Principles of Attachment Parenting & Their Benefits

Mother and daughter together

Parents generally tend to get very attached to their children once they’re born and cannot even think of leaving them alone. Nurturing your children by being around them all the time was earlier considered to be negatively affecting them as they could become too attached or sensitive. However, a style of parenting known as ‘attachment parenting’ has been developed and proven to raise children who are more empathetic, nurturing, and independent themselves.

If you’re a new parent who wants to know more about attachment parenting, you must equip yourself with all the information. There are reasons that attachment parenting works but it has set of drawbacks as well, so finding that balance is crucial if you wish to succeed with this form of parenting. You can also refer parenting books to raise your kids in the perfect way.

What is Attachment Parenting?

Simply put, attachment parenting is one form or style of parenting which means that you are more involved with the child’s upbringing and growth. With you being more actively involved in the process of your child’s growth phenomenon, he will develop into a smart, kind and independent human being.

Attachment parenting is a great way to be actively involved in your child’s growth phenomenon because you can help them feed off your energy. This helps in building a strong connection between you and your child and according to the man behind the concept, Dr William Sears, this style of parenting will help your child achieve his full potential of a loving, considerate, and successful adult.

What are the Principles of Attachment Style of Parenting?

The attachment style of parenting has a few principles that have developed it into a fully-fledged concept. The attachment parenting theory is created by the Attachment Parenting International and there are eight principles which they’ve recognized for this form of parenting. The attachment style of parenting believes that if you follow these principles to the fullest, you will be able to get the best results for the child that you’re raising:

  1. Feed with respect and love: By breastfeeding your baby, you will be able to form a secure and safe attachment with your child. This method also teaches infants that their cues and needs will be fulfilled and respected by their parents.
  1. Be sensitive in your responses: All the efforts that are taken by children when they try to communicate with you must be taken seriously. This also includes throwing tantrums wherein parents must decipher them as methods of communication that the child is attempting to relay.
  1. Be nurturing with your touch: The attachment parenting technique encourages parents to maximize skin-to-skin contact with your baby. This can be done during different activity times such as playing as well as baby-wearing, which is a technique of carrying the baby in a front-facing sling or pouch.
    A mother breastfeeding her baby
  1. Prepare well for pregnancy to nurture: Pregnancy is a time when the attachment parenting technique needs to be implemented. This early stage helps in preparing yourself for this form and adopting a positive outlook always works. By eliminating negative thoughts about pregnancy, you will become emotionally ready to take care of a baby.
  1. Night-time parenting: Attachment parenting co-sleeping is a technique that parents can adopt in this form. With the co-sleeping technique, an infant can fall asleep in the same room as the parents. You can emotionally soothe or feed the baby. While some parents share the same bed as their babies, it is recommended otherwise because this increases the risk of SIDS.
  1. Constant love and care: The constant presence of a parent is another advisable technique. You can go for walks, parents’ night out, and work with the child.
    Mothers walking their babies
  1. Balance personal and family life: Create a healthy and supportive network and maintain a healthy lifestyle to save yourself from getting exhausted.
  1. Practice discipline in a positive manner: By redirecting, guiding, and distracting your child and reinforcing model behaviour, you can impact your child positively. Try adopting these methods instead of spanking your child.

Benefits of Attachment Parenting

There are many benefits that come with the attachment parenting technique. Here are the 7 best ones:

  1. Attachment parented babies are smarter:
    By adopting the attachment parenting technique, you can influence the way your child thinks and you can raise your child in a better way.
  1. Attachment parenting improves the child’s development:
    If babies are raised with the attachment parenting technique, they tend to become more content, satisfied, and happy in general.
  1. Baby’s behaviour improves:
    This technique improves a baby’s behaviour over time and he becomes more sensitive and whines less.
  1. Babies become more independent:
    By adopting the attachment parenting technique, babies tend to become much more independent. This is because they become more confident of exploring the unknown as they form a base or a mental image that they can take with them wherever they go.
    A child preparing a bowl of cereal on his own
  1. Mutual shaping:
    The behaviour of parents towards their child is what shapes their character. Mutual shaping is achieved when you and your baby learn to talk to each other. When you talk to your child, your thinking will switch to your baby’s level. Similarly when he responds he will speak your language and be a part of your family. This is how attachment parenting develops mutual shaping of your behaviour and that of your child’s.
  1. Mutual sensitivity:
    This technique also promotes mutual sensitivity wherein parents will be able to feed off their kids who can understand feelings better.
  1. Mutual giving:
    You can mutually give one another a lot of love and enjoy one another, receive a biochemical boost, and become more peaceful.

Criticism or Things Critics Say about Attachment Parenting

While this form of parenting has proven advantages, there are still several attachment parenting criticisms that are present. Some of the prominent ones include:

  1. Baby-wearing is not important: That is one of the criticisms of this form. Some people believe that forming a positive bond with your baby does not require you to be sensitive to your baby’s needs.
  1. It’s a scam: People believe that the attachment parenting is a scam while doctors can give free advice on the same.
  1. Babies get too attached: Another one of the attachment parenting cons is that babies can get too attached and find it hard to live without their parents.
  1. Very intense for the mother: It can become very intense for some mothers as they need to be baby-wearing or night waking often.
  1. Subjective: People feel that this form of parenting is subjective and depends on the baby’s genetics. They feel that all techniques must be tried out before zeroing-in on one based on the baby’s response and behaviour.
    A mother playing with her daughter

Examples of Attachment-Focused Parenting

There are a few attachment-focused parenting example techniques that can be followed in order to get your child to respond positively:

  1. If you can shower your baby with love, and respect them at such a nurturing and young age, you will be able to raise them well. Breastfeeding is an important part of this practice wherein your child will start responding to you and also recognizing you as their primary caregiver.
    They will feel loved and know that you will always be around whenever they need you, allowing them to become happier in the process.
  1. When your child is throwing a tantrum, it doesn’t mean that he is trying to act out in order to get what he wants. It is important that you show sensitivity to his tantrums so that he respond the way you want him to. Instead of trying to spank him or using strict forms of discipline to get him to respond, you can use the same to understand why he responded in that particular manner. In the future, you can change the situation accordingly.
  1. By having your baby in the same room as you, you can respond faster to his requests. When he cries to be breastfed at night, you will be able to do so almost immediately and this strengthens the bond between the mother and the baby. He will feel loved as well as cared for being asleep and this always works in favour of them.
  1. Your child will be able to become more sensitive and form healthier relationships with a lot more people. He will be socially more open and also more sensitive to his friends and this will make him more likeable amongst others. Kids also become much more polite and sensitive to others’ needs.
  1. By practising a happy environment in your home, you will be able to nurture a happier and healthier environment at home. This way, a child will be able to concentrate more on their studies and gain a higher level of IQ. The constant and open lines of communication between you and your child will make him friendlier.

Thus, by following these methods, attachment parenting is a great way to get children become more sensitive and open. Parents must understand that their children will have a bit of trouble at times by throwing tantrums but by focusing on getting the best result instead of reprimanding, you will be able to get them to respond better. Soon, you’ll be able to see results and also make them better individuals of society who are able to contribute and aid others as well.

Also Read: Bad Parenting Signs & How It Can Affect Your Child