When Relatives Criticize, Transitioning to Stay-at Home Parent, and More at The Attached Family

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It’s finally here! This October, in celebration of Attachment Parenting Month 2012, The Attached Family online magazine is focusing on the importance of parent-to-parent support. No matter who we are, where we live, or where we are on our parenting journey, each of us longs to connect with like-minded others:

Who’s Your Support?

Get the inside details on what exactly goes on inside an API Support Group:

The plethora of parenting books and online resources available today are a wonderful resource to parents, but even with the best of Internet discussion forums and teleseminars, there is nothing like in-person parenting support offered by a group of like-minded parents in your community. We all seek out a strong support community: Some of us may find a family or two nearby to share a regular playdate; others may bounce parenting questions off one trusted friend; for many parents, an API Support Group offers what we’re looking for–a group of parents who share the same goals and the same struggles in a society that’s not always friendly toward Attachment Parenting choices.

When Relatives Criticize

American parenting educator and author Naomi Aldort gives sound advice to parents whose relatives disagree with their childrearing choices:

One of the main reasons we find it so hard to inspire respect from relatives and friends is because we seek their agreement. When my children were young, my father used to interrupt every one of my attempts to explain our parenting philosophy; he would say, “That’s rubbish” followed by, “Let me tell you how it works.” He never heard what I had to say. With time, I learned to generate his respect by honoring who he is while keeping my own vision unharmed. I realized that my desire to explain got in the way of granting my father his own thoughts. He needed to be heard and to have his point of view appreciated. My fear that if I showed interest in his ideas I will have to follow them was unfounded, not because he did not wish that I would, but because it was up to me to be the parent of my children.

Don’t Believe Everything in the News

American psychologist Ralph S. Welsh shares why parents need to take media-hyped parenting reports with a grain of salt:

I was horrified to discover the [2010] media attention given to the findings of Prof. Marjorie Gunnoe’s small, twice-rejected-by-peer-reviewed-journals, study on the positive value of spanking children. It gives an extremely bad message to many desperate parents of troubled kids who are stumbling around trying to find the best methods of discipline in dealing with them. Moreover, there is a mountain of data flatly refuting her claims that can be found in thousands of carefully planned and executed studies on the relationship between spanking and later aggressive behavior. Why the media would spotlight this shabby piece of research is beyond me.

Transitioning Home

API interviews Catherine Myers, director of the Family & Home Network:

Many new parents or parents-to-be would like to stay at home with their children but find the transition from a professional career to a stay-at-home lifestyle to be a bit bumpy. I certainly did. I was used to fast-paced days as an investigative news journalist and often nights and weekends as an assistant managing editor. I wanted to stay home after my first baby was born, but I had quite the learning curve as my life slowed to the pace of caring for a baby. I wouldn’t have traded any of those amazing moments of watching my children grow, but it would’ve made for a smoother first few years if I had been more prepared for how life changes with a new baby, especially if you’re a newly minted stay-at-home parent.

Parenting for a Sustainable World: Cultivating a Reverance for Life

API cofounder and author Lysa Parker discusses how Attachment Parenting and conscientious living come full circle:

It wasn’t until I became a parent that I truly understood the deep connection between early childhood experiences and how they affect our relationship to the earth and all living things. In my work with children, I found that many kids seem to have a natural affinity to nature, but this affinity must be nurtured, or it gets buried like so many other gifts.

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Author: Rita Brhel

Rita Brhel, BS, CLC, API Leader, lives with her family near Hastings, NE, USA, where she works as a WIC Breastfeeding Counselor. She also writes for Mothering and La Leche League's New Beginnings.

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