Attachment Parenting: What Is It and What Are The Benefits?
Some think that raising a child is intuitive and doesn’t require much analysis. However, raising a child is much more than just feeding and grooming. It’s about contributing positively to the child’s overall development as an individual. Not all parenting styles achieve this goal. Therefore, we’d like to invite you to discover the benefits of attachment parenting.
It’s possible to distinguish the different parenting styles depending on the level of affection and demand that each of them provides. Thus, permissive parenting is characterized by offering large amounts of affection without demanding. Meanwhile, authoritarian parenting is characterized by expressing the opposite characteristics.
In an intermediate point, there are proposals such as the democratic style of attachment parenting, which advocates finding a healthy balance in all aspects. If you’ve never heard this term, we’d like to show you everything you need to know about it. You’ll see that it’s an effective and beneficial alternative for both children and parents.
What is attachment parenting?
Attachment parenting is a parenting style focused on the child and their needs.
It’s based on John Bowlby’s attachment theory, according to which the parents’ ability to respond to the infant’s demands is a key determinant in the child’s later psychological development.
Adults who listen to the child, who can tune in to the child, and who understand what the child needs and give it to the child consistently can establish a secure attachment in their children. On the contrary, parents who respond inconsistently or insufficiently generate an insecure attachment in the baby that will affect their personality.
Thus, attachment parenting is based on love, respect, and dedication. It seeks for parents to provide affection, security, and stimulation to their children to achieve optimal development.
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What are the benefits?
The benefits of attachment parenting are multiple and have repercussions even in the child’s adult life. On the other hand, parents also gain several advantages by implementing this educational style.
We’ll show you the most relevant aspects here.
These children grow up feeling loved, respected, and validated. For the same reason, they develop strong and healthy self-esteem and feel more self-confident.
Infants know that they have a source of unconditional security in their primary caregivers, which allows them to be encouraged to explore the environment. Thus, they can relate to different people and new environments without fear or anxiety.
Happiness and calm
Infants nurtured with attachment tend to be happier and calmer, as their parents offer them support and containment to regulate their emotions. The dynamic established between parents and children is much more positive and satisfactory for both parties. Thus, childcare is easier.
This educational approach combines love and limits, so there’s no room for overprotection. These children grow up to be autonomous, responsible, and decisive, avoiding many conflicts at home and facilitating their integration into the world beyond the family.
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Positive personal relationships
For all of the above, children who grow up with positive parenting are much more capable of establishing healthy and rewarding social relationships. Having received love, respect, and empathy early in life, they’re also better able to offer it.
Moreover, positive parenting helps children recognize the importance of seeking these qualities in their attachments. This will also translate into a better choice of a partner later on.
How to implement attachment parenting
As you can see, attachment parenting has multiple benefits. It facilitates parents’ work, favors children’s emotional development, and allows for better family relationships. But how can you apply it?
There are some principles and guidelines you can implement:
- Start bonding with your baby early in pregnancy.
- Meet your baby’s demands consistently. Don’t let them cry. Show them that they can count on you unconditionally.
- Take the time to find out what they feel, why they’re crying, and what they need. Encourage an attunement between the two of you.
- Help your infant regulate their emotions by offering your calm, affection, and patience.
- Breastfeed your baby for the first few months or years of life. Breastfeeding is a perfect food and a great way to strengthen the bond and bring comfort and security.
- Maintain frequent physical contact with your infant. Practice babywearing, kangaroo care, and co-sleeping. Your presence and closeness are extremely beneficial for your child.
- As your child gets older, encourage autonomy by giving them age-appropriate tasks and responsibilities.
- Set clear rules and boundaries appropriate to your child’s maturity level.
- Work as a team with your partner to create a close parent-child relationship.
- Respect your child’s likes, interests, and opinions. Validate their feelings and always treat them with love, respect, and understanding.
Adapt attachment parenting to your family’s needs
As you can see, many studies support attachment parenting, but not all of the elements of this style are suitable for all families and their different circumstances. However, there are some basic pillars such as respect, affection, and attention that are fundamental.
Nevertheless, other more specific practices such as co-sleeping or breastfeeding may not be the best option for you. So, don’t be afraid to follow your instinct and adapt these guidelines to your needs. Ultimately, what works for everyone in your family is the best fit.It might interest you...