The Most Interesting Things in API Reads this February

I just finished reading the book What Children Learn from Their Parents’ Marriage by Judith P. Siegel. You’ve probably been seeing quotes from the book over the past month as I’ve been reading along.

I am so glad I picked up this book to read. I personally feel it is a must-have resource for every parent.

As attached parents, we focus so much energy on our children. After our focus on our children, we remember that word — “balance” — and try to make ourselves a priority, because we don’t want to burn out on the family. Our marriages may be last on the list, and if so, it begins to suffer.

With this book, the author shows you through research, vignettes, and her writing how you are only doing a disservice to your children when not giving your marriage the attention it needs. Just as the title states, your marriage is a blueprint for what type of relationships your children have when they reach the teen and young adult years:

  • If you are not going on dates, how are your children going to know what a date looks like?
  • If you are not providing affection to each other, how are your children going to feel comfortable in their own relationship to provide it?
  • If you are not talking respectfully and equally to each other, how are your children going to know they deserve this in their own relationships?

These are just a few questions answered in the book that helps you see your marriage in a different light.

I highly suggest reading this book even if you feel your marriage is good. You are, after all, setting the stage for how love feels, looks, and acts in a marriage or partnership.

Weekly Reflection: Voicing your opinion goes a long way

This week’s API Reads Weekly Reflection focuses on the importance of parents voicing their opinions to their partner in a competent way. As you read the quote, take time to reflect on what it means to you, how you can incorporate its meaning into your family, and how it encourages you:

“Children who watch both parents competently voice their opinions realize that both men and women have something important to contribute. Research studies show that when parents are able to disagree without becoming angry, the children are rarely affected in adverse ways. In fact, children from these homes do better in school and have higher self-esteem than do children whose parents’ negotiations of differences escalate into bickering and hostile fights. Children who watch their parents communicate effectively and respectfully are able to more successfully negotiate with peers and have an important headstart in knowing how to resolve differences productively in the intimate relationships they will develop when they grow older.” (Page 136 of 210 in eBook edition)

What Children Learn From Their Parents’ Marriage: It May Be Your Marriage, but It’s Your Child’s Blueprint for Intimacy” by Judith P. Siegel PhD

 

API Reads Monthly Top 5 for January

“API Reads Monthly Top 5,” is a new series from the API Reads program, where Attachment Parenting International will post our top 5 quotes from a compilation of resources currently being reviewed by the team.

Editor’s Note: Even though these quotes have stood out to the reviewers, the resource is still under review. Please use your discretion when reading these resources on your own. We cannot guarantee that there are no conflicts with API’s philosophy, mission, or principles until the resource has been completely reviewed. Be sure to check APedia (soon to be launched) at a later date to see the final summary from the reviewer.

Each of this month’s Top 5 quotes from from the ebook, What Children Learn From Their Parent’s Marriage: It May Be Your Marriage, But It’s Your Child’s Blueprint for Intimacy by Judith P. Siegel PhD.

1) Page 2 —

“The truth is, most children are aware of many ‘private’ exchanges their parents assume are beyond their comprehension — a small gesture of comfort, a hostile glance. While your children may not be talking to you about what they are learning, they are drawing conclusions about ‘what happens’ to people who are married.”

2) Page 7 —

“Even when a person is exposed to a different environment in adulthood, he or she continues to hold on to the beliefs, values, and expectations acquired in the childhood home.”

3) Page 36 —

“Sleep deprivation usually adds to the mother’s experience of being exhausted and overwhelmed. Because the baby’s demands are real and urgent, it is normal for her to put her own needs second. But learning how to prioritize and balance her husband’s need for her is complicated and stressful. Although most new fathers are thrilled with the addition to the family, they are not prepared to lose their intimacy with their partner. If the couple is not able to find time to be alone together, the relationship suffers in important ways.”

4) Page 42 —

“Children and teens who are overly involved with a parent have a harder time growing up. Problems persist into adulthood, and the grown children often repeat their parent’s reliance on self-interests, extended family, or work to bring them happiness.”

5) Page 42 —

“Establishing the priority of the marriage does not mean that all other commitments and loyalties are tossed aside, but it does mean that the partner’s needs are constantly kept in sight. Even when there are competing demands, the partner and the marriage are respected. If parents want their children to find happiness in life from a wife or a husband, they must look at the message they are sending by the example of their own marriage. A marriage that can be protected from the demands of other obligations is not taking away from the children; it is giving to them the expectation and hope that one day they, too, will have a loving partner.”

