Thursday, August 27, 2009

Paid to Blog

I'm trying out a few of those "Paid to Blog" things. Hey, any way to make a little money, right?

Put it out with a perdurable

Now that you've added your blog, we need to make sure that you own this blog

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Catching Up

I am sorry for my prolonged absence. This summer has been a very difficult one for my family. We have moved (the location I will not disclose at this point on a VERY public forum), which was hellish in and of itself. We have gone on vacation to NC and fallen in LOVE with the mountains. So much so, that Darling Husband is now actively seeking a job there. I have plenty of pictures to post, and will do so as soon as I get around to undertaking such a magnificent task.

Finally, we are entering into a new step: school. Our oldest daughter, Sweet Pea, is entering Kindergarten this year. As a (logical) result, this blog will be filled with our adventures on this new journey.

There are several things I have learned as we are preparing to take this momentous step in our lives. First, the amount of homeschool curriculum out there is overwhelming. Most of it claims to make homeschooling easier, or be the next great thing to enable your child to learn the most, or claiming to be the most "efficient' way to teach a child. It is overwhelming. Second, there is LOTS of planning to be done. LOTS. Days and evenings filled with sorting through page after page, web page after web page, book after book, and pouring my heart into plans for this year. To give myself an idea of what Sweet Pea needs to know upon completion of Kindergarten I have been researching various state Kindergarten Graduation standards. I have been using this as a guide while planing out her school year. I have learned something monumental while doing this research: Sweet Pea knows almost everything she needs to know to be a "kindergarten graduate" and has yet to start Kindergarten. So, I am proving her with a mixture of Kindergarten and First grade and expect her to fall somewhere between the two upon completion of the school year (my mom, however, predicts that I will have Sweet Pea through both Kindergarten and First grade...we shall see if her lofty predictions based upon 20 years of homeschooling come true or not. Any wagers?)

Little Man is fully learned how to use the bathroom. He is a bright, happy, 3 year old boy whom I dare say is smarter than his big sister. I am not the only one to notice this either. He is not the energetic boy running and jumping on everything (although he does his fair share of running). Rather, he is a boy who studies everything intently. He HAS to know how everything works...and why. He is going to be super intelligent just like his father and his uncle (my youngest brother).

Baby Girl is now 9 months old. I can not figure out where the time has gone! She is crawling all over, pulling herself to standing and standing there, utilizing only one hand, while bouncing and "jumping" in place. She has 3 teeth (two bottoms, one upper) and devours any and all solid food (and some non-food objects) she can find. She hasn't had her 9 month well visit yet, but at 8 months was 23 lb 12 oz and I'm measuring her here at home to be around 30" to 31" long. She is a BIG girl wearing 2T clothes.

That is about all the news for the HorseyMama family. Thank you for reading, and please leave your comments. May God bless you all and keep you safe.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I want a house elf.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Missing In Action

I'm sorry that I have been M.I.A. lately. I have had some traumatic events happening in my personal life, that have culminated with the loss of a 15 year friendship. This person is a reader of my blog, so I have been uncertain about how to proceed. I want to continue to post and blog to all my readers...but I am afraid of personal information getting into the wrong hands and finding my family, once more, in danger.

Anyone have any ideas?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Praying for Stellan

For those that may have not heard of this amazing little boy who has been sweeping the web with his miraculous life, the blog is here.

Stellan wasn't supposed to have survived in utero to birth. Instead of "terminating" the pregnancy (GOSH how I hate that term) the parents, very strong Christians, chose to give their child wholly and completely to God. Stellan was born, full term. He is the same age as Samantha, so when I look at my chunky bug I can't help but wonder how I'd feel if it was my baby who was sick.

Anyway, Stellan is in surgery right now, so if y'all could spare a few prayers for him it'd be much appreciated.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Adventures in Potty Learning

Well, my little man is growing up...and fast. He has been consistently waking up dry for about 9 or 10 months now. The last couple of weeks he's been insisting upon being changed every time he soils his diaper. These are BIG signs that he's ready to learn to use the potty.

