget.
API is proactively engaged with organizations with diverse missions and activities in order to leverage and expand our work in supporting all parents, children and families to promote secure attachments and strong, positive relationships.
Want to Change a Life?
You can now apply online
and learn more about
becoming an API Leader!
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Photos by Mohammed Shamma (mshamma) from here and by Bill & Vicki T (Grandpa & Grandma T.) from here.
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