Dr. Sears and Attachment

black_mom_kissing_babySo many parents have read Dr. William Sears’ books and tried to approximate his description of attachment parenting. But how many knew that he and his wife developed these ideas not based on research, but based on their own reactions to their difficult childhoods?

It’s very challenging to adhere to his description of ideal attachment parenting (utilizing the co-sleeping technique, wearing the baby, and being as available to the infant and toddler as he suggests), especially for parents who work outside the home, have older children, or have to meet additional family demands.

Now, if the Sears’ work were based on solid longitudinal research, that would be one thing. It would behoove parents to make the sacrifices necessary to adopt some or many of his strategies. However, as it turns out, his theories are not research-based, but are rooted in his and his wife’s fantasies of what would have been better for them as children.

Clearly, a generation of parents have been strongly influenced by the Sears. And for those who were able to take the advice with several grains of salt and to apply their techniques when and where possible, babies may have benefitted from the closeness and attunement of these parents. But MANY parents have suffered the guilt of knowing they were not able to adopt these strategies due to limitations of time, money, energy, etc. And these parents have definitely been done a disservice by the Sears.

To learn more, check out this article in Time magazine and let us know what you think!

The Importance of Recess

Hot off the press! The CDC just released a set of strategies for schools to use in planning recess and increasing students’ participation in physical activities. Research has found that consistent recess at school improves kids’ memory and attention, reduces disruptive behaviors, and helps develop social and emotional intelligence. Check out their plan and tell us what you think!

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/physicalactivity/pdf/2016_12_16_schoolrecessstrategies_508.pdf

The Temptation to Lie…

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In a story about Mar a Lago, Donald Trump’s Florida home, the New York Times reported that there is a nursery, the walls of which are lined with tiles depicting story book figures. Years ago, when showing visitors baby Ivanka’s room, evidently Mr, Trump liked to tell them that the tiles were painted by a young Walt Disney. When he would tell the story, his long time butler would roll his eyes and after the visitors left, Mr. Trump would say to his butler, “You don’t like it when I do that, do you?” and the butler, Anthony Senecal, would say, “No, I don’t. Its not true” to which Mr, Trump would reply “Who cares?”

So…..the truth isn’t important? OR the impression one makes is more important than the truth? There is a temptation after reading this story to think, “Well, if Donald Trump can do that sort of thing and get to be President, why can’t I?” Continue reading

Providing Comfort to Kids in a Time of Increased Worry

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No matter whom they voted for, everyone in this country is talking about the election results. Emotions are heightened– many people are shocked, angry, worried, fearful or some combination of these potent feelings. While some are frustrated by people protesting the election results, others are shocked and worried about the results. However, most American are united about one thing: concern over the effect that this turmoil is having on our children.

And if your inbox is anything like mine, emails are piling up with petitions, appeals, etc. But one thing that may be different about my inbox is that I’m also getting requests for help in understanding how children are processing recent events. Moreover, I’m receiving questions about how to provide comfort for children who may be even more afraid and confused than the adults around them.

So I would like to start a dialogue. I will offer a few thoughts, but please, write in and let us know what you have done in your home that’s been helpful and comforting for your children! Continue reading

Thanksgiving Table Discussions

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People are afraid this Thanksgiving– not of the usual dried out turkey, but of the discussions that are anticipated at the table. Some are even skipping Thanksgiving altogether, in order to avoid painful conversations and heightened tension at their usual holiday gathering places.

This year poses even greater challenges for families than in previous years. The interpersonal differences and conflicts that we expect to at the holidays are trumped by the election hangover. Families that have members who voted for both Clinton and Trump are grappling with what do do.

For those who have decided to meet anyway, and even for those who agree on the election results, there’s something else to consider: what will the children at the table hear and what does it mean to them? Continue reading