PHOTO: October is Attachment Parenting Month, and this year marks the 20th anniversary of Attachment Parenting International. Photo credit: Spirit-Fire/Flickr.
Attachment Parenting International is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and while the times have changed tremendously for families in Tennessee and across the nation in the past two decades, the group’s board president says most of the main philosophies of parenting really have not. Today’s parents have to deal with children growing up with new technology, social media and the like, said Janet Jendron, but “what’s changed is not the basic parenting. Attachment parenting is natural parenting. It’s what people have the instincts to do, and that’s what’s kept the human race going all these years. It’s being close, feeding on demand and all of that.” The past 20 years have brought a great deal of research into parenting, on everything from the benefits of breastfeeding to the use of corporal punishment, which Jendron noted has garnered much recent attention with the happenings in the National Football League. “It’s most interesting that that’s coming out now on such a big scale,” she said, “because Attachment Parenting all along said, ‘These decisions you make in a family make a difference in society, in violence in society.’ And the way a child is parented is the way he’s going to instinctively, or she, raise his or her own children.” Another growing challenge in raising children, Jendron said, is how parents are becoming overwhelmed with opinions and products. “Parents now have in front of their eyes – Facebook, on TV – it’s all of these things that they think they need to have to raise a child,” she said. “And really, actually, very few of those things are absolutely necessary. And so, I think there’s a lot of stress on new parents to have the right product, do the right thing.” Attachment Parenting International was founded in 1994 with a goal of promoting practices that create strong and healthy emotional bonds between parents and children. October is Attachment Parenting Month. More information is online at attachmentparenting.org.