Strive for Balance in Your Personal and Family Life
API's Eight Principles of Parenting
The following is a condensed version of this Principle. If you have questions about this Principle or how to apply it to your family situation, please contact an API Leader near you or post your comments and questions to API's forums.
Striving for Balance involves ensuring that everyone's needs -- not just the child's -- are recognized, validated, and met to the greatest extent possible. In an ideal world, every family member's needs are met all the time, everyone is happy and healthy, and the family is perfectly in balance. In the real world, nobody's family life is perfectly balanced all the time. It is not unusual for parents to feel out of balance at times. Parents who practice AP continuously look for creative ways to find balance in their personal and family life.
Balance is the Foundation Upon Which Attachment Grows
- When in balance, family members are more able to be emotionally responsive
- The best defense for feeling isolated is to look outward to create a support network in the local community
- The child's needs must be a priority, and the younger the child, the more intense and immediate his needs. Even so, he is one piece of the complete family picture that also includes the needs of the parents as individuals and as a couple, siblings, plus the family as a whole
Practical Tips for Maintaining Balance
Tips for Supporting New Mothers
A new mother can become so involved in the care of her infant that she doesn't recognize her own needs until she is in emotional or physical trouble.
Tips for Balance and the Older Child
Tips for Dealing with Parent "Burn-Out"
Recognize the symptoms of burn-out. Burn-out is a physical, emotional, and mental response to high levels of stress. Parents may feel relentlessly fatigued, strained, and physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. They may also feel overworked, under-appreciated, angry, resentful, powerless, hopeless, drained, frustrated, detached, anti-social, unsatisfied, resentful, like a failure, indifferent, and lacking motivation. Parents who feel their emotions are taking over should get help immediately!
API's Eight Principles of Parenting:
- Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
- Feed with Love and Respect
- Respond with Sensitivity
- Use 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