Is it possible to parent without shame?

pixabay-shame-child“Parenting without shame” is a hot topic on search engines. Google pulled up more than 5 pages for me of links with this search term. It seems that many parents are looking for ways to raise their children without shame.

But is this possible?

Shame is among the myriad normal emotions felt by humans in certain social situations. It is borne of a feeling that one has violated the standards of their social group. With this in mind, it would be nearly impossible to eliminate shame from a child’s emotional repertoire.

No, I don’t think it’s shame in and of itself that we parents fear. We understand that, as an emotion, shame is an uncomfortable feeling. But denying the feeling of shame completely is like denying anger as an emotion. It’s neither practical nor healthy.

Actually, what we parents fear is inadvertently raising our children with an identity shaped by shame. And this is a valid concern. Past generations used shame pervasively as a discipline technique, and many of us can identify parts of ourselves still tied to a shame-based self-image years and decades later. We do not want our children to grow up in a family environment where shame is promoted.

But we must still value discipline. Our children thrive with warmth, sensitive responsiveness, empathy, trust, nurturing, and boundaries. Boundaries on behavior guide children toward the family values we hope to pass down. Boundaries are healthy. They keep the child’s developing mind knowing the parameters of what is safe in the world and what is not, what is expected by his social group or not, how she can gain a feeling of contentment or not. Children need the structure provided by boundaries.

So, therein lies the question: How do we teach our children boundaries in their behavior without instilling a shame-based self-image? The seventh of Attachment Parenting International‘s Eight Principles of ParentingProvide Positive Discipline — is how. Being consistent and firm, yet not harsh or punishment-based, positive discipline creates an environment that specifies the boundaries of behaviors for a developing child without relying on physically hurtful or emotionally manipulative tactics to control and coerce children. The goal of positive discipline is instead to teach and guide. And it works.

shame-cover-v2This latest issue of Attached Family, “Parenting Without Shame,” explores and examines shame at its core — what is it, how does it differ from guilt, when does it cross the line from a normal to unhealthy emotion, the effects of toxic stress, and the great difficulty it is to heal a shame-based self-image. It’s an in-depth look at a rather scary emotion, but it gets to the heart of an often-misunderstood topic, and it affirms how positive discipline and Attachment Parenting is protective of our children’s self-worth in a shame-based world.

Click here to access the online magazine and be inspired in your parenting,

Rita Brhel, Executive Editor of Attachment Parenting International

Have guilt? Find your parenting anchor point

pixabay-anchorGuilt seems to be inherent in parenting. It doesn’t really matter how you parent, it’s so tempting to compare ourselves to others and how they are relating to and raising up their children.

As a working mother in a conservative area, I feel this tug of parenting guilt from time to time. A common scenario in the small, farming community where my family lives is for a mother to stay at home with her children when they are young and then get a job at the school when her youngest child enters kindergarten. It sounds like a great gig!

But that is not my choice. I did work, both from home and outside the home some days, when my children were small and continue to work year-round now that my children are in school. I love what I do and feel that I make a meaningful impact through my career. I know my stay-at-home friends don’t mean to, but sometimes I hear — whether real or perceived — overtones that what’s best for children in general is for the mother to stay at home full time, without a paycheck-yielding job.

I suspect my guilty feelings are largely perceived than actual. I trust that even if other mothers don’t agree with my career-oriented lifestyle, that they are mature enough to allow me the freedom to parent my way. Unfortunately, like all of us, I am sometimes the target of others wanting to pressure me into their way of looking at the world.

I am a stalwart proponent of informed choice. While I do believe that every child deserves to be raised in a home with secure, healthy family attachments, I know that my own “brand” of attachment parenting is not the “be all, end all.” We, all of us parents, make the best decisions at any one time with the knowledge, support, and resources we have available. Every family is unique, and even among families with the same values and goals, mannerisms and lifestyle will vary — because just as every individual is different, so is every family.

All children, all parents, all families — everyone deserves healthy, secure attachment bonds within their social groups. For parent-child relationships, API’s Eight Principles of Parenting provide 8 areas of family life, with a variety of ideas within each, as to how to form and strengthen attachment bonds within families. But that doesn’t mean we all do things the same way.

