AP Parenting Group Leader Guide
AP Support Groups are held all over the world. Groups usually meet monthly in a library, religious institution, community center, hospital or someone's home. Leaders support parents by offering information and guidance needed to empower and strengthen the family. AP Support Group Leaders are making progress with community outreach activities that educate parents and professionals who are not familiar with Attachment Parenting (AP). API also provides a new free self-guided leader preparation tool for individuals interested in starting a group in their community.
No Group in Your Area? Then why not start one?
Consider forming a new group by taking the first step which is to prepare yourself to be a leader. API offers information to help you get started.
We also invite you to be connected with current leaders who will mentor you as you establish the new group in your community.
Why does AP have a leader process?
Partnership. The process helps AP align applicants who desire to become leaders in a way that each person is working to serve parents and communities in unison with the API Principles of Parenting.
Preparation. Leaders are peer parents who present AP in their neighborhoods. As such, leaders are responsible to the parents in those communities and API wishes to provide the useful preparation and support needed for those who volunteer in the role of leader. API desires for a successful and fulfilling leadership experience for each leader.
Mission. API's mission is to educate and support all parents in raising secure, joyful and empathic children in order to strengthen families and create a more compassionate world. Dedicated volunteers help to make this happen. Through the Leadership process API offers information and support to each leader so that they can offer it to the parents who attend support groups.
What do Leaders gain from the preparation process?
The AP leader process is designed to provide applicants access to and practice with valuable skills and knowledge that can be applied in multiple aspects of AP leadership and life.
API leaders gain:
- Knowledge about Attachment Parenting information, theory, and practice.
- Preparation for sharing ideas and resources with other parents.
- Skillful communication techniques.
- Effective methods to overcome challenges with individuals and group dynamics.
- Successful ways to help parents problem-solve in family situations.
AP Leaders enjoy access to:
- An established network of like-minded parents, professionals, and organizations throughout the world.
- Free publicity via a support group listing on API’s website with meeting times, locations, and a link to the group’s website.
- Support from peer leaders and staff via private forums, sites and publications.
- API’s library of meeting ideas, research, news articles, and other materials.
- Personal parenting support for AP leaders.
- Marketing assistance and templates for promotions.
How long does it take to complete the preparation?
The process would likely take a couple of months, and work at a pace that is best for the individual and his/her family. Please allot time for:
- Reading the three (3) core books as well as four (4) additional selections* and preparing brief reviews.
- Responding to a series of questions.
- Reviewing videos and training documents provided.
AP leaders are urged to organize, advertise, and facilitate at least nine (9) free in-person meetings per year.
Why the process structured the way it is?
AP’s preparation process works well for leaders who are motivated, have strong initiative and are open to serving families. Leaders need to be comfortable working within a structure that falls between “anything goes” and that of an extensive, expensive training. These are some of the same qualities that we appreciate in AP leaders.
This approach allows for a joint exploration of important and influential beliefs and attitudes as well as helps to strengthen the alignment between AP and the leader. The written format of our process facilitates reflection means that the experience is more likely to “stick” and continue to serve as a touchstone.
On a practical level, our structure is ultimately the most sustainable. Leader applicants live all over the world and are typically parents with young children, busy schedules and snug budgets. The process allows AP to come into communities in the most flexible and practical ways possible for volunteers while still providing standards and support for strong leadership.
API will also provide information on:
- Organizing and leading meetings
- Finding a meeting place
- Creating meeting topics
- Raising funds for the group
- Finding appropriate reporting forms for the group
- Publicizing the support group