So, I pulled out the choo-choo train underwear that we got him for Christmas. I explained to him that if he went pee pee in his underwear then they'd be icky and he couldn't wear them until I'd washed them. Yes, baby words...but he understood. So, for 3 hour or so he paraded around the house in his shirt and underwear without any accidents. Granted, he didn't go on the potty either, but he didn't have an accident. YAY!

After dinner (of organic yogurt, organic strawberries, and a BP&J made from all natural peanut butter, sugarless jam, and whole wheat bread) he had to get a bath (because we played at TWO parks today...what a treat!). I'm sure you can see where this is leading...right?

He got undressed, climbed into the tub (that I had just decided needed a good scrubbing...hey, I had to try out my new Bathroom Cleaner) and I heard a, "Mommy, look! I pee pee!!!"

Yes, after a whole afternoon of shuttling him to/from the potty, and reminding him that he needed to go pee pee on the potty and not in his underwear, he was SOOOOO proud!!

And, what did I say that gets me the mother of the year award?

"Oh are supposed to go pee pee on the potty."

Ooooh...shot down. I felt horrible even before the words had finished spewing from my mouth.

I then replied with, "But you did a VEEEEEEEEEEEERY good job by not going in your pants, and yes! That IS pee pee! Good Boy!!"

Okay, so that made up for SOME of what I'd just said...but still. I feel horrible for it. :-(

But yay for Little Man! He spent 3 hours in underwear w/o an accident! Your the man, Little Man!

Obama LOVES the VA!

*laced with heavy sarcasm*

This just came out. It makes me ill to my stomach. Literally. Men and women, like my husband, who have served to defend this country, some sacrificing the mental health, and some sacrificing LIMBS, are to be turned out in the cold until they have private insurance if Mr. Obama gets his way. He is pushing socialized medicine on this country (not going to comment on this one way or another) and yet is trying to require our veterans to get private insurance to cover the costs of their SERVICE or COMBAT RELATED injuries??? Um...I have news for Mr. Obama. Sir, it's called the "pre-existing condition clause." As someone who just went through the process of obtaining private insurance (private as in: not through my husband's work...but truly private) I was grill in great detail regarding any previous condition, and received a 150 page booklet explaining their final decision regarding my insurance policy and what they were excluding. There is NO WAY my husband would be able to get coverage for any of his problems with private insurance. He relies upon the VA to help him continue to recover from the injuries he sustained due to the nature of his job and a training accident.

So, essentially what you're saying, Mr. President, is "Thanks for your service, but if you get heart that's too damn bad."

Yes, people are going to be lining up to serve now, and where will that leave our country1's security when the next anti-American nut-job decides to try and murder thousands of Americans????

Friday, March 13, 2009


A friend of mine in the UK shared this with me. It accurately describes the US too. LOL Enjoy (and then pray that we don't truly end up this way).

1. Teaching Maths In 1970

A logger sells a lorry load of timber for £1000.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the selling price.
What is his profit?

2. Teaching Maths In 1980

A logger sells a lorry load of timber for £1000.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the selling price, or £800.
What is his profit?

3. Teaching Maths In 1990

A logger sells a lorry load of timber for £1000.
His cost of production is £800.
Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Maths In 2000

A logger sells a lorry load of timber for £1000.
His cost of production is £800 and his profit is £200.
Your assignment: Underline the number 200.

5. Teaching Maths In 2008

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is totally selfish
and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or
the preservation of our woodlands.
He does this so he can make a profit of £200. What do you think of
this way of making a living?
Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did
the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes?
(There are no wrong answers.. If you are upset about the plight of
the animals in question counselling will be available)

6. Teaching Maths 2018

à ÇáãÓÌá ÊÈíÚ Íãæáå ÔÇÍäÉ ãä ÇáÎÔÈ ãä ÏæáÇÑ. ÕÇÍÈ ÊßáÝÉ ÇáÇäÊÇÌ ãä>
ÇáËãä. ãÇ åæ ÇáÑÈÍ áå¿

Obama messed up or "We're sorry Great Britain!"