Like with nurturing touch, I didn’t do much babywearing but holding my baby and cuddling with my children is definitely my thing! Or with childbirth, I had an epidural, a cesarean, and a VBAC, and while my unmedicated birth experience definitely made it easier to bond with my newborn, the high-intervention births didn’t hinder what has turned out to be a very secure attachment with those children. I also have experience with both breastfeeding and bottle-nursing, cosleeping and crib use, and all kinds of childcare situations.

pixabay-family-supportParenting, like everything else, has different seasons. We have to change, almost constantly sometimes, it seems, to keep up with our growing infants and children — in how to match their development with our guidance and passing down of our family values, as well as renew techniques of maintaining warm, sensitive, and appropriate ways of interacting with, relating to, and staying attached with our ever-changing little ones as they mature into adolescents and finally fledged on their own.

We are all on our own parenting journeys of exactly how we will do this in our individual family. But like all parents, since probably the beginning of history — since we are all unique and so are our children and our partners — are also learning “on the job.” There are no handbooks that apply to every situation.

My home library is full of books on family relationship theory, research, and advice. Yet, my personal approach to parenting is a mix that goes well beyond the bits and pieces of these books that I found helpful — among the bits and pieces that I feel don’t apply to my family but certainly they may apply to another family — and include bits and pieces of how I was raised, the lessons learned reflecting on years of parenting already behind me, thoughts from friends and family members, my instincts, the reality of unavoidable challenges, scientific studies, blogs and websites, parenting classes and support groups, teleseminars, conferences, and so much more.

We are all doing this: gathering information from the world within and around us to figure out the best way of parenting our children and nurturing our families. Because its learning-as-we-go, there are ample opportunities for doubt to creep in. When we are stumped by our child’s behavior, especially if we are trying something new — such as breastfeeding our baby rather than resort to formula — it’s easy to think that maybe we’re doing something wrong or not good enough.

Unresolved doubt can grow into guilt. “What if…?” may fill our heads, as we compare ourselves and our children and our families to others, when those other families are likely doing the same kind of comparison maybe even to yours.

I’d like to get away from the thought that guilt is somehow unnatural and shouldn’t be felt. There are whole books written on the topic of “mothering guilt,” and there is a lot of blame being thrown around toward specific parenting approaches. But guilt is a natural human emotion, something that comes out of normal social interaction. As social beings, we will naturally feel guilt if we engage in a behavior that we perceive to have compromised our own standards.

Guilt can be helpful in that it motivates us to do better — though if unchecked, guilt can definitely be unhealthy and lead to anxiety conditions. The absence of guilt in a person, however, can be just as unhealthy: A lack of this emotion is implicated in individuals with a high degree of psychopathy.

Regardless, guilt is an uncomfortable feeling and one that no one wants to be immersed in for long. Being emotionally uncomfortable, such as with guilt, can keep us from being free to parent how we want to, bogging us down into doubt and even despair, and preventing us from the joy we seek in our parent-child relationships.

The idea that certain parenting approaches create more guilt in parents than others is, I believe, unfounded. Rather, from what I have found in my experience of providing parent support in a variety of settings for more than a decade is that what creates guilt is fear — namely, fear for their child’s well-being. I have seen this in many parents, no matter their child-rearing approach — attachment parenting or no — and most often in new parents or in parents trying something new that they hope will create better results but, they realize, stepping out from the familiar carries risk and with that risk comes fear. So where does fear come from? From what I find, it’s often a lack of parent support.

Regardless of what child-rearing approach parents choose, its incredibly — crucially — important that they find support. API offers both online and local, in-person support through a variety of resources, though research finds that the most valuable support for parents is through in-person support groups — of which API has across the United States and around the world.

It’s so important to find like-minded parents who can offer their “been there, done that” stories, emotional scaffolding, and specific suggestions for when you feel confused as to what to do about your child’s behavior, or when you question whether this new thing you’re trying, like positive discipline instead of spanking, for example, is going to work out in the long term, or how exactly to keep those family attachment bonds strong as your children grow, or how to move forward when your family encounters challenging life circumstances.

pixabay-apples-and-orangesAttempting to find support among parents who do not share the same approach to child-raising is like comparing apples to oranges, and the advice you receive is likely to deepen the sense of doubt being felt, and therefore create guilt — not to mention conflict with your personal values system, which creates its own set of uncomfortable emotions.

