This Is How Attachment Parenting Can Help Your Marriage
Attachment parenting is a parenting philosophy that encompasses certain methods of caring for your children. Some of the principles include physical closeness and touch and it is steeped in the idea of always showing empathy as you respond to your children of all ages.
There are so many benefits to practising attachment parenting. Many parents and psychologists feel that it leads to happier children who are confident in their abilities and really empathetic and responsive to other people’s needs.
There are also a huge amount of benefits for the parents involved. Many of the principles promote better sleep, surges in oxytocin (the feel-good/love/relaxing hormone) as well as a more relaxed and natural approach to parenting in general.
Believe it or not, the principles of attachment parenting can help your marriage in a vast number of ways too.
Family harmony is something that we all strive for. The term “do what works for your family” makes a lot of sense when you welcome children into the world. If it feels right it probably is right and the same can be said for when things feel wrong. You might see this a lot with sleep training. The end result may be better sleep for the family and even when that goal is achieved it can be at the expense of your emotional wellbeing.
The process of sleep training can be hugely traumatic for both the parents and the children leading us to wonder if more hours of sleep will have been worth it in the end. This is why attachment parenting does not support sleep training.
Co-sleeping, on the other hand, can be the very reason that sleep becomes a much calmer affair in your family home. Deciding to co-sleep (and ensuring you do so safely) can come with a sense of acceptance and empowerment. A lot of parents feel that it removes the struggle of sleep. The constant trying and changing is replaced with a sense of peace. By making your own rules and responding to your baby in this way you might just notice a shift. Sleep is no longer a point of contention or conflict and that really impacts the way you communicate and function with your partner.
Another important consideration is the teamwork element. As attachment parents, you will have decided that these are the ways you wish to respond to your children. It’s a team effort, joint-decision and with that comes a sense of pride and unity that only you two can relate to.
The principles of attachment parent can also teach us a lot about how we should treat people. The principles do not just apply to those sacred newborn baby days. They thread your entire parenting journey and the goal is to maintain them when your children become older. The very same can be said for the way you interact with your partner. Adopting the principles of attachment parenting and using them as a guide in your romantic relationship can be really transforming.
Responding sensitively and with empathy to your partner may not always feel like the easiest thing in the world but it will always have a more positive outcome. Adults, just like children, experience periods where they tantrum, stomp their feet and simply need to vent their massive array of emotions.
When our child does this we are encouraged to try to help them through it, get to the root of its source and respond with empathy. However, we tend to respond quite differently when an adult displays this behaviour. Responding with empathy and love will benefit everyone.
Being physically close to your children is an important element of attachment parenting and it has a very important place in your marriage too. Aside from physical intimacy, it is important to consider the everyday physical closeness that technology often strips us of. Simply sitting side by side on the sofa, holding hands, kissing each other goodnight and offering a supportive hug can be extremely powerful.
As adults, we too crave the feeling of being loved, needed and protected. Physical touch is a really effective way of instilling this.
Attachment parenting really is the gift that keeps on giving.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.