Attachment Parenting International is one of the most compassionate positive parenting organizations out there. And then when I began volunteering, and now it's been 7 years of volunteering, API is all about working together as a community where everyone's talents are used and everyone's ideas are taken into account. While there is great leadership, it doesn't feel like a hierarchy-type organization -- everyone is encouraged to chime in and do what they can, and the leadership is really about leading by serving. I feel like I'm really making a difference in the world.
Even after four kids (and sometimes especially after four kids) I turn to API for advice, ideas, inspiration, and commiseration. They give strength not to cave to the awful advice that pummels parents from all directions. There is another way, a path less traveled, and API is the one there placing trail markers. Thank you!
I have been a part of my local API support group since right around the time my first child was born. That group has been a lifeline for me, and I am so grateful to have had the support and resources of API available to me right from the start as I was making decisions on how best to care for my brand new baby. Prior to having my own child, I had little experience with kids and mostly only knew that I wanted to bring up my child in a gentle, nurturing way that helped my son thrive, and I knew that I needed to do things differently from how I was raised in order to ensure that my kids felt loved and secure about who they are rather than fearful and people-pleasing. API gave me the support and knowledge I needed to feel confident navigating new territory starting with the newborn phase, and ever since, any time I have needed help as my kids have gotten older, I still find that the API group support is my absolute most helpful resource of all, reminding me not only of the research and groundbreaking work of attachment parenting experts around the world when I've needed it, but also giving me practical, hands-on advice on complex issues I've faced with my kids all the way up to school-age and allowing me to give back to other parents facing similar issues. I am so grateful for the work API does and I support them 1,000%. Our kids need more love and compassion from parents and caregivers, and API is changing the world. It certainly changed mine, and my family is so much the better for it.
When I had my baby it was towards the close of a very tumultuous period in my life. I did not have a lot of good advice coming to me. Most people I knew espoused ways of childrearing that did not include baby-wearing or even breast feeding, but I knew these things were best for children and I practiced them. After a particularly difficult holiday season I returned home depleted emotionally after being challenged repeatedly for keeping my baby so close [she was 5 mos.]
I finally went online and searched for meaningful commentary to validate my choices and that is when I found API-NYC, an online group where parents discussed childrearing.
Over the past 6.5 years my family has thrived because of the intelligent and compassionate support of other parents who are also part of the Attachment Parenting community. I have been able to make decisions about good nutrition because I am constantly updated about new resources, I am able to navigate developmental stages with with grace and humor because I can discuss parenting with other parents who also choose to honor the whole child.
My daughter enjoys a happy home that has her best interests at heart. She is supported in her choices and she thrives physically and emotionally. Our family has benefited from learning about non-violent communication, as well as a variety of consumer products, from child-supplements to probiotics to magnesium baths that can help to fortify and calm. I have learned about a variety of educational resources to empower my daughter's learning and more than anything I have found support as a woman, as a mother and as a sensitive person.
I have found my "tribe."
I do not know how I would have found so much success in my life without API-NYC. It gave me a ladder and my whole family has climbed.
API-NYC helped me give my daughter the rich life she deserves.
API gave me the confidence to trust my instincts by providing access to quality resources and meaningful support. I was inspired to become an accredited leader so that I could offer other parents in my community an opportunity to join this wonderful community. API has given me the chance to make difference in the lives of families who believe, as I do, in the power of compassionate parenting. API is unique in the scope and quality of the research and evidence-based approaches they promote so that parents can fully invest in the relationship with their children as the profoundly important and impactful experience that it is. The mission of API is realized every day by the dedicated volunteers who work to spread its message of peace through parenting, and donors can be confident that donations go to making a tangible impact on the lives of families looking for support in their choices to respect, love, and respond with attentive empathy to their children. I am proud to volunteer with API and feel so grateful for this organization; it has truly changed my life and the lives of my family members who are the recipients of the qualities of patience and empathy that I have learned through API.
I have been involved with a local API support group since my first child was a year old, first as a parent coming to meetings and play groups and finding a peer group for me and my children. This brought me out of my isolation as a stay-at-home mother and provided many opportunities to give and receive support. My local group was a safe haven where I could parent the way that felt right to me and I knew that, even if the parents in the group didn't do everything the same way, we would all be respectful of each other's choices. API's Eight Parenting Principles provides a great structure to the group, focusing on the most important needs that children have, but leaving how to meet those needs up to the people who know those children the best - their parents. My two kids have grown into caring, responsible teenagers, and now I run my own API group. My involvement with API has given me great confidence, both as a parent and as a leader.
Raising children is the most rewarding and challenging work I've ever done. It's nice to have a community of like-minded parents to go to whenever I've needed support or just a listening, understanding ear.
