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
|Things That Go Bump
in the Night
by Avril Dannenbaum
Scary things are fun. There are scary movies and books and, of course, Halloween--a whole holiday dedicated to dressing up as the dead and other creepy things. And I guess it may serve a purpose as well, since after a good scare we can go back to our normal lives feeling relieved that, after all, it was only make believe. We feel refreshed and ready to meet our challenges head on.
And then there is the not so fun type of scary. As parents we are constantly bombarded with well meaning advice from family, friends and our society. The message is often do as we say or put your child at risk. Sometimes it's just silly. "Your child will never learn to walk if you keep carrying him!" says Aunt Matilda. Other times a mother's nursing relationship maybe put at risk when she's given a feeding schedule in a book recommended by a good friend.
How many voices tell a new parent to "trust your instincts" or "do what comes naturally?"
That's where API comes in.
Our principles are not a laundry list: They are tools in the parenting toolbox. Take what you need and leave the rest. Leaders are trained not to judge but to support their members in finding their own way to increasing the bonds of attachment with their children. You as the parent decide what you need from us.
I became a co-leader six years ago because there was no group in my city, and that was pretty scary.
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 do give it your support by becoming a member.
By API Leader Amanda Nicolosi
My son, Alexander, was born 6 weeks prematurely. Luckily his health was good, and he did not need to stay in the hospital after his birth. It came naturally to me to breastfeed and co-sleep with this little guy. However, I felt extreme pressure from others that co-sleeping was a bad habit to get into. When my son was about 5 months old, I learned about Attachment Parenting. The more that I read about AP, the more I realized that my natural affinity for breastfeeding and co-sleeping were quite normal. It was at that point that I began to gain confidence in my mothering decisions. I continued to nurse on demand, and we continued to co-sleep as a family. When my son was about 6 months old, I discovered API and our local API group in North Fulton, GA. This was a wonderful turning point for me as a new mother.
I found the API of North Fulton's online forum to be a great asset! The parents in our group are always willing to give you information and advice on AP parenting. In addition, our API leader is supremely dedicated to our group and API. She has truly made a difference in the life of my family. She is a great coach, friend and mentor, and has helped me through many milestones (like night weaning!). Now that I have passed a few milestones with my 21 month old son, I can lend my support to the new parents who have joined our group. It is a terrific circle of parents.
Visit out our support group pages to find a group near you. If there isn't a group in your community, consider volunteering to start a new group. Your contribution makes a difference!
Peaceful Parenting for a Peaceful World
Below is an excerpt from "Every Smack is a Humiliation," a manifesto by Alice Miller. API is fortunate to have Dr. Miller on our Advisory Board. She is the author of The Drama of the Gifted Child and many other important books.
Many researchers have already proved that corporal punishment on children may indeed produce obedience in the short term but will have serious negative consequences on their character and behavior. Only if there was at least one single person who loved and understood the child, the disastrous development toward later crimes and illnesses could be prevented. During their whole childhood, dictators like Hitler, Stalin or Mao never came across such a helping witness. They learned very early to glorify cruelty and hypocrisy and to justify them while committing crimes on millions of people. Millions of others, because also exposed to physical maltreatment in childhood, helped them to do so without the slightest remorse.
Children should not be the scapegoats of adults' painful experiences. The claim that mild punishments (slaps or smacks) have no detrimental effects is still widespread because we got this message very early from our parents who had taken it over from their own parents. This conviction helped the child to minimize his suffering and to endure it. Unfortunately, the main damage it causes is precisely our numbness as well as the lack of sensitivity for our children's pain. The result of the broad dissemination of this damage is that each successive generation is subjected to the tragic effects of seemingly harmless "correction". Many parents still think: What didn't hurt me can't hurt my child. They don't realize that their conclusion is wrong because they never challenged their assumption.
For the rest of this thought provoking article please click here and to learn more about her work please click here.
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. - Eleanor Roosevelt
|Our Growing Team|
Welcome New API Leaders and Support Groups
API would like to welcome our newest Leaders to our team, and to thank them for their dedication to Attachment Parenting and API. Their efforts truly make a difference in the communities they serve.
The following new API Leaders formed new support groups:
For information on becoming an API Leader or starting a new API Support Group, please visit our website.
- API SG of Southeast Texas, New Leader Jeannette Freeman
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 Linda Dicus, Director of Leader Applicants. The new requirements are detailed on the Starting a Group page here Group Start
|More on Natural Parenting|
Question from a reader, response from The API Information Team.
Q: I never set out to use a particular style of parenting but following my daughter's birth, I began to feel conflict with what I thought was the normal thing to do and what I was instinctively doing or wanting to do. Prior to parenting, I was in a profession that advocated the whole crying sleep training idea. I now regret this and absolutely do not want to leave my daughter to cry. Although I've been listening to my instincts, I don't always find this easy as I hear what 'should' happen and then worry in case I'm getting it all wrong. It's really hard to do it differently when you hear the professionals advocating stuff you know you're not doing or going to do. Also, I don't know how my views on discipline fit in with attachment parenting; I don't believe you have to teach a child to be naughty... they can do that one all by themselves even with the most loving of parents! I really believe they need firm discipline and boundaries, implemented with love and respect. Does what I'm doing sound like I'm completely off track? I want to enjoy my daughter and not spend all my time worrying that I'm getting it wrong.
