Parenting is not just defined as raising our children; it’s a lot more than that. There must be a strong connection between the parents and their children. This attachment is crucial for the optimal development and growth of the child, and is what we call Attachment Parenting.
The main goal of attachment parenting is to strengthen families and create a more compassionate world. Following are the 8 principles of attachment parenting:
1. Prepare for pregnancy, birth and parenting: Pregnancy gives the expectant parents an opportunity to prepare mentally, physically and emotionally for parenthood. Each of the stages will be a new challenge, and good preparation will make them easier to cope with.
2. Feed with love and respect: Feeding a child involves more than providing nutrients: it’s actually an act of love. Healthy food choices and eating behaviors are very important in satisfying the emotional and nutritional needs of the new born.
3. Respond with sensitivity: Respond consistently and appropriately whenever the baby tries to communicate with you. Sharing their emotions and joy will definitely help in making stronger bonds.
4. Use a nurturing touch: Physical contact with the baby gives them a sense of affection, stimulation and security. Carrying or baby-wearing also meets these needs. Hugs, massages and physical play can meet this need in older children.
5. Ensure safe sleep, both physically and emotionally: Babies have needs at night, too. They rely on parents to regulate negative emotions such as loneliness and fear. As such, ensuring safe, calm sleep should be a major concern of parents.
6. Provide consistent and loving care: The physical presence of a loving, caring, affectionate guardian is essential to the mental and emotional growth of a baby. These guardians should ideally be parents, but in required cases could be any caring and responsible person.
7. Practice positive discipline: Positive discipline, which is empathetic, loving, and respectful, should always be practiced. This, in turn, can strengthen the bond between the parent and the child. The dignity of the baby should always be kept intact.
8. Strive for balance in personal and family life: A proper balance between personal and family life is necessary in order to be responsive to a baby’s emotional needs and enjoy parenting. Healthy living is also a part of this balance.