Your parenting choices can change your child’s DNA

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By Lysa Parker and Barbara Nicholson, cofounders of Attachment Parenting International (API) and coauthors of the book Attached at the Heart

generation-of-loving-parents…We see more clearly now how our parents tried to do better for us than their parents but, like many, fell victim to the parenting advice of the day whether from religious leaders, psychologists, or medical professionals.

We have no idea about the specific experiences of our parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents, but what we can be sure of is they passed on to us what was done to them.

New research in epigenetics and neuroscience is giving us an incredible window into our past and a new awareness of how we can change our future.

In a sense, we all have a new “superpower.” Epigeneticists have found that our cells carry a type of memory of the experiences of our ancestors — not only that, but 95% of our genes aren’t yet coded at birth, dependent on nurturing and the environment to determine their fate. Even as teens and adults, they are turned on or off in large part by our own choices in life.

Our brains contain cellular memories of ancestral experiences. Your brain is an aggregate of as far back as 6 generations! The exciting aspect to all this is that you can change the trajectory of your family tree, if you want to, by becoming more conscious and intentional in your life and in your parenting.

Big or small changes can make huge differences. …

mastheadAs we look forward to the new year, API offers you the opportunity of reading this article in its entirety in this month’s issue of Parent Compass, “Break the Cycle,” covering such topics as:

  • Empathy research at the core of violent behavior
  • What happens to our brains when we “lose it”
  • Mindfulness and nurturing “superpowers”
  • Epigenetics and that how we parent today will change our family tree’s legacy, for better or worse
  • Where Attachment Parenting fits into this puzzle of nature and nurture.

Enjoy and Happy New Year in your parenting!

Parent Compass is a bimonthly enewsletter carrying an exclusive message from API’s cofounders, among the benefits of becoming an API Member or an AP Advocate. Join today to receive Parent Compass in your inbox beginning February 2017!

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Author: API Blog

APtly Said, Formerly API Speaks launched in April of 2008 as part of Attachment Parenting International's larger effort to offer interactive content through their newly-redesigned web site: All contributors to APtly Said, as with so many of API's staff, are volunteers who donate their time and energy to promote Attachment Parenting world wide.

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