Attachment Parenting 101: How to Know if This Parenting Style Is Right for You

Whether you've heard a little or a lot about attachment parenting, odds are at least some of its tenets will be helpful to you. Here's what we can all learn from attachment parenting (18 Photos)

Patty Onderko on Jul 5, 2012 at 11:13AM

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Dr. Sears Is the Father of Attachment Parenting

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a Patty Onderko on Jun 29, 2012 at 4:46PM

Attachment theory lived primarily in the world of academia and research until a young pediatrician and father put it into practice with his own kids and patients. William Sears, M.D. and his wife Martha Sears, R.N. coined the term "attachment parenting" in the 1980s after having eight kids of their own, one of whom has Down Syndrome and another who was "high-need" (another Sears'-coined term to redefine behavior that is often considered to be "challenging" and "difficult").

Disappointed with other parenting styles and philosophies when it came to caring for them, Bill and Martha Sears took a more child-centered approach, looking to their babies as the experts. When they looked at the world through the eyes of their infants, they found that what mattered most to them was a consistent, loving and affectionate connection with their parents. Dr. Sears came to believe that a child's self-esteem lays the foundation for all of his behavior, and that self-esteem was fostered through strong attachment. He and his wife, a nurse, wrote The Baby Book in 1993, which formalized their parenting philosophies and spread attachment parenting's popularity beyond California, where Dr. Sears' had his pediatric practice. Three of his kids have now joined him in his work as pediatricians themselves. Collectively, the family has published more than 30 parenting-related books, as well as their website, AskDrSears.com.

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