Weekly Reflection: Children become ready for intimacy through you

This is the second post for our weekly series from API Reads called “Weekly Reflection,” which features a quote from one of the resources in the API Reads program. We invite you to reflect on the quote throughout the week, and we hope the quote will prove to be thought-provoking, encouraging, and inspiring. Enjoy!

“When children are raised in loving, nurturing environments where parents clearly enjoy each other, they develop an appreciation and a desire for intimacy. Because they have grown up watching and experiencing the comfort and support that comes from intimacy, they are more ready to create it in their own lives.” (page 15 of e-book edition)

This was taken from the book “What Children Learn From Their Parents’ Marriage: It May Be Your Marriage, but It’s Your Child’s Blueprint for Intimacy” by Judith P. Siegel, PhD

Weekly Reflection: “For better or for worse” is determined by you for your child

api reads logoThis is the first post for a new weekly series from API Reads called “Weekly Reflection,” which will feature a quote from one of the resources in the API Reads program. We invite you to reflect on the quote throughout the week, and we hope the quote will prove to be thought-provoking, encouraging, and inspiring. Enjoy!

“Children also tune in to the emotional climate and the sense of well-being between family members. Children watch how you and your partner interact and handle situations together. They then draw conclusions about how married people treat each other, for better or for worse.” (Page 3 of e-book edition)

what-children-learn-from-their-parents-marriageThis was taken from the book “What Children Learn From Their Parents’ Marriage: It May Be Your Marriage, but It’s Your Child’s Blueprint for Intimacy” by Judith P. Siegel, PhD.

Creating secure attachments through parental leave

By Barbara Nicholson, cofounder of Attachment Parenting International (API) and coauthor of Attached at the Heart with Lysa Parker

APM 2015 logoEditor’s note: This post was originally published through Parent Compass, an occasional message from API’s cofounders looking in-depth on how Attachment Parenting (AP) intersects with wider society. In celebration of AP Month this October, the latest Parent Compass explores this year’s theme: “Parental Presence: Birthing Families, Strengthening Society.” Sign up to receive future issues of this API newsletter, and we hope you are inspired this AP Month to continue striving to balance parental presence with work responsibilities.

“We have decades of research that tells us how important it is that a bond is established between parents and young children beginning at birth,” says Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff, Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. “The  need for time to form secure attachments is critically important. It’s one of the most important things you can do to build a foundation for a lifetime of healthy development.”

This quote was in reaction to the announcement that Netflix is offering up to 1 year of paid parental leave for its employees who give birth or adopt. Of course we rejoice at such progressive policies, but the sad truth is that few companies currently see the long-term benefit to their employees to instigate such policies.

Dr. Shonkoff went on to say in his remarks: “Babies need a sense of safety, predictability and responsiveness. We know from research that all areas of development — whether it’s cognitive development, emotional well-being or social development — has its foundation in this secure relationships. We do a lousy job as a society supporting parents after the birth of their babies. It’s unconscionable with all the deep scientific understanding we have now. It makes no sense to not offer more of that flexibility and support.”

Because of the overwhelming research, and our advocacy for infants and toddlers, Attachment Parenting International is in full support of strong parental leave policies, similar to those in many countries around the world. Sweden’s policy is probably one of the most generous, with 480 days of paid parental leave.

In the meantime, we are amazed at the creativity and dedication of parents to find solutions that will keep their bond with their children strong. From tag-teaming work schedules to enlisting grandparents and other invested family and friends, and creating cooperative childcare with trusted caregivers, many parents are finding solutions to keep their attachments strong. Some parents obtain loans to stay home longer: Many credit unions and banks will give loans in support of a family need, just like they would finance a car. But later this loan can cause a problem if you are not financially secure to repay. And unless you have scotland debt help near you which can help you in repaying the finances over a period of time with the help of their deeds, I don’t think it is a good plan taking such loan.

Lysa helps a lot with the care of her 2-year-old granddaughter, and I am often on-call for family friends that are juggling young children and work schedules. We feel so much compassion for these children who need consistency and trusting relationships — not a constantly changing cast of caregivers who may love children but who are also looking for higher paying jobs and less stress. We are amazed that even in the best university daycares, there is a large turnover every semester of childcare providers. There is such disconnect with the research and its application!

API Support Groups can be a wonderful resource for parents who do not have extended families nearby. Finding friends that have the same parenting values is another critical component in deciding on a non-parental caregiver.

