Korenna Barto Reynard works with individuals and families as a life coach and counselor in Northern California. In addition to her work at first Kiss Through First Kid, Korenna Barto Reynard has also been a trainer, parent educator, and small-group leader for Attachment Parenting International.
Attachment parenting holds that a strong and nurturing parent-child connection is the best way of raising secure, well-adjusted children with a capacity for empathy. In order to help build these connections, Attachment Parenting International offers eight core parenting principles. They are:
1. Prepare positively for pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood. This involves gathering as much information as possible about all stages of the process, so that one has the knowledge to respond to situations as they arise.
2. Feed with respect and love. Ideally, this means breastfeeding infants and offering healthy food to older children according to their hunger cues. Doing so empowers children to eat when they are hungry and stop when full.
3. Respond to children with sensitivity and understanding. Attachment parenting holds that all behaviors are expressions of needs. If parents respond with empathy, children learn to self-regulate.
4. Engage in nurturing touch. Skin-to-skin contact is essential for the healthy development of children. This continues from baby-wearing and bathing in the first months to hugs, back rubs, and cuddling for older children.
5. Participate in parenting as a 24-hour commitment. Attachment parenting often encourages co-sleeping so that parents can efficiently meet the physical and emotional needs of young children through the night.
6. Provide loving and consistent care. Parental care is ideal at all times, but a regular alternate caregiver who has bonded with the child can be an appropriate fallback.
7. Use positive discipline always. Loving and respectful dealing with misbehavior allows a child to develop his or her own sense of right and wrong, as well as an understanding of others.
8. Aim to balance personal and family life. Attachment parenting believes that parents are most effective when they are physically and emotionally healthy, and when their expectations of themselves are realistic.