During his campaign, our new *cough* President played down his sheer inexperience. Said it was no big deal. So what if he didn't have foreign policy's not "that" big of a deal...right?

I have been afraid of the new President doing something stupid as a result of his inepxerience, but never DREAMED he'd do something so immature and asinine as he did to Great Britain.

I am truly ashamed to call this many my leader right now. This man and his administration represents all Americans...or so it's supposed to be. Lemme say this: this man does NOT represent me. Even "I" could have done better than to great the Prime Minister of Great Britain with such immature callousness.

To anyone who may be reading this from Great Britain (or is from Great Britain) I offer you my sincerest apologies. Please know this man does NOT represent or equal my thoughts or feelings. I am TRULY grateful that you have stood by us time and time again, and that you are standing by us right now. My husband and I have the deepest respect and love of all of Great Britain. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rant Of the Year - Rick Santelli

I honestly can't believe that NBC, one of the most liberal new stations, didn't pull this off the air mid-way through his rant! Mr. Santelli has hit the proverbial nail RIGHT on the head!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Just An Update

I'm sorry I've not been updating much here in "blogland." I've been attempting to spare y'all repetitive posts about my emotions, etc. Anyway, here's an update to life.

We're moving. A WONDERFUL friend offered us their HUGE home in a FABULOUS neighborhood. We're renting it from them at the maximum of what we can afford, but half of what it's worth. I's 3200 sq. ft., 5 beds, 3 bathrooms, pool, basketball/tennis courts, etc. It's a TRUE blessing. God has blessed us immensely through these friends, and we're grateful for it. I'll be able to teach piano and flute again, so it will actually improve our lives. The home is large enough for us to live here comfortably for a very long time. Our move-in date is set for May 1st.

Second, we've been listening to Dave Ramsey. We're trying to improve ourselves financially, and he's helping. I've been talking with other Dave Ramsey people, and we've come up with a few ideas to help our financial situation.

First, instead of trading our car in and taking on a new car payment for a van, we opted to take our tax return and buy a slightly older van outright. God blessed us again, I believe because we trusted him and chose to be faithful stewards with what he gave us (our tax return). We found an amazing deal on a van that is newer than we'd expected, and has every feature we wanted and then some. THANK YOU GOD! We own it outright, no car payments, so this summer (only a couple of months after we move into our new home) we will be CAR PAYMENT FREE!

Second, we're investigating better insurance options for me. We've found that since I am the only one needing medical coverage, and I'm not needing maternity coverage, that private insurance will be a MUCH better option for us than the crap offered through Tim's work. We're looking at $250 a month freed up here as well. So, by summer, we're looking at a total of $650 a month saved!!! This is not including the estimated $100-$200 a month saved in gas by not having to drive 40 min. each trip (2 trips a day) to take Heather to/from school.

So, I am grateful for God placing such wonderful friends and family in our lives to help us figure out ways to become better stewards, and thus alleviate a LOT of stress in our lives.

Tim was diagnosed with Diabetes this month. We're not 100% in agreement with the diagnosis for a lot of reasons, mainly the way the "tests" were done (they were not accurate tests to give a diagnosis like this, and the dr. Tim got stuck with isn't very competent - it's a VA Hospital Dr who admittedly told us his license to practice medicine is limited ONLY to the VA...that his prescriptions and such are good ONLY in the VA system, and won't be recognized by civilian pharmacies, clinics, etc...). However, as his wife I DO see signs that if he's not a diabetic he is at least headed towards that diagnosis. This has proven to be a strain on our marriage, but we're trudging along and working on things. :o) God is good, all the time!

Baby Girl is HUGE! She's in the 18 lb - 19 lb range at only 3 months of age!! She's moving into 9 month clothes because she's equally long! She's cooing up a storm, and "talks" in her sleep (can we say security risk? LOL).

Little Man is going to be 3 in 6 weeks! I can't believe it! My baby boy is growing up! He's such a little man now, not a trace of the baby left in him. He is such a sweet, tenderhearted little boy. I pray that God keeps him this way.

