API Links - November 2011

API Links you to...

News on teen brains, how to mess up your kids, advocate for attachment parenting, and AP Month updates!

Editor's Picks

2010/2011 API Accomplishments and Plans:
Falling in Love with API

Today, API personally reaches more than 10,000 families every year, in 70 cities and 10 countries. These numbers are expected to double in the next year. Lysa and Barbara continue their selfless work, traveling, writing, speaking, working with their own local support groups, and urging change and awareness. A global website reaches millions of families with regular information and support. Partnerships extend the reach, growing awareness and influence, and furthering API’s mission and its pillars of education, research, advocacy, and support for a more compassionate world.

Help Sustain API's Mission Today: Please Respond with Your Support to API's 2011 Annual Appeal
Continuing API's work and mission is vital to the well being of our world's children and their parents. Please donate to API today, through PayPal, Facebook Causes, Guidestar, Network for Good, Causecast, or Salsa/DIA--your preference--and help support an organization working every day to shift societies away from misguiding and hurtful parenting information toward parenting with secure and healthy attachment in mind. Read API's Accomplishments and Plans and its 2011/2012 Annual Appeal to you and help us create a more compassionate world.

12 Ways to Mess Up Your Kids
Child psychologists, psychiatrists, and other experts tell us the dozen things you should avoid doing to help your child develop into a happy, confident, well-rounded little person. While this is a great article, it does have one mention of spanking, which API in no way supports. We decided to include the article despite that because of all the other terrific material it offers.

Parenting Philosophy Promotes Attachment, Play
"In Patricia Mackie's home, there are no timeouts. Her children never cry themselves to sleep and discipline is different from punishment. Mackie leads a group of about 80 Naperville-area parents who follow Attachment Parenting's principles of providing consistent and nurturing care to help children trust their needs will be met." Read the story from the Daily Herald.

Fatherhood Can Help Change a Man's Bad Habits
After men become fathers for the first time, they show significant decreases in crime and tobacco and alcohol use, according to a new, 19-year study.

Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

When It Comes to Preventing Preterm Birth, the United States Gets a "C"
Preterm birth, which is the leading cause of newborn death in the U.S., has declined in most states and dropped more than 10% in a few, according to an annual "premature-birth report card" released by the March of Dimes.

Do Good with Good Search
Looking for an easy way to help API after you donate that won't cost you another penny? Use Good Search!

Here's what you can do ...

Email - Email your family and friends about Good Search and tell them to designate API as the recipient.?
Logo - Add a GoodSearch and GoodShop logo to your website, blog, or profile.

Badge - Add a customizable GoodSearch and GoodShop badge to your website, blog, or profile. ?
Toolbar - Download the Goodsearch toolbar.
Free Custom Toolbar - Apply for a custom Goodsearch toolbar.?
Email Footer - Add a footer to your emails.
Blog - Write about GoodSearch on blogs and message boards.
Homepage - Make GoodSearch your homepage as well as the homepage on all of the computers in your company or school.
Custom Search Box - Add a GoodSearch search box to your site.?

Feeding with Love and Respect

Can Breastfeeding Reduce Pain in Preterm Infants?
Poorly managed pain in the neonatal intensive care unit has serious short- and long-term consequences, causing physiological and behavioral instability in preterm infants and long-term changes in their pain sensitivity, stress arousal systems, and developing brains. In a new study, researchers report that breastfeeding during minor procedures mitigated pain in preterm neonates with mature breastfeeding behaviors.

AP Month Photos!

Congratulations on the Top AP Month Photos!
This year’s AP Month photo event was a great success with over 100 photos submitted. If you haven’t taken a look yet, check out all the photos of beautiful AP families on the API Facebook page.

Most popular photo: #46 submitted by Jodi Marr

Most Popular Play Themed Photo: #24 submitted by Nanci Cabaniss of Gainesville, Georgia

Best Representative of the AP Month Theme: #3 submitted by Melissa Mailly of Coon Rapids, Minnesota

Honorable Mention for AP Month Theme representation: #6 submitted by Kristen Brundige of Austin, Texas

Ensure Safe Sleep, Emotionally and Physically

Babies "Should Sleep in Mother's Bed until Age Three"
Newborn babies should share their mother's bed until they are at least three years old, a UK pediatrician has claimed.

Should Neonates Sleep Alone?
Throughout most of human history, newborn babies slept in close contact with their mothers. When that wasn’t possible, somebody else held them while mom took a break. But nowadays, if you visit a hospital maternity ward, you’ll find newborn babies left to sleep in little plastic boxes. But how does that affect the baby?

