Attachment Parenting International's (API) is an application of sensitive responsive parenting. API is based in the practice of nurturing parenting methods that create strong emotional bonds, also known as secure attachment, between children and their parent(s). This style of parenting encourages responsiveness to children’s emotional needs, enabling children to develop trust that their needs will be met. As a result, this strong attachment helps children develop the capacity for secure, empathic, peaceful, and enduring relationships that follow them into adulthood.
API is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member organization founded in 1994 to network with parents, professionals and like-minded organizations around the world.
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.
API promotes parenting practices that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents and as a result changes everything from the dynamic of a family to that of communities by improving school readiness to reducing violence.
It accomplishes this on a grassroots level through its Support Groups and accredited volunteer Leaders around the world, as well as its more than 20,000 members and a number of partnerships.
API serves as a clearinghouse and community of practice for AP education, research, and information dissemination. It publishes a quarterly magazine, a science of attachment journal, a forum, blog, e-newsletters, educational materials, and other related publications.
Through education, support, advocacy and research, API's principal goal is to heighten global awareness of the profound significance of secure attachment - not only to reduce and ultimately prevent emotional and physical mistreatment of children, addiction, crime, behavioral disorders, mental illness, and other outcomes of early unhealthy attachment, but to invest in our children's bright futures.
Attachment Parenting International's (API) core ethos is really a frame of mind that we promote as a habit or practice of mind ~ respect, empathy, compassion and reflection in thought, speech and action toward all (self, other adults, youth and children).
We believe that parents who practice these habits of mind will tend to practice parenting in ways that resemble the API Principles. We believe that parents who practice the behaviors included in the API Principles are capable of practicing and maybe more likely to practice the API’s ethos.
We believe that in practicing these habits of mind, we can experience greater personal wellbeing, family enjoyment and raise children who flourish and who also possess and promote this ethos.
As an extension of this ethos, API has explicitly organized itself to continuously promote this ethos.
We embed the ethos implicitly in our broad Principles (content) and in our compassionate communications style which is based in NVC and in our prioritization of face-to- face transmission of support.
The organization models these features in the leader accreditation process, staff training, internal and external communications and the leaders model them in their groups.
API’s two key imperatives are:
Respect, empathy, compassion toward all (guiding values that foster inclusion through content and communication); and API's focus on content and communication necessitates and encourages
Facilitated face-to-face group peer support.
API organizes sensitive responsiveness parenting practices into eight principal areas: preparing for pregnancy, childbirth and parenting; feeding; responding; touch; sleep; caregiving environment; discipline; and parental balance. Sensitive responsiveness represents an interconnectivity, the common thread, among each of API’s Eight Principles of Parenting.