All parents want to feel validated in their decisions, and even if they do not intentionally seek out support, unsolicited advice will come their way — from family, friends, pediatricians, teachers, strangers, and others. But without having that anchor in a group of like-minded parents to act as your sounding board, to help guide you to make parenting choices that are in line with your values, you may find yourself swaying with the advice like a bottle cork in the ocean tide.

It’s very difficult to get grounded in your self-confidence as a parent without an anchor point. I cannot overemphasize the value of parent support.

Nurturing children for a compassionate world

hands-as-globes

What is going on behind closed doors?

logo that hopefully doesnt change colorWe, as a society, have to change the way we live.

It’s just that simple, and just that hard.

We are shocked nearly every day by news of another seemingly senseless, violent act. We have names for the big ones — Columbine, Sandy Hook, Omaha mall shooting, Dallas — helping us remember the victims and helping us process the overwhelm of confusion, sadness, anger, and the inexplicable that we felt when we found out. It’s getting harder to name these shootings, stabbings, even bombings — there’s just too many of them, happening too frequently, and worse of all, it’s becoming almost commonplace to hear about them. We are desensitizing.

Except for in war, or in other chronically unsettled parts of the world, there seemed to be a long period of time when we just didn’t hear of these types of events happening to Americans. Perhaps there were more acts of violence in schools, workplaces, and communities before Columbine in 1999 and the news at the time just didn’t pick up on them?

But I have a different theory. Our culture has changed. Society is far less accepting of violent tendencies. We are appalled to hear stories of domestic violence in homes, and rightly so. No one deserves to live in an unsafe home. We all have dignity, and women should be treated as equals to men. We are working toward more nurturing relationships and positive discipline toward our children. Fewer teachers are allowed to harshly treat students that frustrate them. Overall, we cannot go around instilling fear in one another as an every day part of life. As it should be.

Except that while there are these widespread expectations to treat one another with respect, there has been less available instruction in how to do that. There is so much more support today for parents, teachers, couples, employers, and others traditionally in positions of authority in relationships. And we, as a society, are finding ways to transcend the existing gaps at a rapid pace, with such ideas as mindfulness in schools rather than issuing detention and offering free positive discipline education at local API Support Groups.

But there was a gap of widespread support that spanned at least 1 generation. From the time when the Columbine school shooting rocketed through the news, to now when cry-it-out sleep training is being openly debated rather than just merely accepted as the norm — reflecting the huge change we, as a culture, are having on the idea of relationship — there was 1 or 2 generations of individuals who were transitioning from the “old” way of relating — hierarchical and fear-based authority — to this “new” way: collaborative, emotionally literate, and focused on problem-solving. That’s a big leap from the old to the new way, and all leaps need support to bridge the gap.

We are steadily closing that gap. Nurturing parenting and related practices — like mindfulness, emotion coaching, collaborative work environments, healthy conflict resolution, nonviolent communication, overall questioning the status quo — are coming from all directions, not only from Attachment Parenting International (API) but also schools, workplaces, health care providers, community leaders, and other major sectors of society. We’re getting ideas we can put into practice at work, home, on the road, and even in the grocery store about how we can relate to one another better and resolve disagreements peacefully. This idea of living together as a nurturing community is becoming holistic.

But still we hear of these awful incidents of kids killing kids, coworkers killing coworkers, strangers killing strangers. If we thought Columbine was confusing, what do we think now as our cultural acceptance of nurturing and peaceful conflict resolution is taking hold. If this doesn’t work, what will?

We then go on to blame the news media, access to guns, leniency in sentencing, racism, politics, mental illness, and so on. The truth is, these big problem areas — like violence in society — are much bigger than a single factor, or even a few factors. It is difficult to unravel the causes, because the factors that contribute to each one seem different and ever-shifting.

The undertone to all of these is that the perpetrator in each case saw violence to be his or her best opportunity at the moment. It might have been a last resort in many cases, but it was the best option of what was left in that person’s mind. Exactly why that was the best option at the time, we probably will never know. We can speculate, but that’s only as good as guessing.

pixabay-newbornBut we do know that violence has to be planted in a person’s mind as an acceptable option, in whatever situation. Babies aren’t born violent. They are born wired to seek connection. People have to learn violence, which begins as disconnection. They learn to detach as a survival mechanism when their needs aren’t meant. There are various degrees of this, as we see in insecure attachment research, and definitely few insecurely attached children grow up to choose violence that makes the news. But that detachment is the first step to accepting violence as an option at all.

