AP Month 2017 is here — Let’s celebrate “Word Power”

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Regardless of this old adage, words have been used to initiate great harm across history and into our present day.

As parents, we’re in a unique position to help our generation of children learn to not only “use your words” but use words designed to harness the power of deep connection, understanding, healing, and good.

This month, October 1-31, Attachment Parenting International‘s 2017 Attachment Parenting (AP) Month theme centers around the reality that our words are powerful and most beneficial when we seek and use them to connect.

Words fly around us in every medium imaginable and even visual media is translated into verbal and/or written expression. We swim in a great alphabet soup. How can we make it more nourishing for all of us — especially our children?

“Watch your language” is a well-known parenting phrase we use to prevent our young children from hearing, parroting, or even intentionally using impolite or disrespectful words. Despite our best attempts, we’ve probably all felt — or will feel — embarrassed about something our child has said, especially when we know they learned it from us.

“Word power” begins with a bang when our children turn 2, and their word of the year is “no,” which not coincidentally, mirrors our own word of the year. “Use your words” is what we say as we continue to guide our children between impulsive, full-body language to a more needs-based verbal language. Learning how to express feelings and ask for help and cooperation is a learning task that occupies parents and children across all of childhood and through life.

Over time, our children won’t mimic us as directly as when they were 2, but they never stop absorbing what we say to them. They take our words deeply to heart and to the point that our words form the outlines of the fundamental belief system around which our children come to think of themselves.

Our words matter a great deal to our children even when we’re not addressing them directly. When our children hear us speaking to and about others, they absorb this into their own repertoire without awareness. This type of knowledge transfer isn’t obvious teaching-learning, but we realize it happens when we hear echoes of it in their conversations and interactions with siblings, friends, and others. Sometimes we’ll find our own words directed back at us.

Words constantly swirl around us in our adult world, and they have an impact on us as well. As adults, we have the ability to choose where we direct our attention, but it can still be challenging to select for connecting and uplifting messages. Negative news sells — that’s obvious. It’s also obvious how much easier it is to fill space with thoughtless, snarky rants and vents than to take time to write with civility, kindness, understanding, and empathy.

When we aim to use and seek communication for connection, it makes a powerful difference in our mood and health. We reap benefits, but so do our children, families, friends, and others we encounter. This kind of “word power” helps provide us with a kind of superpower — it’s not just a protective shield, but a positive energy. This kind of “word power” is protective, but even better, it allows us to radiate positive and connective communications.

Join us this October as we use our superpower — “Word Power: Communicating for Connection” — to celebrate AP Month 2017.

Read the research behind AP Month 2017 here.

AP Month Photo Contest 2017

We’ve got a big idea for AP Month this year, but it depends on a collaboration with you – and all AP families!

Let’s build a photographic image-base demonstrating our strength for Word Power  – and share it with the world!

The AP Month theme this year is “Word Power: Communicating for Connection” because we’re working toward changing the tone and content of our conversation with words that build up and nurture each other and our children.

Our AP Month theme this October focuses how and what we communicate, recognizing that far too often we forget the power of our words. We have the ability to make change with our words, as well as to hurt each other. Show us how you are a word hero by striving to use power words like “I love you,” “I appreciate you,” “You matter to me,” and so much more, to connect and flourish. We invite you to send photos of you and/or your children in your superhero capes (whether dish towel, blanket, or homemade), and help us show our word power. In addition to our photo essay, we are collecting statements your children say they most like to hear you say to them and those can be submitted to apiphotos@attachmentparenting.org.

In gathering a photo-collage of word power, we hope to inspire individuals, families and other organizations to continue the idea.

Guidelines to suMom and Clements grandbmit your photos for consideration:

  1. Send your photos to to apiphotos@attachmentparenting.org.
  2. Email subject should read “2017 AP Month photo event”.
  3. Include your name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number at the beginning of your message.
  4. Subjects in your photos need to give their permission to use the photo for these purposes.
  5. Preference will be given to personal, candid photos.
  6. There is no fee to participate.
  7. Submissions can be any size, black-and-white or color, and should be attached to the e-mail message as a JPG or TIF.
  8. Photos are reviewed for theme before they appear. Only one submission is necessary.
  9.  Contest opens October 1st 2017 .Please “Heart” your favorite photo. The prize is the community that we build together, and we may use your photo in one of our publications!

By submitting your photo to API, you attest that the photo is your own and hereby give API permission to freely use the photo on its website, in its publications, or in any of its materials with any resulting proceeds to fully benefit API as an organization.  Only the top selected photos that are high resolution (300 ppi/dpi at 8×11″) will be considered for our print magazine cover.

Promotions will not be accepted and API will only include photos that uphold the theme for AP Month, reserving the right to remove any photos.


Guidelines to submit your photos for consideration:
  1. Send your photos to to apiphotos@attachmentparenting.org.
  2. Email subject should read “2017 AP Month photo event
  3. Include your name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number at the beginning of your message.
  4. Subjects in your photos need to give their permission to use the photo for these purposes
  5. Preference will be given to personal, candid photos.
  6. There is no fee to participate.
  7. Submissions can be any size, black-and-white or color, and should be attached to the e-mail message as a JPG or TIF.
  8. Photos are reviewed for theme before they appear. Only one submission is necessary.
Your prize is the community that we build together, and we may use your photo in one of our publications!
No photo has been submitted for the contest. Be the first