Sweet Pea is about to be 5! She's such a sweet girl, and she LOVES her baby sister. She's thriving in school, starting to read, and doing basic addition/subtraction. We're getting ready to home school her this fall. She has a best friend, with whom she shares a love of horses and has already spent the night. She is fearless. She spent the night with her friend, and didn't even need a call home to put her at ease. LOL I think I was more nervous about the night than she was, and even I was fairly at ease. I trust her friend's mother implicitly: they're a like-minded Christian family. She is also starting Martial Arts through a WONDERFUL program at a local church. She's loving this as well.

I think this is all for now. All in all, our family is doing well. God is continuing to work in our lives and bless us immensely.

Friday, January 23, 2009

CPSIA - A Well Intentioned Law gone Awry OR Cloth DIapers and Slings to be deemed "Hazardous Waste"

Not many people are aware of this law, but it's going into effect on Feb. 10th. Congresses pushed this law through without any to do, they kept it "hush hush." The average American citizen has NO idea about what is happening. I've been spending months working tirelessly (okay, I wish...I'm VERY tired...staying up until 2am surfing the web informing people of this crap law, while tending to an infant, a toddler, and a preschooler who has to be at preschool at 8am has me VERY tired LOL) to get the word out that Congress, in an attempt to protect our children (because we as parents aren't capable of doing this ourselves, right???) ended up passing a law that is going to have DEVESTATING effects on our country. THOUSANDS of small businesses will be forced under due to crippling costs...and moms could end up in jail for making DIAPERS and SLINGS and DOLL CLOTHES if they don't comply or close up shop. So much for being able to buy your daughter a hand made doll outfit made in the USA by another're stuck buying what ever the big box companies decide is right for your little girl (like those Barbie clothes are SOOOO etifying, right?). Dress up clothes? Nope...can't get well-constructed dresses from a work from home mom, you're stuck with the cheap products that Matel et al, decide your daughter should wear for dress up...using inferior cheap fabrics. Want your son to have a toy car? Great! Just go down to wal-mart and buy the "Made In China" metal version...because you won't be able to find the hand crafted, lovingly sanded and painted by a grandfather supplementing his social security on etsy any more.

This bull crap law has my blood boiling so much I've been loosing sleep. I was planning on re-opening my cloth-diaper making business, but now that'll never happen. Anyway, here's some info on it. I'll add to the list of links as I find more. Here is how it's explained (it's impacts on Americans) on the web site:

" * A toymaker, for example, who makes wooden cars in his garage in Maine to supplement his income cannot afford the $300 - $4,000 fee per toy that testing labs are charging to assure compliance with the CPSIA.
* A work at home mom in Minnesota who makes cloth diapers to sell online must choose either to violate the law or cease operations.
* A small toy retailer in Vermont who imports wooden toys from Europe, which has long had stringent toy safety standards, must now pay for testing on every toy they import.
* And even the handful of larger toy makers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007."
"...I must admit there have been unsupported claims coming from “our” camp; specifically the repeated assertion that CPSIA will “decimate” the children’s products industry. The definition of decimate is to kill one in ten and CPSIA is a far more effective killer than that. You couldn’t even describe CPSIA as “deadly as plague” since that only killed 30%-50% of infected persons. Based on the results of the Economic Impact Survey I’ve conducted, over 70% of businesses say CPSIA represents the last nail in their coffin."

There's a lot more out there, just search CPSIA and WAHM. People don't realize the implications this is going to have on every aspect of this economy. Honestly, it makes me sick to my stomach. How DARE the government dictate what I can and can not buy? How DARE the government tell me that I am too stupid to make a decision regarding what is and is not safe for my child? Despite everything else that has ever happened politically this is the first time I am truly wanting to move out of the US...b/c it's the first time that MY freedoms have been impacted so blatantly. I used to sew and sell cloth diapers. I was hoping to get back into it this year since I'm not in school know, to pay off my student loans, etc. NOPE! THAT'S not going to happen. The government is telling me that not only am I not able to do that but I can't even sew slings or diapers as GIFTS!! This is the first time that my hands have been tied behind my back. I feel as though I'm tied to a chair and having the government slap me repeatedly. THIS is why I am a conservative...because I am SOOOOOOOO against big government. A big government has WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY too much power. Our government does plenty of things right...regardless of party (and I'll be the first to vote a liberal candidate if I felt that he'd help this country and reduce the size and power of this government...I just haven't found such a candidate yet...b/c that's the kind of change that "I" want!!!) but this is something that they are doing WAY wrong.