As we move into another election cycle, we encourage all of you to pay attention to candidates who seem to have a particular understanding and compassion for babies and young children, and strong supportive policies. A strong mayor or city council member can have a tremendous impact on community awareness and progressive policies. Look into your state’s policies, too, as they vary tremendously. You might be pleased to know that your state has stronger leave policies then your place of work, and you can stagger the leave of each parent, allowing for more time at home.

Good luck to all parents who are looking for creative solutions! Talk to your local API Leaders, API Support Group members and Attachment Parenting families from around the world on API’s online Neighborhood forum for ideas, too.

Inspired to better balance parental presence with the busyness of our lives?

e4aee175-1115-4d03-bb68-c3009e6c4d4fAPI announces a special API Live teleseminar event on October 19 at 9:00 pm EST/6:00 pm PST as part of AP Month. Call in from the comfort of your home or while on the go to listen to and learn about Simplicity Parenting from Kim John Payne. Register today! Can’t make it that day? Everyone who signs up gets a recording of the teleseminar to listen to on their own time.

Kim John PayneKim John Payne helps families recognize the importance of parental presence, even more so in this day and age when so many pressures are taking the focus away from connected parenting. Through this teleseminar, you’ll walk away with a renewed focus for yourself and your family. To get a taste of his message, follow along on the API Reads discussion of his book, Simplicity Parenting.api reads logo

 

 

 

partners logo - with WYSH

API Reads: Chapter 1 of Simplicity Parenting – Finishing up

In Chapter 1 of Simplicity Parenting, part of what author Kim John Payne does is give short glimpses into the world of a few children that would be labeled with psychiatric disorders. He points out that we all have quirks and this includes children as well. These quirks become more pronounced under stressful circumstances. So what we label as a psychiatric disorder is actually a normal quirk that is under undue stress. His point being that with simplification we can reduce these stresses to where the quirks are more manageable.

I also loved how he spent time talking about neuroplasticity and neural pathways in the brain. With science backing his information, he indicates that we all have the power to change our ways even into adulthood. I learned so much and was riveted with Chapter 1 that I’m looking forward to reading Chapter 2. Below are a few of my favorite passages:

  1. Page 23 — Be reducing mental and physical clutter, simplification increases a family’s ability to flow together, to focus and deepen their attention, to realign their lives with their dreams.
  2. Page 26 — Children need to find ways to cope with difficult situations; they need to learn that they can… Building character and emotional resiliency is a lot like developing a healthy immune system… By overprotecting them we may make their lives safer (that is, fever free) in the short run, but in the long run we would be leaving them vulnerable, less able to cope with the world around them.
  3. Page 33 — What we “see,” what we bring our attention and presence to, is at the heart of who we are. And for our children, it is at the heart of who they are becoming. Why simplify? Because by simplifying our children’s lives we can remove some of the stresses of too-much and too-fast that obstruct their focus and interfere with an emotional baseline of calm and security. A little grace is needed, after all, for them to develop into the people they’re meant to be, especially in a world that is constantly bombarding them (and us) with the distractions of so many things, so much information, speed, and urgency. These stresses distract from the focus or “task” of childhood: an emerging, developing sense of self.

api reads logoTo purchase Simplicity Parenting and help with API’s book club fundraiser, please click here to purchase the book. If you’d like to join our online book club, navigate to GoodReads and become a member for free!

API Reads: Simplicity Parenting – Chapter 1

api reads logoSo far in Chapter 1 of Simplicity Parenting I have read how we as a society are encroaching on taking away the innocence of childhood. We do this by giving them an unfiltered world. We then bring these stresses to our families as we go about our every day lives.

Simplicity Parenting imageTwo passages that stood out to me are below:

  1. Page 5 — When you simplify a child’s “world,” you prepare the way for positive change and growth. This preparatory work is especially important now because our world is characterized by too much stuff. We are building our daily lives, and our families, on the four pillars of too much: too much stuff, too many choices, too much information, and too much speed. With this level of busyness, distractions, time pressure, and clutter (mental and physical), children are robbed of the time and ease they need to explore their worlds and their emerging selves. And since the pressures of “too much” are so universal, we are “adjusting” at a commensurately fast pace. The weirdness of “too much” begins to seem normal. If the water we are swimming in continues to heat up, and we simply adjust as it heats, how will we know to hop out before we boil?
  2. Page 16 — For a lot of the parents I’ve worked with, the misalignment between what they imagined — what they dreamed — and what their family has become is enormous. And the disconnect is not just in the details — the white couch or the toys everywhere — it is fundamental.

If you’d like to comment on this post, you can go to our online book club at Good Reads.

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