As a parent, you probably have your way of interacting with your child. You may have your rules, ideas, thoughts and even tips and tricks that make your parenting style unique. Considering the way you behave with and towards your child, have you ever tried to understand what kind of parenting style you may be practicing?
Have you ever heard of the term attachment parenting? If you are unsure of what is attachment parenting, and you want to know more about it, read our post below and learn all about it here.
What Is Attachment Parenting?
Attachment parenting is a style of parenting that places emphasis on building a strong connection with your child to help him grow and develop. Parents who follow this particular style of parenting feel that being attached to your child can help them to grow up as smart, independent, secure and kind human beings.
The attachment style of parenting was first introduced as a concept by celebrated pediatrician William Sears, M.D. According to him, an attachment style of parenting will allow the child to grow to his full potential and be more loving, considerate, happy and successful as an adult.
Characteristics Of Attachment Style Parenting:Sponsored
The attachment style of parenting, or API, has eight main characteristics that it associates with its unique style. The style also allows parents who follow it to change it as per their ideas and adapt it to the way they feel will work best with their children. Here are the eight main principles of the attachment style of parenting around which all its practices revolve:
1. Be Prepared For The Entire Concept Of Parenting, Right From The Time You Plan To Conceive:
- Those who follow the attachment style of parenting believe that it is important to start preparing for parenthood even before you actually become a parent.
- Once you think of having a baby, you should start looking at it in a positive and happy way. Even though parenting comes with a lot of responsibilities, you should first eliminate any negative thoughts that you may have about it.
- Think more on the happy elements that are associated with parenting and how your life will change for the better once you have a baby. Look at it in a way that makes you feel strong about starting a family and welcoming your baby in your life.
- Once you start believing in such a positive philosophy, you will be fully prepared to become a parent and handle all the pressures and responsibilities that come as part and parcel of being a parent.
2. Shower Your Baby With Lots Of Love As Well As Respect:
- For parents who follow the attachment parenting style, breastfeeding forms an important part of the practice.
- While you breastfeed your baby, it helps to create a strong bond with your little one, where your baby starts recognizing you as the primary caregiver. It is also an important way to make your baby feel loved.
- When you breastfeed your baby, it makes your little one feel that you will always be there to take care and will always respond to your baby when there is a need. Such an assurance will help your baby grow stronger and be more confident.
3. Respond To Your Baby’s Needs By Being Sensitive About It:
- In the attachment style of parenting, you show your love and sensitivity to your child in all forms of behavior, even if your child is throwing a tantrum.
- Every form of behavior is looked upon as a way of expressing and communicating, and as a parent who practices the attachment style of parenting, you will encourage all forms of honest communication.
- Instead of punishing your child or scolding them for their behavior, you will use the same to understand why your child is behaving the way they do and make sure to take care of the situation accordingly.
4. Be Nurturing Towards Your Baby, Even In Your Touch:
- Making a positive skin-to-skin touch with your child is an essential proponent of the attachment style of parenting.
- The more you touch your child, the more you show your child that you are always around and are involved in whatever your child is doing.
- Parents who practice the attachment style of parenting try to spend as much time as possible with their children in a way that there is scope for more skin-to-skin contact. Such instances where you can have a lot of skin-to-skin contact with your child are when you help your child take a bath or take a dip in the bath tub together, when you take your child swimming in the pool, when you often carry your younger child in your arms or occasionally carry your older child too, when you always indulge your child in a lot hugging and patting and so on.
- When you expose your child to more instances of sharing love through skin-to-skin contact, it helps your child to open up better to you and to be more and more honest in their communication with you. It will also help them be stronger and more emotionally attached in their relationships as they grow up into adults.
4. Be An Involved Parent In Night Time Routines:
- The attachment style of parenting believes that you need to show your child your constant love and affection, even when the day is about to end.
- One of the biggest practices of attachment style of parenting is to encourage parents to co-sleep together with their children. It means that, instead of making your children sleep on different beds or in a different room, you sleep with your children on the same bed, making them feel loved and cared for even as they sleep.