Okay, rante/tyrade over. You, as parents and Americans, need to be aware of this insane law and how it is going to effect you. You won't be able to re-sell your baby clothes/toys. The CPSC released a press release on Jan 8th stating that it'd be okay to, but they haven't changed the wording so until they do, selling baby clothes to a consignment shop, on ebay, or even in a yard sale is ILLEGAL! The costs of products is going to go THIS economy. Yea..that's all we need...most Americans are barely getting by financially and they want to pass a law that INCREASES the products that most American buy.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thoughts on Attachment Parenting and Spoiling a Baby

Someone on one of the forums I post on a first time mom (FTM) posted very disheartened about her baby. In short, her baby is wanting to be held all the time and will scream if not. She posted asking for ways to break her baby of this manipulative behavior. Her baby is only 10-12 wks old. I posted encouraging her to not try and break her baby, but rather to nurture her in the way that she (the baby) is needing to be nurtured, that it WILL pay off in the long run. So, I thought I'd put my thoughts down here as well for those days that I'm overwhelmed with a screaming infant and 2 small children clamoring for my attention.

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Anyway, here's some of what Dr. Sears says on his site.

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Few parents make it through their offspring's babyhood without being told that all their efforts to nurture and respond to their baby will surely spoil her. And if it's not spoiling that they're warned against, they're told not to let themselves be "manipulated" by baby. Attachment parenting is not the same as indulgently giving your child everything she asks for. We stress that parents should respond appropriately to their baby's needs, which means knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no." Sometimes in their zeal to give children everything they need, it's easy for parents to give their children everything they want, and this is indeed harmful. Parents must learn to distinguish between a child's needs and a child's wants.
click here

Yet, telling the difference between needs and wants is not a problem that parents have to wrestle with during their early months of parenting. In the beginning, wants and needs are the same. During the first several months of life, a baby's wants are a baby's needs. A consistent "yes" response teaches babies trust, which will make them more accepting of "no" later on, when they start wanting things they should not have. If you learn to know your baby by responding readily to his needs in the early months, you'll have a good sense of when it's appropriate to say no later on.

New parents often ask, "Won't holding our baby a lot, responding to cries, nursing our baby on cue, and even sleeping with our baby spoil her?" Or they ask if this kind of parenting will create an overly dependent, manipulative child? Our answer is an emphatic no. In fact, both experience and research have shown the opposite. Attachment fosters eventual interdependence. A child whose needs are met predictably and dependably does not have to whine and cry and worry about getting his parents to do what he needs.

Dr. Sears suggests: Attachment parenting implies responding appropriately to your baby; spoiling suggests responding inappropriately.

The spoiling theory seems scientific. At least it seemed logical to the childcare "experts" who popularized this idea, beginning in the early part of the 20th century. They thought that if you rewarded crying by picking the baby up, he would cry more, so that he would get picked up more. It turns out that human behavior is a little more complicated than this. It is true that if you carry a newborn baby in your arms much of the time, the baby will protest when put down in the crib. This baby has learned how to feel right, and she lets you know when she needs help getting that feeling back. However, in the long run, this rightness within her will make her less likely to cry for attention. She gets used to feeling right most of the time, and her parent's responsiveness shows her how to recognize her own needs. Spoiling happens when a child is put on the shelf, left alone, forgotten about--the way that food spoils. There was no scientific basis for this spoiling theory, just unwarranted fears and opinions. We would like to put the spoiling theory on the shelf � to spoil forever.

