Parenting for peace

“But peace is about much more than putting weapons aside. It is about building a global society in which people live free from poverty and share the benefits of prosperity. It is about growing together and supporting each other as a universal family.” ~ Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

There seems to be barely a day when we don’t hear of a tragedy somewhere on the globe — an act of violence, a casualty of war, a community in mourning, a home shattered by abuse. Where is peace?

Peace in our world, our nations, our communities, our homes, ourselves — we all want it, but it can seem unattainable in the societies where we live. Or is it?

On this International Day of Peace — today, September 21 — Attachment Parenting International (API) is excited to announce the theme of this year’s Attachment Parenting (AP) Month beginning October 1:

logo that hopefully doesnt change color

Each day of October, API will delve into how parenting is critical for striving toward peace and world harmony. We will renew our support for the ultimate peacemakers — you, the parent.

This October:

  1. Follow us here on APtly Said for 31 days of Peace and Harmony through Daily Parenting Tips and inspirational posts from peacemakers around the world.
  2. Add your family to our Wall of Harmony.
  3. Submit a post, however short or long, on what “parenting for peace” means to you to be published on APtly Said during AP Month.
  4. Donate items to our online auction, running October 18-31.
  5. Keep in touch and share AP Month with friends on Facebook.

AP Month Photo Contest 2016

 

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 of “harmony” together  – and share with the world!

The AP Month theme this year is “Word Power: Communicating for Connection” because we’re working toward building an antidote to the levels of global unrest, conflict and strife that saturates the media and, for far too many of us, is a daily reality.

Our AP Month theme this October focuses on how we aim to live and reflect the possibilities of a better way of life. We want to dig into the practicalities that give rise to more idealistic situations.  What can  we do  – and what do we already do – to live in harmony each day?

In gathering a photo-collage of harmony, 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 “2016 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 2016.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!


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

How API supports parents with — and without — access to parental leave

artyuenspEditor’s note: Thank you for helping Attachment Parenting International (API) observe Attachment Parenting Month 2015 in October as we explored the theme, “Parental Presence: Birthing Families, Strengthening Society.” API Leader and API’s KnowledgeBase Coordinator Artimesia Yuen has compiled a research paper to help you continue discussions in your families and communities on the importance of parental leave following the birth of a baby and the incredible value of maximizing parental presence in early childhood.

APM 2015 logoAPI advocates knowledge and practices that value and maximize parental leave, recognizing parental presence with a child fosters early secure attachment and benefits families, businesses and societies.

Parental leave is an issue that touches the majority of adults around the world as parents are commonly employed outside of the home. Many countries have implemented national policies that prioritize and value the unique and irretrievable impact that parents have in the early years of their child’s development. The collective international policies represent a global consensus that the United States has not yet considered on a national level.

Only very recently, a few U.S. city and state governments have offered forms of parental leave. The media has been tracking high-profile businesses that have been initiating their own parental leave policies. While the U.S. Federal government offers its own employee benefits, there is not yet a national policy providing these benefits to all U.S. parents.

Momentum is growing for parental leave in the United States, and we have the benefit of a wealth of examples and longitudinal research provided by initiatives in other countries. All of this experience and research, including of U.S. economic research, complements the findings of decades of attachment research.

The U.S. workplace culture, and that of many other countries, is such that even parents and decision makers who recognize the benefits of parental leave may still experience one or more of these pervasive cultural barriers or responses:

* Businesses offering or contemplating offering parental leave may experience real or perceived fears of:

  • Loss from temporary slow down or loss of valuable employees, skills and functions
  • Competitive disadvantage
  • Higher costs, lost opportunities and lost profitability.

* Employees taking or contemplating taking parental leave may experience real or perceived fears of:

  • Outright job loss
  • Inability to afford unpaid leave or severe financial difficulty
  • Inability to tolerate potential lower status and/or pay
  • Reduced earnings trajectory over time — i.e., work-cultural stigma.

Additional factors that can present barriers to parental leave may include:

  1. Societal and cultural norms do not support and sometimes undermine leave.
  2. Loss and risk aversion are well-known cognitive heuristics impact leave decisions.
  3. Our nation and economy differ in significant cultural, political, economic and philosophical ways from other advanced nations that offer generous leave. The translation of other successes is not always clear for U.S. business and policy decision makers.
  4. Time frames and incentives may be mismatched if leave decisions produce “fuzzy,” long-run results when policy makers and businesses seek clear impact over shorter time horizons.

Moving beyond these self-reinforcing fears will require more parents, employers and governments step up to “be the change.” These pioneers and would-be pioneers require support and a broad groundswell of advocacy to stand behind them and propose the policies that all U.S. families deserve.

For more than 20 years, Attachment Parenting International has been working to spread the knowledge that early secure attachment and consistent and loving care are vital to infant development and well-being. API not only brings this research to families, communities and professionals, but has also developed API’s Eight Principles of Parenting and accredited networks of local, personal support that helps sustain healthy parenting and care practices.

API’s Role in Parental Leave

  • Promoting the benefits of parental presence, attachment and parenting particularly after birth and in the early, formative years.
  • Continued work toward raising up the socially important, economically valuable role of the parents in child mental health and development.
  • Continued direct parent support around choices that favor healthy, close parent-child relationships.
  • Support parental goals toward long-run workplace change that benefit parents, children and family well-being as critical to societal success.