Special Section: Play and Learning

Babies and Toddlers Should Learn from Play, Not Screens
The temptation to rely on media screens to entertain babies and toddlers is more appealing than ever, with screens surrounding families at home, in the car, and even at the grocery store. And there is no shortage of media products and programming targeted to little ones.

If We Don't Let Our Children Play, Who Will Be the Next Steve Jobs?
Will the next generation have a Steve Jobs?
The forecast doesn't look good. In an era of parental paranoia, lawsuit mania, and testing frenzy, we are failing to inspire our children's curiosity, creativity, and imagination. We are denying them opportunities to tinker, discover, and explore - in short, to play.

TED Talk: Alison Gopnik - What Do Babies Think?
"Babies and young children are like the R&D division of the human species," says psychologist Alison Gopnik. Her research explores the sophisticated intelligence-gathering and decision-making that babies are really doing when they play.

Profanity in TV and Video Games Linked to Teen Aggression
While it's been long established that watching violent scenes increases aggression levels, a new study in the medical journal Pediatrics suggests that profanity in the media may have a similar effect.

Practice Positive Discipline

Physical Punishment Doesn't Help, It Hurts
"Millions of people watched a video of a Texas judge hitting his teenage daughter repeatedly with a belt. This father justified his actions as 'discipline.' I beg to differ."

In Sweden, a Generation of Kids Who've Never Been Spanked
Ian Swanson was 5 when his family moved from the United States to Umea, a small university town in northern Sweden. It was the place where he made his first friends, where he learned to read and where, like any kid, he was "into absolutely everything."

Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

For Parents, Sacrifice Is Living the Dream
The first dreams we ever had were to be held. And loved. And to
explore this amazing world with love in our lives.

Clues to Young Children's Aggressive Behavior Uncovered by New Study
Children who are persistently aggressive, defiant, and explosive by the time they're in kindergarten very often have tumultuous relationships with their parents from early on. A new longitudinal study suggests that a cycle involving parenting styles and hostility between mothers and toddlers is at play.

Also of Interest ...

Reading, Writing, Empathy: The Rise of "Social Emotional Learning"
Marc Brackett never liked school. "I was always bored," he says, "and I never felt like any of my teachers really cared. I can’t think of anybody that made me feel inspired." It’s a surprising complaint coming from a 42-year-old Yale research scientist with a 27-page CV and nearly $4 million in career funding. But Brackett knows that many kids feel the way he does about school, and he wants to do a complete emotional makeover of the nation’s schools.

Investing in Early Years Essential
The importance of investing in a child’s early years has been highlighted at the Tasmanian Infant Mental Health Conference in Hobart. The Minister for Health and Minister for Children opened the conference this morning, saying sound evidence shows that investing in the early years is critical to getting the best mental health and wellbeing outcomes.

Beautiful Teenage Brains
Moody. Impulsive. Maddening.
Why do teenagers act the way they do? Viewed through the eyes of evolution, their most exasperating traits may be the key to success as adults.

Inside the Teen Mind
They're dramatic and irrational, and they scream for seemingly no reason. And they have a deep need for both greater independence and tender loving care. There's a reason this description could be used for either teens or toddlers: After infancy, the brain's most dramatic growth spurt occurs in adolescence. Here are 10 facts every parent should know.

Check out the Blog Carnival for October's AP Month
The theme for Attachment Parenting Month 2011, "Families at Play," inspired many of you to share your thoughts about what play means for you and your family. Check out these posts submitted to the AP Month 2011 Blog Carnival to see how important play is to other families.

I Will Not Have My Child to Raise Over Again at Poppies & Pencilshavings
Just a little reminder to myself that I cannot afford too many "maybe later's," or "not now's." I love my work, but I love my child more. I need money in the bank, but money cannot ensure my child's happiness the way my love can.

The Blessing of a Bear Encounter at Every Breath I Take
The car seat has never qualified as a “happy place” for my daughter. At two years old, she has no problem letting me know that she isn’t interested in riding in it. She often slides out before I can even fasten her in. And a [fun-for-her] game of chase ensues inside the car.

Uncovering Hidden Feelings through Play at High Needs Attachment
It wasn’t until becoming a parent that I saw more deeply the unique ability of play to tap into a young child’s inner life. Recently when engaged in imaginative play with my three-year-old, he was having animals act out a scenario where they went to a local coffee shop and ordered blueberry bagels with butter and breakfast sandwiches with cheese.

The Meaning of Play at A Secure Base
For children, play comes naturally. Children can find play hiding in boxes, under trees, in mud pies, between mom’s never-to-be-worn-again dresses in the closet, and on top of the neighborhood’s tallest hill. Children need no reason or goal in their play. They just play because they want to and they can.

