It has been an exciting month for Attachment Parenting International. At the beginning of the month, we launched our Parent Education Program (PEP). PEP dramatically expands the AP resources available to parents by establishing trained experts in communities where parents who need support can easily access them. We also launched our forums, providing real-world support, opportunities to interact with both experts and other AP parents, and age- and topic-specific areas where parents can go to get answers on everything from breastfeeding to help with baby-carriers, to using gentle discipline with teenagers.
And today we present API’s official blog, API Speaks, to the world. Posts on this blog will come from both within API and from beyond API’s borders, with blogging mavens you may well recognize submitting posts on a variety of AP-relevant topics.
Like so many of API’s other offerings in the realm of education, research, and support, API Speaks is volunteer-operated and provided as a free service to the AP community. Our mission is to capture the real stories of life as an AP family and to highlight the fact that, despite all the varied family structures, cultures, religions, and dynamics that exist in the world, there is one thing that unites us: Our love and compassion for our children.
I had the good fortune to speak with co-founders Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker about their grass-roots effort to spread the word about Attachment Parenting. What we kept coming back to is that API’s goal is nothing short of a massive cultural shift away from what Barbara called a “punishing culture” and toward compassion.
Lysa reminded us that while “…you can’t change generations of behaviors in one generation, but you can begin the change…That’s why Giving the Love that Heals by Harville Hendrix is so important. You’ve got to raise your consciousness so that you’re more conscious with your children.”
These amazing women, who began as friends who met during a La Leche League meeting and went on to found API fourteen years ago, release their book on Attachment Parenting later this summer. “The important message of our book is the title: Attached at the Heart,” Barbara said. “We want people to trust their heart when all else fails. When it’s the middle of the night and the baby’s crying, and the pediatrician and the mother-in-law have both said to let the baby cry, we want parents to trust their instincts. Instead of worrying “Is my baby going to be messed up if I hold her for 15 more minutes?” we want them to trust their heart. Mothers wouldn’t be in a cold sweat or crying when their children were hurting if they didn’t really instinctually know to always default to the most loving connected thing to do.”
It is our honor and privilege to continue their good work through API Speaks. Won’t you join us?
Julie Artz & Amy Gates
Contributing Editors, API Speaks