- The first instance of night time routines in attachment parenting is when you let your newborn sleep with you and respond to their needs in the middle of the night by waking up and breastfeeding. When you sleep with your baby in the same bed, the time you need to respond to their needs is significantly lesser than the time you will take to respond if your baby is sleeping in a different room.
- When you immediately react to your baby’s needs and take care of the same, it shows your baby that you are someone your baby can always rely on.
- It is true that sometimes, when you plan to co-sleep with your baby, you may be worried about the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. If you are not comfortable with sleeping together, you can make arrangements to keep your baby as close to you as possible.
- In other instances as parents who practice the attachment style of parenting, you can spend quality time with your children while reading out bedtime stories to them, helping them to relax and get ready for bed by giving them a massage or giving them a bedtime bath, cuddling up to them right before they fall off to sleep and so on.
6. Always Be Ready With Your Love And Care For Your Child At All Times:
- As per the codes of attachment style of parenting, a parent’s presence should always be constant for the child.
- Even if you have to schedule baby sitting and other daycare options for your child, the attachment style of parenting believes that you should try and minimize such care options as much as you can. Instead of making someone else care for your child, you should try and arrange your schedule in such a way that at least one of the parents is always there with the child.
- By trying to make time for your child, you will make sure that you participate in as many activities together as you can. It could be going for walks and weekend vacations together, going to different events where your children will also enjoy, doing home chores together with your child, being involved in their life and understanding what they like and taking an interest in the same, and so on and so forth.
7. Discipline Your Child In A Positive Manner:
- Of course as a parent you have to make sure that you discipline your children. However, when you follow the attachment style parenting, even the way you discipline your child has a positive connotation to it.
- As a parent who wants to work on the principles of attachment style of parenting, you will teach your child about obedience and discipline without making your child feel embarrassed or hurt.
- You will try to understand your child’s behavior and show them why you want them to behave in a certain way. Instead of imposing a rule on your child, you will explain it to your child in such a way that they will understand the reason behind it.
- Once your child realizes why you want them to do something and how it will help them, they are more likely to follow it without being asked to do so repeatedly.
- Also, as a parent, you will speak to your child and try to come to a mutually satisfying decision that will help follow the rules of discipline, without simply telling them what to do.
8. Create A Balance In Your Work And Home Routine:
- Of course, when you are a parent, you cannot handle each aspect of your life and your child without the right kind of support.
- The attachment parenting style believes that as a parent, you should try and build a balance in your work life as well as your personal life, so that you get enough time and strength to look after your children the way you do.
- Parenting is no doubt a very time-consuming responsibility where you have to be on a constant call with your child. It means that unless you also have some time to take care of yourself, you will soon reach a burnout point. When that happens, not only will you not be able to stay happy or feel positive, you will not even be in a position to take care of your child the way you want to do.
- To make sure that you have enough balance in your life, you will have to plan your schedule properly. Keep some time for yourself on a regular basis so that you can unwind and relax even when your child is properly looked after and taken care of. Plan your days and nights in such a way that it gives you time to do your work, to look after your child and also spend some time relaxing and doing what it is that you like to do.
What Are The Positive Effects Of The Attachment Style Of Parenting?
Once you start practicing the attachment style of parenting, its effects start becoming obvious in the way your child will react. Here are a few benefits of attachment parenting:
1. Your Child Will Learn About Mutual Love And Care:
- In an attachment style of parenting, you are always there for your child, giving your undivided time and attention and helping your child in every way that you can.
- As a result, your child will start following the same routine and will be more considerate towards you and your needs.
- Your child will learn to share all the moments of happiness as well as any sad moments with you because they know that no matter what happens, you will always be around.
2. Your Child Will Be More Calm And Peaceful:
- When you start following the attachment style of parenting, your child will learn to be more calm and quiet, instead of turning into a child who is always upset or sad.
- If you practice the attachment style of parenting from the time when your child is very young, you will have a baby who will cry less, even through the night. It will mean that you will also be able to sleep and rest better.
- Your child will know that you are always around and that you will look after all your needs whenever they require any help. As a result, your child will be less jittery and less hyper, which will help them become more calm and peaceful.