Que Juegos Podemos Jugar en Familia? at Esposa Perfect
"Cualquier tipo de juego que guste al niño, lo importante es que ambos disfruten de compartir ese momento, los niños se sentirán muy felices al jugar con sus padres y serán momentos que el niño jamás olvidará. Los juegos pueden utilizarse en las actividades cotidianas o en momentos dedicados exclusivamente para jugar.

Attachment Parenting Month: Families at Play at City Kids Homeschooling
We use the city as the backdrop for our family's play, often taking advantage of its many playgrounds and museums and festivals, but also tapping into its capacity to trigger spontaneous, creative play.

Nothing Is Really Work Unless You Would Rather Be Doing Something Else* at Seventh Acre Heaven
This month is Attachment Parenting Month and to celebrate, API (Attachment Parenting International) has chosen a theme of “Families at Play.” At first I felt a huge guilt about this. My child often refuses to play.

Nurturing Parent-Child Relationships through Play at The Hippie Housewife
When we talk about playing with our kids, the typical things usually come to mind: imaginative play (dinosaurs, cars, house), creative play (Lego, crafting, colouring), or board games (Candyland, Go Fish, Snakes & Ladders).

Playtime Grows Up at API Speaks
Young children play effortlessly. Kids are naturally predisposed to play, and it doesn’t take much to engage a child in a silly game or role-play. Through play, kids express feelings, needs, thoughts and ideas that they might not yet have the words to articulate. Playing together lets parents connect and communicate with kids beyond a conversation and provides insight into their world.

A Family that Plays Together Stays Together! at API Speaks
Last year, I gave my sweet husband the colossal task of finding a birthday present for me that a) wasn’t materialistic and b) showed me that he really knew me inside and out. After hearing my request my husband slouched his shoulders and said "Wow, that’s a tall order. Anything I get you is going to be a great disappointment." This year, hubby had his thinking cap on!

Coming Out to Play at API Speaks
A newspaper reporter once wrote that, "Fred Donaldson never has a hard day at work. All he does is play around." The reporter expresses a common misunderstanding of children’s play. We think of children’s play as nothing more than child’s play. I was no different. This dramatically changed one day when I was tugged to the ground by children. I began to see play not as an adult observer, but as a participant.

Refresher: API's 8 Principles of Attachment Parenting

Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
Become emotionally and physically prepared for pregnancy and birth. Research available options for healthcare providers and birthing environments, and become informed about routine newborn care. Continuously educate yourself about developmental stages of childhood, setting realistic expectations and remaining flexible.

Feed with Love and Respect
Breastfeeding is the optimal way to satisfy an infant's nutritional and emotional needs. "Bottle Nursing" adapts breastfeeding behaviors to bottle-feeding to help initiate a secure attachment. Follow the feeding cues for both infants and children, encouraging them to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Offer healthy food choices and model healthy eating behavior.

Respond with Sensitivity
Build the foundation of trust and empathy beginning in infancy. Tune in to what your child is communicating to you, then respond consistently and appropriately. Babies cannot be expected to self-soothe, they need calm, loving, empathetic parents to help them learn to regulate their emotions. Respond sensitively to a child who is hurting or expressing strong emotion, and share in their joy.

Use Nurturing Touch
Touch meets a baby's needs for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation, and movement. Skin-to-skin contact is especially effective, such as during breastfeeding, bathing, or massage. Carrying or babywearing also meets this need while on the go. Hugs, snuggling, back rubs, massage, and physical play help meet this need in older children.

Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
Babies and children have needs at night just as they do during the day; from hunger, loneliness, and fear, to feeling too hot or too cold. They rely on parents to soothe them and help them regulate their intense emotions. Sleep training techniques can have detrimental physiological and psychological effects. Safe co-sleeping has benefits to both babies and parents.

Provide Consistent and Loving Care
Babies and young children have an intense need for the physical presence of a consistent, loving, responsive caregiver: ideally a parent. If it becomes necessary, choose an alternate caregiver who has formed a bond with the child and who cares for him in a way that strengthens the attachment relationship. Keep schedules flexible, and minimize stress and fear during short separations.

Practice Positive Discipline
Positive discipline helps a child develop a conscience guided by his own internal discipline and compassion for others. Discipline that is empathetic, loving, and respectful strengthens the connection between parent and child. Rather than reacting to behavior, discover the needs leading to the behavior. Communicate and craft solutions together while keeping everyone's dignity intact.

Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life
It is easier to be emotionally responsive when you feel in balance. Create a support network, set realistic goals, put people before things, and don't be afraid to say "no." Recognize individual needs within the family and meet them to the greatest extent possible without compromising your physical and emotional health. Be creative, have fun with parenting, and take time to care for yourself.