Support for parents who do not have access to parental leave:

API’s Eight Principles of Parenting provide support for parents in a number of ways to help provide healthy parent-child relationships, especially when parent-child time is limited. These supports might include the following practices:

  • Feed with love and respect — API supports parents in establishing and maintaining breastfeeding, pumping and evening reunions that support these practices in feeding and closeness as well as rest for the parents.
  • Use nurturing touch — API supports parents in healthy and affectionate touching, holding, cuddling and even carrying their young children in soft carriers as a way to regularly reconnect after being apart.
  • Ensure safe sleep physically and emotionally — API supports parents in healthy and safe ways to satisfy both the parent needs for required rest and their young child’s needs for closeness and reconnection after being apart. Safety is paramount.
  • Provide consistent, loving care — API supports parents in considerations for providing a healthy caregiving experience for their young children.
  • Strive for balance in personal and family life — API supports parents in considering the multiple ways parents can maintain and restore personal and family equilibrium through the many changes of childhood. Parents are supported in any general emotional experience that may result from being apart from their children sooner, earlier or more than desired.

Support for parents who have access to parental leave:

API’s Eight Principles of Parenting provide support for parents in a number of ways to help provide healthy parent-child relationships in situations where parent-child time must transition, even when it’s maximized. These supports might include the following practices:

  • Feed with love and respect — API supports parents in establishing and maintaining a variety of strategies in response to changing parent and child needs around breastfeeding, pumping, feeding over time and the relationship with feeding and parent-child reunions.
  • Use nurturing touch — API supports parents in healthy and affectionate touching, holding, cuddling and even carrying their young children in soft carriers as a normative way to be together as well as a way to satisfy reconnection needs after being apart.
  • Ensure safe sleep physically and emotionally — API supports parents in healthy and safe ways to satisfy both the parent needs for required rest and their young child’s needs for closeness and reconnection after being apart. Safety is paramount.
  • Provide consistent, loving care — API supports parents in considerations for providing a healthy caregiving experience for their young children and support for transitions to non-parental care.
  • Strive for balance in personal and family life — API supports parents in considering the multiple ways parents can maintain and restore personal and family equilibrium through the many changes of childhood and the parent work status. Parents are supported in any general emotional experience that may result from being apart from their children sooner, earlier or more than desired. Parents are supported in any general emotions around the differences in the pace of life and competencies that may exist between career and 24/7 parenting.

Interested in learning more? Read API’s AP Month 2015 Research Paper in full, including results from selected research studies.

Daily Tip: What is the most important thing?

Daily Tips logo“Family is the most important thing in the world.” ~ Princess Diana

 

Kathryn Abbott Family

API Leader Kathryn Abbott, API’s Leader Connections editor

Send us a photo of how you are celebrating this year’s AP Month theme: “Parental Presence: Birthing Families, Strengthening Society.” Read here for complete guidelines.

Attachment Parenting International thanks Lamaze International, DONA, Dr. Peter Haiman, Linda Folden Palmer, DC and Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper for being our AP Month 2015 Sponsors!

Daily Tip: Share your heart

Daily Tips logoA baby who shares games with caregivers will share their hearts with others.

 

john bowlby with richard bowlby

John Bowlby, the father of Attachment Theory, whose ground-breaking research set the foundation for Attachment Parenting, playing with his son, (Sir) Richard Bowlby (Bt), who now serves on Attachment Parenting International‘s Advisory Board and lectures worldwide about his father’s work

Send us a photo of how you are celebrating this year’s AP Month theme: “Parental Presence: Birthing Families, Strengthening Society.” Read here for complete guidelines.

Attachment Parenting International thanks Lamaze International, DONA, Dr. Peter Haiman, Linda Folden Palmer, DC and Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper for being our AP Month 2015 Sponsors!

Daily Tip: What are your basic needs?

Daily Tips logoOf course, every human community is not perfect. But when you provide young children with their basic needs, they are less aggressive and self-centered.

 

Candice Garrison

API Leader Candice Garrison and family

Send us a photo of how you are celebrating this year’s AP Month theme: “Parental Presence: Birthing Families, Strengthening Society.” Read here for complete guidelines.

Attachment Parenting International thanks Lamaze International, DONA, Dr. Peter Haiman, Linda Folden Palmer, DC and Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper for being our AP Month 2015 Sponsors!

Daily Tip: Presence matters most in early childhood

Daily Tips logoThe effect of non-parental childcare is insignificant compared to the influence that parental presence has on early child development. And the effect of parental presence is more noticeable on early child development than in later years. The more presence by a parent, especially by the mother, in early childhood — the greater the influence on her child.

tina mcrorie

API Leader Tina McRorie with family. Read her story of how prioritizing the attachment needs of her sons shaped her career.

Enjoying these photos? Submit one of your family to be included with the AP Month 2015 celebration. Read here for complete guidelines.

Attachment Parenting International thanks Lamaze International, DONA, Dr. Peter Haiman, Linda Folden Palmer, DC and Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper for being our AP Month 2015 Sponsors!

Daily Tip: Parental presence increases the child’s self-esteem

Daily Tips logoThe importance of self-confidence cannot be understated. Self-esteem is widely considered to be one of the most, if not the single most, important characteristic of an individual’s well-being. Maximum parental presence in a baby’s first year of life is especially beneficial to social-emotional skill development that leads to a healthy self-esteem.

megan bellAPI Leader Megan Bell with family. Read her story of how she balances her singing career with the attachment needs of her daughter.

Enjoying these photos? Submit one of your family to be included with the AP Month 2015 celebration. Read here for complete guidelines.

Attachment Parenting International thanks Lamaze International, DONA, Dr. Peter Haiman, Linda Folden Palmer, DC and Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper for being our AP Month 2015 Sponsors!