Every mom has heard of Dr. Sears, who coined the phrase "attachment parenting." Attachment parenting has its roots in developmental psychology and the theory of attachment. When you strip out the complex psychological terminology, at its root attachment parenting is essentially the practice by parents (or other caregivers) of making helping a develop child's emotional well-being by forming a strong emotional connection with the child from birth.
The easiest ways to practice attachment parenting generally involve being physically close to an infant or child and being able to respond quickly to the child's needs. It is easy to practice attachment parenting when someone is a stay-at-home parent, but how can a parent who works outside of the home practice attachment parenting?
Baby wearing is a great way to put attachment parenting into practice. Baby wearing is simply putting a small infant or child in a sling or carrier, such as the Baby Ergo. While in the home, mom or dad can simply wear their beloved to get and give feelings of closeness, security and intimacy. Not only does the child get the benefit of being close to mommy or daddy, but it also leaves the parent's hands free to tackle other tasks that get missed during the day, such as doing laundry or cooking dinner. A parent can still do these household chores without sacrificing cuddle time with their little one.
The idea of sleeping in the bed with a baby is a scary one for those who work outside the home. Some believe that a baby will wake up more often if their parent or parents are sleeping next to them. This may be true but in many cases, it can help both the baby and the parents feel more secure. The simple act of feeling secure can help baby mom and sad sleep more soundly. Sharing sleep, be it in the same bed, or having the baby sleep in something attached to the bed, can also makes it easier to breast or bottle feed a baby. The end result of co-sleeping is an emotionally happy child and could even be a better night of sleep for mom and dad!
One of the most important focuses of attachment parenting may be on being a kind parent. Practicing kindness is not just when things are good, but also when it comes time for discipline. A working parent can use positive discipline with their children, which is another form of attachment parenting.
Wikipedia defines positive discipline as, "a discipline model used by schools that focuses on the positive points of behavior, based on the idea that there are no bad children, just good and bad behaviors." Positive discipline involves treating a child with love and kindness even when they misbehave. It is focusing on the positive behaviors rather than the negative behaviors, and avoiding hostile discipline techniques, such as yelling or threatening. No matter how busy a parent may be with their work, there is always time in the day to praise a child for following the rules and exhibiting good behavior. Praise and positive attention can help to prevent negative behaviors and the need for more severe discipline.
Even when a parent is away from their child for several hours every day, children and parents can still create a strong emotional bond through attachment parenting.