A: You are following your maternal instincts, and this is what attachment parenting is all about. Yes, it is difficult not to question what feels right to us as parents when professionals are advocating other approaches. You and the child's other parent are the people who know what's best for your child.
Yes, children need boundaries and they need to be treated at all times with love and respect. Of course, no parents are perfect, and when babies grow into the more autonomous stage, parenting can become more challenging. If you look into discipline ideas/approaches now, before your daughter arrives to the next stage, you may find the transition easier. Knowing what is developmental, takes the ease off you thinking that it is something that you've caused, that your parenting is at the root of this developmental challenge... you'll have confidence in
knowing that it was coming and here it is.
You are correct that it will do no good to worry too much that you're getting it wrong because, if you are following your intuition, reflecting on each day, talking with others who support you, reading, and most importantly, if you are consistently feeling the loving bond with your child, you will *mostly* get it right. No parent is perfect.
Have you looked into whether or not there is an attachment parenting support group in your area? Try
Here are some API web site resources for you:
API's Eight Principles: http://www.attachmentparenting.org/principles/principles.php
FAQs (Frequently asked questions):
Additional articles: http://www.attachmentparenting.org/support/resources.php
If you have questions about Attachment Parenting e-mail them to us! 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.
|And In the Next Issue of the Journal
What is a food allergy? What is a food sensitivity? Are food allergies always detectible by blood or skin tests? How does acid reflux relate to food allergies?
These questions and more will be answered in the Fall issue of Attachment Parenting: The Journal of API. Nicolette Dumke will offer insight into the causes of food allergies and the avenues for detection, and three mothers who practice attachment parenting will share their touching personal experiences.
If you suspect your child might have food allergies, you won't want to miss this issue of Attachment Parenting.
Expected out in November 2007!
API In The News
API of Fresno Leader Janell had the opportunity to speak out about API in this broadcast for ABC30 News last summer.
After you click here
you will need to slide the bar forward to 17:16 for a three minute clip on Moms Club and API.
Thank you Janell for spreading the good word about attachment parenting.
|Be an Angel!
API URGENTLY NEEDS YOUR DONATIONS!!!
API is in need of your donations. You may already know that API is in a transitional state as we plan for and create a parent education curriculum that will not only move us to financial stability, but truly support parents regardless of their path.
We've recently cut all operations to the bare minimum and our staff has graciously agreed to forfeit pay as long as individually possible. We are rapidly researching and applying for grants to help fund the new strategy, but the process is long and will not cover basic operations in the meantime. We're exhausting all avenues to survive.
We're committed to making this work because we're confident that our plans will take Attachment Parenting to a higher level and really deliver the means for parents to truly become and remain securely attached to their children. Our children's and future generations wellbeing are reliant on our success.
We need your monetary donations now more than ever. Do you or your friends annually give to a charity at the end of the year? 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:
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 to http://www.attachmentparenting.org/help/help.php
API Back Issues Available!
Each quarter API mails members our publication The Journal of Attachment Parenting. The Journal is a fabulous compilation of stories from members, Leaders, Directors and leading researchers in the field of attachment theory. Our publication has grown from a grassroots newsletter to a full blown black and white magazine with graphics and more articles than ever before!
Each month we will spotlight a former issue of The Journal of Attachment Parenting or API News (the former title of our newsletter through 2003). These issues will be for sale, along with additional volumes of API News and Journal.
API News, Volume 6:1 Winter 2003 Theme: Education
This volume has some wonderful stories and informative articles when it comes to preparing for and getting the most from your child's education. Our featured article was written by Isabelle Fox who has written multiple books on children's development and is an accomplished Clinical Psychotherapist specializing in child development.
Don't miss this issue of API News to read more about attachment through education!
- "Your Child's School Experience" by Isabelle Fox
- "Becoming an Advocate in Your Child's Education" by Lysa Parker
- "Learning and Lifelong Bonds" by Eunice Graham
To purchase your back issues and other wonderful items from our API store please click here.
Show how API has made a Difference in your Life
Do you have a favorite story that illustrates how your practice of Attachment Parenting, in an ordinary situation, helped you overcome a parenting challenge? Have you seen the differences that Attachment Parenting has made in the lives of your children or family? Have you or your children been complimented and you felt it was at least partially a result of Attachment Parenting? Does your local API group keep your AP batteries charged?
API wants to capture these moments in short written or recorded format with photos to help create an API montage. The montage will be displayed on the Web site as a beautiful testament to how API makes a difference. API needs your stories to make this happen.
We thank you in advance... every little bit makes a difference!
Shop Our Store!
(Holiday Season Is Just Around The Corner)
Did you know that API has a Cafe Press Shop?
Here's your chance to tell the world about your parenting approach while completing your holiday gift list.
|API Membership |
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:
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:
- 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
- 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.
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