Friday, February 10, 2012

AP - Eight Principles of Parenting

Before Ivy was born, I knew a lot about kids. I'm the oldest of seven. I'd been babysitting since I was 12. In my head, I had practically raised by brothers and sisters. I knew what I was doing. Becoming a mother was going to be a breeze.

Ha ha.

And then she arrived. She didn't sleep. She cried. She didn't want to be put down. And all she wanted was to nurse.

All of my confidence flew out the window. None of the advice I got or read resounded with me. I just couldn't follow Baby Wise. I couldn't let her Cry it Out. I couldn't deny her suckling need--even if she wouldn't take a pacifier.

It seemed clear what kind of parents we didn't want to be, but I didn't know where to find information about how to help Ivy.

We had planned on a homebirth and taken Bradley classes. I knew about Le Leche. Somewhere along the line, I learned about Dr. Sears. I think our midwife had suggested The Pregnancy Book instead of What to Expect when You're Expecting. I found his Fussy Baby Book and then learned about Attachment Parenting.

Reading through the Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting resonated with how we wanted to interact with our kids.

API's Eight Principles of Parenting

The long-range vision of Attachment Parenting is to raise children who will become adults with a highly developed capacity for empathy and connection. It eliminates violence as a means for raising children, and ultimately helps to prevent violence in society as a whole.
The essence of Attachment Parenting is about forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children. Attachment Parenting challenges us as parents to treat our children with kindness, respect and dignity, and to model in our interactions with them the way we'd like them to interact with others.
Parenting has been on my mind a lot recently. Adding a new baby to the family has been pretty easy, but I find myself out of patience and yelling a lot. I get frustrated because the kids are acting like kids. I want them to stop making all that noise.

But really, I want them to grow up to be confident complete people. I want them to feel secure, supported, and independent. I want them to be able to identify and express emotions, and I want them to care for other people. I want them to make informed choices and know who they are and what they believe. And I want them to know they can change - themselves and the world.

I feel like I've been failing lately. Jamey screams "NO!!" at me, and I've lost it and smacked him. I threaten spanking because threatening it works. Sometimes it seems like hitting them is the only thing that will work. But I feel so guilty for it, that I can't do it. I'll talk more about spanking some other time.

I lose my patience a lot. I yell more than is necessary.

So, now I'm going to review the Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting and get more encouragement to be the kind of parent I want to be.

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