I found API when I was the new parent to an infant. We began attending meetings and events when my daughter was 8 weeks old, and I really don't know how I would have made it through parenting her without API. The group has consistently offered a welcoming, safe, and gentle atmosphere where I have learned so much about parenting, have gathered emotional support, and have been motivated to parent consciously. I am so inspired by the women I have met, and continue to learn from them everyday. We have educational meetings, hikes, playdates, and book club. My best friends today are other mamas that I have met in API, and they challenge me to grow as a parent while also offering non-judgmental support. I really can't imagine my life without this organization! Although I am far from a perfect parent, I have a clear vision of what I aspire to be, and I continue to work toward that vision each day.
When I was a new mom, I found an API meeting in my community. The first time I went, I knew I was in the right place. Every month I looked forward to attending meetings, and eventually we started a weekly playgroup as well. My family had finally found our tribe in a part of the country that otherwise had very different views to ours. When we left that city, I knew that API could offer the same opportunity of building a community in my new city, so I trained to become a leader with API and I am so happy to offer support to new parents--new parents who, just like me and my family, want to find their tribe.
I use the information they post and publish both personally with my own kid and with clients as a Marriage & Family Therapist. I recommend them to other parents regularly as well as sharing the info I get from them with my colleagues.
API benefited me as a member for many years as a new parent before I decided to volunteer time to this great organization. They have been by my side through ups and downs and support me and enable to me help support others in my community and for that I am very thankful!
API came to my rescue when my relationship with my teen-agers started to go sour. Their guidance and support and encouragement was invaluable in steering my husband and me through the murky waters of parenting adolescents. It's been five and a half years and those relationships have grown and blossomed and flourished beyond our expectations. We have teen-agers who we really like to be with and who really like to be with us! API was an indispensable resource that made that possible!
I found API as a parent in search of support & community and was so touched by the organization I later trained to become a Group Leader!
In today's culture of cross-continental families, working parents, and "Mommy Wars" API is an invaluable resource for families. We ALL need support in become the parents our heart's know we can be...the parents WE wish we had...the parents our kids DESERVE. API groups provide guidance, information, reassurance and COMMUNITY so that loving parents can find their groove & THRIVE.
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Parenting is a tough job! There are tons of "experts" and approaches out there that will tell you what you are doing wrong, and what you should do instead. It can create a lot of guilt & confusion. API strives to support parents in following their instincts, their HEARTS, and parenting in ways that come natural to them. I really appreciate the "guidelines, not rules/techniques" approach that API offers... And trains their international leaders to share with others. The online tools & resources they provide to parents are also top notch!
I am so forever grateful to API and the work they are doing. When my babies were born I was living far away from family and friends and relied on my instincts when it came to parenting. Thankfully, I was introduced to the words "attachment parenting" in "The Premature Baby Book" by Drs. and Martha Sears and even though I was glad (and relieved!) to learn that I was already an attachment parent, I wanted to know more. In my research to learn as much as I could about attachment parenting, I found Attachment Parenting International and "Attached at the Heart", an excellent book, written by Lysa Parker & Barbara Nicholson . Everything I read validated what I was already doing and what I knew and believed was the right ways of doing things for my babies. Being without much of a real life support system as a new parent, I found so much encouragement, had my instincts validated, and learned even more invaluable information (backed by scientific research), presented on both API's website and in the book. These resources were like a special gift to me, keeping me afloat during hard days when I doubted myself and my abilities. I now live in an area with an active API support group and have enjoyed the real life support, education, and especially the new friendships with like-minded parents. I hope to be able to help other parents discover attachment parenting so they can give their babies and children the absolute best starts possible. I am currently training to be an API co-leader for our local support group and I also serve as API's advertising manager. I truly feel that we can change the world for the better, starting at home with our families, and again, I'm forever grateful for API and how they have helped me grow and my children thrive. Thank you API!
Being a parent is the most challenging thing we will do in our lives. Unfortunately our children do not come with an owner's manual. There probably isn't a parent alive who has not at one time wondered if they were up to the job. API has helped me in countless ways to feel my way as I grow in my role as mom to my child. One of the things I most appreciate is having the reassurance from API that I am doing the right thing when I go against convention and choose to respond to my child from my inner knowing. I so appreciate knowing that there is a community of committed parents who choose a peaceful way to raise children. This community exists because of the excellent work of API to spread the message and support parents.
16 years ago I and my 12 month old found ourselves at an Attachment Parenting support group that was associated with API. I was astounded that I had finally found my tribe. Since then I found their website and newsletters to be highly informative, and in more recent years I began writing for them myself on occasion. They are on top of every challenging issue that pops up in the media and I'm so glad as I sometimes feel the need to DO something about this or that but I'm secure that API is there!! with evidence-based information and advocacy.
This organization has a goal of helping parents nurture strong connections with their children by way of respect, empathy, joy, and trust. Attachment theory is based in science and supports us in listening to those instincts. API is the best!
Attachment Parenting International has been the compass of my parenting journey. I completely support their mission of encouraging healthy bonds and connection between parent and child. As my children grow, I can see the benefits of investing in my children, following my instincts, and parenting with joy. This organization changes the world.