Attachment Parenting impacts brain development of infants and children!!! Explore the truth behind Attachment Parenting and learn how to nurture your child while also maintaining your own mental health, relationship, and sanity!!!
Attachment Parenting – or AP – is a pop culture parenting strategy that is loosely based on Attachment Theory. Bowlby’s theory explained how human infants and children develop the capacity for complex social and relationship abilities.
Modern society has furthered the understanding of Bowlby’s Attachment Theory. Functional MRI imaging has shown that the infant brain is not fully formed at birth. The infant brain continues to grow and develop in response to the environment.
Parents who share high quality interaction and stimulation to infants and newborns are contributing to the healthy brain development of their offspring. The child’s brain continues to develop intensely over the first 5 years of life. The brain continues to develop throughout childhood and into early adulthood, but at a slower pace than those first few years.
So where does Attachment Parenting come in?
The infant brain develops the capacity to look intensely into the face and eyes of the beloved parent. Attachment Parenting involves cuddling, close holding, and eye gazing. The stimulation of breast feeding further stimulates the parent-child bond, promoting further brain development.
The brains of children who were properly nurtured during infancy are remarkably more developed and specialized than the brains of children who were deprived of appropriate nurture and stimulation.
The buck does NOT stop here, however. The infant brain also develops in response to the social and relationship skills that parents demonstrate. Research has shown that infants as young as 9 months of age are able to discern between aggressive and non-aggressive social interaction.
Attachment Parents must continue to provide excellent nurturing and love. What they must also do is set healthy boundaries, maintain a great co-parent relationship, and allow little ones to begin to develop capacities of self-soothing and self-awareness.
Parents who are over focused on the nurturing, nursing, holding, and co-sleeping often miss these other critical aspects of healthy child development. Too much focus on nurturing without solid limit setting and boundaries does in fact compromise early childhood development.
Darleen Claire is a Parenting Expert with a background in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Exceptional Student Education, and Brain-Based Strategies to promote healthy development.
She consults with families to create solutions to difficult challenges, serving the traditional family, the nontraditional family, the home schooling family, families with special needs, and attachment parenting families.
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