Dear Supporter,

My husband and I are careful with our money. Like lots of other folks, we've been hit hard by this economy. Little expenditures we used to think nothing of, we've now cut out completely.

We get movies from the library for our family movie night rather than going to a theater. We make homemade pizzas instead of having pizza delivered. We buy our clothes off the clearance rack or from thrift shops - if we buy new clothes at all. My boys have one pair of sneakers and one pair of sandals; on the rare occasion when they need dress shoes, we borrow them.

We've had to rethink what's important and spend accordingly. We've cut out things that we really don't miss at all (milkshakes on Friday afternoons after our busy homeschooling co-op) and some things that we miss but that we can easily live without (the Amazon box full of books - which we now check out from the library instead).

These days we spend our money on things that strengthen our family or enhance our lives: music lessons, day trips as a family, tickets to an event that will be a cherished memory ...

So when it comes to spending the modest sum of $35, I really think about it. That won't even buy our family a meal at a burger joint or a night at the movies (and forget about the popcorn!). But it's still a chunk of change for us, one that I don't spend lightly.

I believe in voting with my money, using my money to do good - not only for my family but for the world as well.

$35 may not seem like a lot, but it makes a difference. And what I want to make a difference in is children's lives. I can do that so easily. All I have to do is contribute to API!

That's all it takes ... $35 to support API's mission. That's not a lot to help change the world, right? 


This month we have a ton of great info for you:
- read all the amazing blog posts from AP Month,
- see how fatherhood can help change bad habits,
- check out all the touching, funny, beautiful photos that your fellow API members entered during the AP Month photo contest,
- learn about how profanity on TV affects teen behavior,
- hear what some experts are now saying about babies sleeping in their parents' bed, and
- learn about the rise of social emotional learning.

Welcome to all our new Leaders! Esther Koppel, API of Fredericksburg, Virginia; Danielle Serlin, API of Downriver, Michigan; and Suzy Landreth, API of Lincoln, Nebraska. We're glad to have you on board!

Camille North,
API Links Editor

Please let us know what you like and what could be better about Links.

API is a free enewsletter, dedicated to bringing you information to support you in your parenting journey.

Don’t Forget to
“Pick up Kids!”

Thank you to everyone
who participated in the 2011 AP Month "Families at Play!"

As your holiday to-do list undoubtedly begins to grow, we hope that AP Month this year has stretched your play muscles and enabled you to read (and write!) this "to do" list as creatively as this father has in the picture.

AP Month this year was a 31-day practice run - a warm up - to building resources, learning tips, and finding support to access our playful, fun, fresh, and inspiring ideas year-round.

Stay in the game by plugging into all of the accumulated tips and wisdom stored at AP Month Central.
We thank our partners and sponsors, as well as those who donated and bid in our online auction and submitted blog posts and photographs.

Special thanks to the API Leaders who held events in their communities to celebrate AP Month.

What's in Store for You
in Our Store?

The holidays often bring to our attention the love and connection we have with our children, friends, and families.

API's online store is stocked with books, videos, and audio recordings that educate and support us in nurturing and maintaining these relationships for years to come. By choosing to order your gifts from API, you will be helping to promote peace, compassion, and joy this holiday season.

Check out our newest item
in the store!

"Soothing Slumber: Infant Massage for Nighttime" (DVD)

This video will teach you all the strokes you need in order to help your baby enjoy a deeper and longer sleep. You'll also gain knowledge about the health benefits of infant massage
for your little one.

In Honor of...

In loving memory of
Minda Lazarov

for her gift to the world of herself.
~ Janet Jendron

Read Barbara Nicholson's tribute to Minda, API former Board member and Resource Advisory Council member.

Minda, Barbara, and Lysa, 1997

World Day for Prevention
of Abuse and Violence against Children

November 19, 2011

Together, let us create
a culture of prevention.
Child abuse, especially sexual abuse, is a universal and alarming problem and increased attention and efficient protection skills and prevention measures are necessary at the family-, local-, national-, and international level.

Do Well and Do Good...

Support the mission of API and connect with your target audience.

Contact us
to help you create an advertising package to fit your message and budget.

An Attached Scarecrow...

A scarecrow dad from the API Nashville chapter:

And check out the sign:

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!

Did You Have an Aha! Moment Reading One of These Links?

If so, we couldn't be more pleased to serve you. Help us serve others too. Please consider donating $20, $10, or even $5. API is a non-profit organization and it depends on your tax-deductible donations.

Photos were submitted for AP Month, by Senay Funk (Cologne, Germany) from here and by Therese Gibbons from here.

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