The attachment style of parenting is not the same as overindulging kids or creating inappropriate dependency. The possessive parent, or "hover mother," is constantly in a flurry around her child, doing everything for him because of her own fears and insecurity. Her child may become overly dependent, because he has been kept from doing what he needs to do. An attached mother recognizes when it is appropriate to let her child struggle a bit, experience some frustration, so that he can grow. This is why we continually emphasize putting balance in your chosen parenting style. Attachment differs from dependency. Attachment enhances development; prolonged dependency will hinder development.

Science Says

Attachment studies have spoiled the spoiling theory. Researchers Drs. Bell and Ainsworth at John Hopkins University studied two sets of parents and their children. Group A were attachment-parented babies. These babies were securely attached, the products of responsive parenting. Group B babies were parented n a more restrained way, with a set schedule and given a less intuitive and nurturing response to their cues. All these babies were tracked for at least a year. Which group do you think eventually turned out to be the most independent? Group A, the securely attached babies. Researchers who have studied the affects of parenting styles on children's later outcome have concluded, to put it simply, that the spoiling theory is utter nonsense.

Pick them up quickly and they'll get down quickly. Or, as one sensitive mother of a well-attached child said proudly, "He's not spoiled; he's perfectly fresh!" Spoiling does become an issue a few years from now, when overindulgence or permissiveness signals a parent's inability to set limits and provide boundaries. This happens most often in children who are materially bonded or whose parents are still trapped in dysfunctional patterns from their own childhood.

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Attachment tip: The six baby B's translate into the six childhood C's.
click here

Note: Parents should not take all the credit or all the blame for the person their child later becomes. You do your best to raise your children with all the tools and resources you have at that time. The rest is up to the child. While there is no perfect correlation between what parents do in those early years and the outcome of their children, in over thirty in pediatric practice, I have observed that AP kids share many of these features:

1. Caring kids. Attachment-parented kids show empathy. These are kids who care (e.g., care-full). From birth on, these children were on the receiving end of nurturing. Someone cared for then. Caring, giving, listening, and responding to needs became the family norm, and these qualities became part of the child. The child went from receiver to giver. When friends are hurting, these children rush to help. These are compassionate kids who hurt when other people hurt.

Studies on troubled teens and psychopaths have shown that these persons have one abnormal feature in common: a lack of caring. They feel no remorse for what they do. They act without considering the effects of their behavior on others. Not so the children who are the product of attachment parenting. These children consider the feelings of others before they act. They care about how their actions affect other people. They have a healthy sense of guilt, feeling wrong when they act wrongly and feeling good when they should. Connected kids care. (For more information see Raising a Moral Child)

2. Compassionate kids. Because these children are on the receiving end of sensitive parenting, they become sensitive themselves. These children grow up with a deep inner sense of rightness. They are keenly aware when this rightness is upset and they strive to bring things back into balance.

I watch these children in playgroups. These early takers have become good givers. They actually share willingly � something that is difficult for many children. In playgroups, they are concerned about the needs and rights of their peers as they've seen that modeled.

These children are more sensitive to their friends and their parents. Attachment-parented (especially high-need) children are supersensitive to your moods. When you feel stressed, they act stressed. Eventually, this sensitivity becomes an asset, so that when you feel bad they act their best in order to help you feel better. I have witnessed our own children and others trying to console their upset parents, "Don't cry, Mommy, I'll help you" or "It's okay, Daddy, I love you." Watching a sensitive three-year-old console the adult she loves is one of the most beautiful payoffs you will ever witness. No adult therapist could ever offer words that have such impact as those that naturally flow from the heart of a sensitive child.

As an added bonus, because you were sensitive to your child, you will find your overall sensitivity to everyone and everything else goes up a notch. The ability to get behind the eyes of your child, to see things from his viewpoint, to think "kid first" carries over to your sensitivity to your mate, your friends, your job, and your overall social awareness.

3. Connected kids. AP kids develop the quality of intimacy . Attachment-parented children have the ability to feel close to another person, because these "Velcro babies" spent the most formative months of their lives in arms and at breast. These kids have learned to bond to people rather than to things. They become high-touch persons even in a high-tech world.

