People have different parenting styles, but the most common is attachment parenting. The mode has benefits that begin in childhood and extend to adulthood. This article seeks to offer parents a practical guide to it.
The theory behind the parenting style:
In the 1950s, psychologist John Bowlby researched maternal deprivation and animal behavior. He established the attachment theory after identifying that an infant seeks closeness to an attachment figure. The proximity comes in handy to assist the infant to feel safe emotionally.
The style of parenting focuses on the idea that a child trusts a caregiver when they meet their needs early in life. Proponents of this parenting style indicate that children who do not experience a secure attachment in their early years fail to form healthy relationships in their adult years. These children will lack empathy and develop insecurity. Additionally, attachment disorders and anger issues might disrupt their adulthood.
American pediatrician William Sears and his wife Martha, a registered nurse, have received recognition for coining the parenting style. Sears believed that a loving parental interaction is essential to a child. They believed that parents have become emotionally detached and require a form of attachment with their children to grow correctly.
As a new parent, you might be wondering how to bring up your child, and we recommend that you pursue attachment. The good part about this mode is that it does not have rules. However, it requires parents to have a special bond or a special relationship with their children.
Parents are constantly encouraged by their pediatricians not to copy parenting styles adopted by others since there is no correct style. Therefore, it all depends on your child, the environment, and the values you want your child to adopt. Below we highlight the principles of attachment parenting that can help you create a loving bond with your child.
You are not required to adopt all the principles, but we encourage you to accept the one that resonates with you. If you have questions or reservations on these principles, consider talking to your pediatrician.
a) Birth bonding:
If you want to create a bond between you and your child, you must begin it the day they are born up to the first six weeks. This principle encourages skin-to-skin contact with the child, and either the father or the mother can do it. Holding the child close to one’s body, stroking their hair, singing, or talking to them encourages attachment.
This principle entails healthfully nurturing the child through feeding them breast milk. According to the World Health Organization, breastfeeding helps ensure a child’s health and survival which is vital in this kind of parenting. Despite this, 3 in 5 infants do not breastfeed the first hour of being born.
c) Baby Wearing:
New parents should be excited by this new trend that entails the caregiver using a sling or a wrap to have the baby closer to them or on the chest or back. Baby wearing encourages attachment parenting as the child develops a physical closeness to their parent. It helps them learn about their environment and feel the warmth of their caregiver.
Parents are encouraged to sleep with their children in their first years to make it easier to breastfeed them. Bed-sharing also lowers a child’s separation anxiety, especially at night, and fosters attachment.
e) Responding to a child’s cries:
Attachment encourages parents to respond to their child’s cries to foster trust with the caregiver. Young children cry for several reasons. Therefore, if they know that their caregiver can help to relieve their worry helps to create an attachment with them.