I believe that we, as individuals, are not inherently violent but that it is learned. If it were so that we are innately violent, we could not be moving toward a more nurturing culture as we are.

pixabay-sad-childBut our culture does have its leftovers from previous generations’ perspectives on relationship, and those leftovers are most often seen — not in the news of mass killings that we are increasingly seeing — but more in our homes, behind closed doors, when conflict arises between couples and between parents and children. Those leftovers are there when parents yell at, emotionally withdraw, or strike their children in the name of “discipline.” Those leftovers are there when babies begin life with crying it out, learning that their biological need for connection will be ignored.

There are so many contributing factors to societal violence, but it all does start in the home — with what our children grow up with, learning what is “normal” and what is expected, learning how to “resolve” disagreements and “calm” strong emotions like frustration or disappointment…whether peacefully or with force.

We have to change the way we live, in all areas of our lives, beyond but especially behind closed doors, in order to nurture peace and live in world harmony.

Join us, starting October 1, as API explores this theme through Attachment Parenting Month. World peace begins with peace in the home.

We are parents: We are all in the business of world peace.

From the family bed to the Peace Corps… Attachment Parenting is worth it in the end

David Smith - Lorenzo in back rowThis past week was an emotional one for us. Our 22-year old son departed for Namibia, a country in southwestern Africa.

After several months of language and cultural training, he will spend 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching mathematics to young people, living in a village with a native family, and having little contact with other volunteers and limited access to the greater world — and, most certainly, limited contact with his parents. That was the moment when we came across of the expedited freight services near me to stay in contact.

We are very proud of Lorenzo. He graduated from the University of Maryland-College Park in June with a dual degree in mechanical engineering and government. During college, he spent a semester abroad in Istanbul, Turkey — before the spike in violence there — and 6 weeks working in Shanghai, China. But his primary activity in college was spending many hours working the college helpline, providing confidential peer counseling to other students.

Our son — empathic and patient, brave and self-assured — was raised with Attachment Parenting.

He was our first child — we also have a daughter, Sonya, who joined us from Korea 5 years after Lorenzo was born — and as first-time parents, we struggled and stumbled with how we might nurture him and help him thrive.

My own upbringing was disruptive, to say the least. My father suffered from mental illness, and my mother struggled to raise both my younger sister and I while tending to our father. Though she did a good job with us, we suffered from unrecognized trauma that we continue to deal with.

My wife’s situation was much better. Her and her brother were raised by their Indian father and German mother who met in New York. Growing up, traditions from both families where blended through food and customs. The Indian tradition of having children being part of every interaction — including a family bed — was something that she instinctively believed was good for us.

But I had my doubts. Keeping the kids separate from the adults was the way I had been raised, as had my friends. Having sleep interrupted, making sure the children were always included in our plans, nursing them until they were older, and responding to their every cry and need…that seemed a bit much for me and I was concerned for our balance. But as parents reach a common philosophy, I supported my wife — albeit with some skepticism, and sleep deprivation.

Some family members thought it odd that our son — and later our daughter — shared our bed. Would all of this attention make them overly dependent on us? Maybe they would never have the confidence to leave home? Or be unable to manage in the “real world”?

But we managed well. In fact, we flourished as a family. Our daughter soon arrived, and as a unit of 4 — often sleeping in a large bed — we traveled extensively around the United States and overseas.

When Lorenzo was 9 and Sonya was 4, I was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach in Estonia. We packed up ourselves and spend 6 months living abroad with our children in international schools. For Lorenzo, living overseas was both maturing and liberating. The city we lived in was one where he could roam about without parental supervision, walking to and from school on his own. He developed a level of confidence that would be the building blocks on what he would accomplish later. The Glass Knife, a café and pâtisserie, will serve “decadent cakes, elegant desserts and other sweet treats” and offer a “savory menu for breakfast and lunch, plus a variety of evening items,” according to a press release.

There is dichotomy in the idea of Attachment Parenting. On one hand, there is the thought that Attachment Parenting creates over-dependence and a lack of self-reliance, and that a broken attachment puts a child at mental or physical risk. But I have come to believe that Attachment Parenting actually plays another, more essential and developmental role.