Therapists whose offices are filled with former high-need children who didn't get responsive parenting tell us that most of their energy is spent in helping these persons get close to someone. These people have difficulty getting connected. They do not have the capacity for feeling close. Not so high-need children who are the product of high-giving parents. These children thrive on interpersonal relationships. Being connected is their norm. The AP infant is more likely to become the child who forms deep friendships with peers and the adult who enjoys deep intimacy with a mate. These are deep children, capable of deep relationships. Because they were close to their parents and caregivers, they become capable of strong attachments. Intimacy becomes their standard for future relationships. These children are affectionate. The connected child has learned to give and receive love.

(For related topics, see: unconnected child and growing up connected)

4. Careful kids . Connected kids are less accident prone. Securely attached children do better because they have a better understanding of their own capabilities. In parent parlance, they are less likely to "do dumb things!" The organizing effect of attachment parenting helps to curb their impulses. Even children with impulsive temperaments tend to get into trouble less if they are securely attached to a primary caregiver. A child who operates from internal organization and a feeling of rightness is more likely to consider the wisdom of a feat before rushing in foolishly. They think before they act. This may be because connected kids are not internally angry. Anger adds danger to impulsivity, causing a child to override what little sense he has and plunge headfirst into trouble.

5. Confident kids . Confidence comes from two words meaning "with trust." High-need children whose parents respond freely to their needs grow up as if "trust" is their middle name. They grow up learning that it is safe to trust others, that the world is a warm and responsive place to be, that their needs will be appropriately identified and consistently met. The trust they have in caregivers translates into trust in themselves.

I felt he would never leave my arms, but when he became two, he often said, "My do it." I know this is a phrase that many mothers dread (because it takes five times as long for the child to accomplish a simple task), but to the mother of a clingy baby, this phrase is a joy. Now that Jonathan is absorbed in trying things himself, he is rapidly leaving many of his old baby needs, such as demanding to be carried everywhere and never leaving my lap. I must admit that there are times when I miss being the exclusive interest in his life. But when one of those moments arises, all I have to do is give him a big hug and he stops doing what he is doing and returns to me. Mostly, I am proud to see him growing into a happy, loving, self-confident little person, especially when I realize he has done it on his own. I have simply given him the support he needed.

6. Confident parents. Besides these "C's" for children, there is an important "C" for parents. The attachment parents developed confidence sooner. They used the basic tools of attachment parenting, but felt confident and free enough to branch out into their own style until they found what worked for them, their baby, and their lifestyle. In fact, during well-baby checkups I often asked, "Is it working?" I would advise parents to periodically take inventory of what worked and discard what didn't. What worked at one stage of development may not work in another. For example, some babies initially slept better with their parents, but became restless later on, necessitating a change in sleeping arrangements. Other babies slept better alone initially, but needed to share sleep with their parents in later months. These parents used themselves and their baby as the barometer of their parenting style, not the norms of the neighborhood.

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Throughout our 30 years of working with parents and babies, we have grown to appreciate the correlation between how well children thrive (emotionally and physically) and the style of parenting they receive.
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"You're spoiling that baby!"
First-time parents Linda and Norm brought their four-month-old high-need baby, Heather, into my office for consultation because Heather had stopped growing. Heather had previously been a happy baby, thriving on a full dose of attachment parenting. She was carried many hours a day in a baby sling, her cries were given a prompt and nurturant response, she was breastfed on cue, and she was literally in physical touch with one of her parents most of the day. The whole family was thriving and this style of parenting was working for them. Well-meaning friends convinced these parents that they were spoiling their baby, that she was manipulating them, and that Heather would grow up to be a clingy, dependent child.
Parents lost trust
Like many first-time parents, Norm and Linda lost confidence in what they were doing and yielded to the peer pressure of adopting a more restrained and distant style of parenting. They let Heather cry herself to sleep, scheduled her feedings, and for fear of spoiling, they didn't carry her as much. Over the next two months Heather went from being happy and interactive to sad and withdrawn. Her weight leveled off, and she went from the top of the growth chart to the bottom. Heather was no longer thriving, and neither were her parents.
Baby lost trust
After two months of no growth, Heather was labeled by her doctor "failure to thrive" failure to thrive and was about to undergo an extensive medical workshop. When the parents consulted me, I diagnosed the shutdown syndrome. I explained that Heather had been thriving because of their responsive style of parenting. Because of their parenting, Heather had trusted that her needs would be met and her overall physiology had been organized. In thinking they were doing the best for their infant, these parents let themselves be persuaded into another style of parenting. They unknowingly pulled the attachment plug on Heather, and the connection that had caused her to thrive was gone. A sort of baby depression resulted, and her physiologic systems slowed down. I advised the parents to return to their previous high-touch, attachment style of parenting to carry her a lot, breastfeed her on cue, and respond sensitively to her cries by day and night. Within a month Heather was again thriving.
Babies thrive when nurtured
We believe every baby has a critical level of need for touch and nurturing in order to thrive. (Thriving means not just getting bigger, but growing to one's potential, physically and emotionally.) We believe that babies have the ability to teach their parents what level of parenting they need. It's up to the parents to listen, and it's up to professionals to support the parents' confidence and not undermine it by advising a more distant style of parenting, such as "let your baby cry it out" or "you've got to put him down more." Only the baby knows his or her level of need; and the parents are the ones that are best able to read their baby's language.

