API's Principles are the foundation of our research-based information and support. Each Principle is related to the others and each one is a different entry point for you to learn about different aspects of healthy parenting.
Every family will find different ways to learn and use the Principles, but the common thread is a shared priority on healthy, supportive relationships. At our core, we're interested in helping parents learn about parenting. Knowing ourselves, getting to know our children and learning to navigate constant change is easy to say, harder to do.
So follow what draws your attention and affirms you while also pushing you to grow and learn. Explore, build from there and discover what works for your family. The Principles guide us to the parenting that helps children grow and flourish at every age.
Click each Principle for a Summary:
- Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
- Feed with Love and Respect
- Respond with Sensitivity
- Use a Nurturing Touch
- Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
- Provide Consistent and Loving Care
- Practice Positive Discipline
- Strive for Balance in Your Personal and Family Life
- "Grow with you." The Principles meet you wherever you are and help you parent your best. There's room included for mistakes and support to learn how to make healthy course corrections, recoveries and repairs. All of this is a natural part of learning and growth on the job that we parents do while raising small humans.
- Focus on "active ingredients" to promote positive strengths, growth and reflection. The Principles give us aim, help us learn to see and strengthen the healthy links between our child's behaviors and our responses and unlearn our less helpful, knee-jerk reactions. learning to build on positive feedback is the power source that helps us recognize and work on challenges.
- Are especially beneficial for parent group sharing and discussion. Parenting was never supposed to be an individual, or couples-only, sport: our biology expects it to be a group enterprise. When we reestablish the group setting around parenting, we regain benefits of shared knowledge, experience, perspective and emotional resources that we might not even realize we're missing. The Principles guide the group to focus on what we know works for children. Join an AP Group or another great group in your area or explore our leader guidelines to become a parent leader in your community.
We're updating our website and content to reflect our embrace of all family arrangements and structures. "Parent" and "mother" are terms that apply to all primary caregiving adults who actively love and care for children in ongoing, health-giving relationships. These individuals include fathers, partners, guardians, non-parent caregivers, teachers, coaches and others.