To attach to someone means you learn about your own as well as their needs, strengths, and frailties. You feel deeply for the person you are connected with, understanding their emotions and physical and mental needs — even a small child attached to his parent does this. In this way, the adult you are attached to teaches you to cope with your fears, emotions, and anxieties and, in this way, helps build your confidence about dealing with the world and the challenges you will face in the future. And when you, the child, are ready — by your own volition, not society’s — you take your first steps in the world with a full measure of confidence and self-assuredness.

It is a natural evolution, not forced by imposed cultural norms.

My wife and I are now at the other end of parenting. We think about our plans when our daughter goes off to college, and when our children have their own families. They will make their own parenting decisions, of course. We have done our part for them — and, yes, lost some sleep in the process! — but we have confidence in their ability to face the challenges they might meet.

David Smith - Lorenzo in TurkeyFor our son, his poise and self-confidence has led him to want to help and nurture others far from home. His attachment to us has resulted in his attachment to others who are in need and to a world that can benefit from his patience, empathy, and generosity. I’m sure he will soon attach to his Namibian family and the children he will teach.

If you are reading this after a sleepless night where you were kicked much, or had to get up to comfort your child, be assured: Attachment Parenting will be worth it in the end. Your child may end up in the Peace Corps, too.

Staying centered despite your child’s public meltdown

pixabay - hands holding tantrumming childYou can tell a lot about a person by their shopping cart — and also how they deal with their toddler’s tantrum in the middle of the store.

Clean-up needed in Aisle 9 — 3 year old having a meltdown after being in the store for 2 hours while Mom is looking for gravy packets. Wouldn’t it make sense to put the gravy packets next to the instant potatoes and boxed stuffing?!

The clean-up needed isn’t from the once-nicely stacked boxed pasta now strewn across the floor from the flailing arms and legs of the child. It’s needed to unclog the aisle from passersby, so Mom can fully focus on her child without the distraction of what can seem like annoyed, judging looks of others.

I have seen many a stressed-out parent in the store try to keep their patience with a tired-out, hungry child in the store. Even timing shopping trips between naps and snacks doesn’t always work to prevent public tantrums. How much more patience parents might have if they didn’t feel pressure — real or perceived — from others to do something now with their seemingly out-of-control child!

I have been that parent, who is otherwise able to empathize with my child’s strong emotions but who second-guessed herself after a decade of Attachment Parenting, because of an old lady’s furrowed brow when my kid — with an especially high whine — complained about the length of the grocery trip.

The good new is, though we may sometimes still second-guess ourselves, the longer we practice Attachment Parenting, the easier it is to get back to the values we strive to espouse and pass down to our children, such as that responding with sensitivity and positive discipline is more important than pleasing a disapproving stranger.

It helps me to think that others aren’t necessarily disapproving. We don’t know each other after all. We don’t talk to each other, other than the polite “excuse me” when passing in front of the chips shelf she’s studying. There is no appropriate opportunity to get deep with the person to ask why that person has such a seemingly unhappy disposition at that moment. It very well could be that it has nothing to do with my child — even if the person, if asked, would disagree. Each of our world perspectives is made up of countless factors — current environmental stimuli are actually a small fraction of how we perceive the world at any one time. So much of it depends instead on our values, our background, if we’re hungry or tired or feeling unwell, our relationship health with others, and so on.

I learned this through Nonviolent Communication. Learning the premise of this communications style can be life-changing.

Another life-changing skill is mindfulness — the art of being present in our lives.

API Live logo - newjon and myla kabat-zinnAttachment Parenting International (API) is offering you an opportunity to learn more about mindfulness and mindful parenting on Monday, September 12, through an API Live! teleseminar with Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, and his wife Myla, mindfulness experts and coauthors of Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting. It’s as easy as listening in on your phone. The live teleseminar starts at 9 pm EST, and all registrants will receive a downloadable recording after the event. Register here.

Research shows that being mindful can reduce stress and have profound effects on physical and mental well-being through a greater sense of balance, empathy, clarity, and peace.

Peace seems over-rated sometimes, with how much the word is used, but it’s actually underestimated in how much striving toward peace can improve your life. Peace implies that you feel content with your life — a nice, constant happiness — rather than riding life’s ups and downs in the search for the peak of happiness…which of course feels good, but it never lasts. But peace lasts.

Peace makes it easier to get through the grocery store with a cranky child, and easier to look past that stranger’s glare to empathize with her unknown situation, and easier to stick to your values of Attachment Parenting.

