Rita Brhel

Get outside and get into nature

April 21, 2017

Tomorrow, April 22, we celebrate Earth Day. As you renew your commitment to care for our planet, keep in mind that the absolutely greatest contribution we can make toward Earth’s stewardship is to raise children who care. Children raised in a caring family environments have greater capacity for empathy not only toward themselves and others […]

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The power of nurturing touch on child behavior

April 12, 2017

When we think of providing nurturing touch, what most often comes to mind may be skin-to-skin with our newborn, babywearing, or infant massage. Nurturing touch continues to be a critical need for children (and adults!) of all ages. We just have to be more intentional to make time for cuddles, hand-holding, hugs, massage, and other forms of […]

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Understanding sensory processing difficulties in our children

April 7, 2017

Many families discover Attachment Parenting in their quest for how to raise their “spirited” children. All children, evident from birth on, have their own unique temperament. For some children, their temperament traits may be challenging for their parents or teachers. Common among these possible traits are sensory processing difficulties. Children with difficulty in processing sensory […]

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The opposite of addiction is connection

March 28, 2017

Could it be that almost everything we think we know about addiction is wrong? Simply, exposure to illegal drugs will not necessarily, absolutely result in addiction in every person. What if addiction isn’t about the chemical hook? What if addiction is actually about a lack of human connection? Humans are born wired to bond — […]

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Editor’s pick: How your childhood shaped your adult personality

March 17, 2017

Parenting is largely undervalued in our society. So much discussion among politicians and policymakers centers on public education, gender equality, and poverty alleviation. These are all important areas, but parent support is glaringly missing from the list. When I refer to parent support, I mean research-backed parenting education for all parents regardless of income class […]

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True sportsmanship

March 14, 2017

Human nature is inherently competitive. We see this in sports, politics, the arts, even parenting. No matter how much we try to instill a sense of cooperation in our children, we see their competitive natures peek out in sibling rivalry and playground peer interactions. Competition doesn’t have to be negative. It can be fun, and […]

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Parenting for peace in a war zone

March 9, 2017

Most of us are fortunate to have never known war up-close. Most of us have never spent time as a refugee. Most of us have never tried parenting for peace in a war zone. Just how do parents protect their children — physically and emotionally — when their homes are ripped apart by war and […]

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Still Face: A lesson in responsiveness and relationship repair for ALL caregivers

February 24, 2017

How important is it that we give our infants and children intentional presence? The third of API’s Eight Principles of Parenting — respond with sensitivity — is one of two common threads that run through all 8 principles. The other is to provide consistent and loving care. Research that began with the late psychologist John Bowlby’s […]

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