3. Your Child Will Have A Stronger Bonding In Most Relationships:
- When you follow the attachment style of parenting with your child, it makes them connect more with you.
- As a result, your child will be kind and more social, even towards other children and other people in general. Your children will also be able to form stronger bonds and meet more people with ease.
- Once your children start making more friends and are also aware and conscious of their needs, their friends will like them more, and your children will be quite popular too.
4. Your Child Will Learn To Respect Others:
- As a part of the attachment style of parenting, you teach your child about discipline and about following rules, but always in a positive way.
- Whatever you ask your children to do and whatever rules you set for them to follow, you make sure you are never rude towards them and do not humiliate them.
- As a result, your child will learn to always be polite towards others and to respect the feelings of others. Even when they grow up and have to take up positions where they need to tell others what to do and how, they will remember the teaching you taught them through your attachment style of parenting. Whenever they need to make others try to understand their point of view, they will do it in a gentle and clear way and not make others feel humiliated or be impolite.
5. Your Child Will Be More Independent Unlike What Most People Think:
- One of the biggest cons that people feel is attached to the concept of attachment style of parenting is that it makes your child overtly dependent.
- Instead of making your child more dependent on you, the attachment style of parenting will make your child so confident that they will be able to become confident and independent much faster as compared to other children.
- However, your child will be more attached to you and sometimes it may seem that they are too dependent on you. Do not let this bother you at all, as this type of attachment will only have a very good effect on your child’s overall personality and development.
6. Your Child Will Have A Higher Level Of Intelligence:
- It is a known fact that children who have a secure and happy atmosphere at home will be able to concentrate more on their academic schedule and will have a higher level of IQ.
- As you practice the attachment style of parenting, your child will be calm and relaxed at home and have nothing to worry about. Also, because you will be more communicative with your child, it will help you see where all your child needs help, and your child will always ask you for the same too.
- The constant sharing of information and knowledge at home and the supportive environment that you will provide your child will help them do better in their academic life.
For The Child:
- Will develop better overall
- Will grow into a more trusting person
- Will be able to become independent
- Will know how to love and feel loved
- Will learn to be intimate in a healthy and positive way
- Will feel confident and competitive
- Will be able to pick up languages easily and also perform well in academics
- Will be more organized
- Will always do what is right and fair
For The Parent:
- Will be more mindful of the child’s needs and will be more sensitive towards the child
- Will find it easier to discipline the child
- Will be able to form stronger intuitions towards baby’s and younger children’s needs and will be able to react immediately
- Will be able to match up to their child’s personality and help them grow and develop accordingly
- Will be able to become better observers
- Will be able to understand their child properly and know how to handle any difficult situations
For The Parent-Child Relationship:
- Both the parent and the child will develop a mutual understanding in which they will be able to understand each other’s point of view better
- There will be a feeling of mutual trust, in which the child will be able to share things openly with the parents and the parents will learn to trust the child without being too inquisitive or suspicious
- The mutual connect that the parent and child will share will help them bring out the best in each other
- Both the child and the parent will always stay connected and be emotionally content, even if they are not always around or together
- The child and the parent will be able to indulge in more interactive discussions that will help them understand things from different perspectives
- Both the parent and child will be able to make their life more flexible in order to accommodate the needs of others
- With so much attachment and connect, both the parent and child will influence each other’s behavior and attitude in a positive way
Some Examples Of The Attachment Style Of Parenting:
Here are a few examples of the attachment style of parenting:
- You will trust your child to do the best that they can as per their age and their ability
- You will help your child to gain as many experiences as possible to be able to work fully to their potential
- You will value your child’s inherent personality and try to hone it in a better and more positive way, instead of expecting your child to change and become just the way you are
- You will believe in the idea that even though your child may be very small, your child is a human being, and you will show them the same amount of love and respect that they deserve
The attachment style of parenting is a wonderful way to bond with your child and create a lifelong relationship based on mutual love, respect, and understanding.
Moms, do you feel you follow the attachment based parenting? Tell us about your parenting strategy below.
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