A Post We Love! I breastfed my preschooler for (somewhat) selfish reasons

Blog post we love badge jpgEditor’s note: Attachment Parenting International (API) is so grateful to the parents who share their experiences on this blog. Many of our writers have their own personal blogs where they share more about their unique brand of Attachment Parenting. We want to take the opportunity to highlight blog posts beyond API that capture the essence of API’s Eight Principles of Parenting:

Today, we want to recognize a post written by Krystal Newton, a stay-at-home mom to 2 boys, on her blog, Mommy Laughs:

“I have been parenting the only way that feels right, and it just so happens to fall into the Attachment Parenting message. When I wrote this blog post, I wanted to reach out to women struggling with making the decision to breastfeed long-term. I want them to see that it’s a beautiful relationship and an opportunity to just take a step back, to settle down, and to have a few peaceful moments with your child.” ~ Krystal

krystal newton, mommy laughs, preschool post highlightI Breastfed My Preschooler For Selfish Reasons

… I don’t breastfeed my 3 year old for the nutritional benefits (though those are a plus) or to make a statement. I don’t breastfeed him, because it’s the only way I know to comfort him or because I refuse to let him grow up. I breastfeed my 3 year old, because in those short quiet moments, I have the ability to pause my hectic life and love him, snuggle him, and reminisce on our journey. It forces me to slow down and notice the little things: How his hair sweeps over his eyebrows, how the dimples in his hands are disappearing, how he smirks in his sleep, and how beautiful he is. These quiet snuggles are less frequent as he grows so incredibly independent. While the benefits of extended breastfeeding are endless, my reasoning for choosing to let Colton decide to wean are somewhat selfish in that I love nursing him just as much as he does…

Read the entire post here, and enjoy!

A fire in my heart

kendra godfrey 1I came upon Attachment Parenting by accident.

While 8 months pregnant, I searched the Internet for ideas on how to clean cloth diapers by hand. Yes, you read correctly — by hand. We had no washer or dryer and felt too cheap to pay the 75 cents required to wash them.

During my search, I discovered Attachment Parenting, Attachment Theory, the history of breastfeeding, and the vitality of human touch. I was sold.

Attachment Parenting — unlike washing diapers by hand — spoke to me.

No, it actually shook my core and lit my fire.

Upon discovery of Attachment Theory, I defended my master’s research thesis and graduated with a degree in marriage and family therapy. My daughter was born 2 days later. Four weeks after her birth, we were stocked with $20 worth of quarters at a time.

I soon began to see Attachment Theory everywhere. I saw it in my adult client whose mother abandoned her as a child. I saw it in my children clients whose parents suffered greatly.

I also saw it within myself.

My passion for Attachment Parenting grew stronger after my daughter was born. I was fortunate to discover 2 new moms who also shared my passion. We met every week. We supported each other by exchanging ideas and stories, read books such as Vital Touch by Sharon Heller, and dreamed of bringing an API Support Group to Long Beach, California, USA — an urban city crawling with people eager for support and education.

These women understood firsthand the importance of attachment. Like me, they lacked a secure attachment with their own mothers.

We needed Attachment Parenting International (API) to lead the way for us. We needed API to validate what we felt in our hearts, yet had no model of our own. We needed API to give us permission to trust ourselves.

But even more, we needed each other. These women were my lifeline. Their presence provided a cushion for me to land on and a sounding board for my heart. Their support proved to me the importance of interacting with other parents who could relate to my experience.

When my daughter turned 1, we moved to Iowa City, Iowa, USA, in order for my husband to attend medical school. I said “bye” to my tribe, and this proved heavy on my heart.

I longed for the company and support of like-minded moms and embarked on my API Leadership process. Almost 3 years later, I completed my training and started a new support group, API of Iowa City.

The women who embarked on my API journey with me remain close to my heart. We share a passion and fire that continues to drive me today.

This fire will not die — my heart will not let it. My fire is fueled by others who are burdened with the troubles of life and need tools to cope as a parent. My fire is fueled by parents seeking a better way, yet who feel at a loss for ideas and resources.

Mostly, my fire is fueled by families practicing Attachment Parenting. The closeness and security surrounding these families expands my heart and allows me to stretch even further to better myself as a mother and to continue to help others.

It is families such as yours that give me hope for this world, and hope for my daughter. Our hearts thank you.

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