Babies who are "trained" not to express their needs may appear to be docile, compliant, or "good" babies. Yet these babies could be depressed babies who are shutting down the expression of their needs, and they may become children who don't ever speak up to get their needs met and eventually become the highest-need adults.

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Attachment parenting is not a new style of parenting. Attachment parenting is one of the oldest ways of caring for babies. In fact, it's the way that parents for centuries have taken care of babies, until childcare advisors came on the scene and led parents to follow books instead of their babies. Picture your family on a deserted island and you've just delivered a baby. There are no books, advisors, or in-laws around to shower you with child baby- tending advice. The baby B's of attachment parenting would come naturally to you as they have other cultures who have centuries more child-rearing experience and tradition than all of us have.
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Attachment parenting is not indulgent parenting. You may hear or worry that being nurturing and responsive to your baby's needs might spoil your baby and set you up for being manipulated manipulated by your baby. This is why we stress that attachment parenting is responding appropriately to your baby's needs, which means knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no." Sometimes in their zeal to give children everything they need, it's easy for parents to give their children everything they want.

Attachment parenting is a question of balance �not being indulgent or permissive, yet being attentive. As you and your baby grow together, you will develop the right balance between attentive, but not indulgent. In fact, being possessive, or a "smother mother" (or father) is unfair to the child, fosters an inappropriate dependency on the parent, and hinders your child from becoming normally independent. For example, you don't need to respond to the cries of a seven-month-old baby as quickly as you would a seven-day-old baby.

As your baby grows, you become more expert in reading her cries, so you can gradually delay your response. Say, for example, you are busy in the kitchen and your seven-month-old is sitting and playing nearby and cries to be picked up. Instead of rushing to scoop your baby up, simply acknowledge your baby and give your baby "it's okay" cues. Because you and your baby are so connected, your baby can read your body language and see that you're not anxious, so you naturally give your baby the message, "No problem, baby, you can handle this." In this way, you're being a facilitator , and because of your close attachment you're actually better able to help your baby delay gratification and ease into independence.

Attachment Tip:
"It's easier for me to say 'no' to my attachment- parented child when she wants a lot of stuff, because I know I have given her so much of myself."

Attachment parenting is not permissive parenting. not control a child. Attachment parents become like gardeners: you can't control the color of the flower or the time of the year it blooms, but you can pick the weeds and prune the plant so that the flower blooms more beautifully. That's shaping. Attachment parents become master behavior-shapers.

Attachment mothering is not martyr mothering. Don't think that AP means baby pulls mommy's string and she jumps. Because of the mutual sensitivity that develops between attached parents and their attached children, parents' response time can gradually lengthen as mother enables the older baby to discover that he does not need instant gratification. Yes, you give a lot of yourself in those early months, but you get back a lot more in return. Attachment-parenting is the best investment you'll ever make -- the best long- term investment you'll ever make, in your child, and yourselves.
"Won't a mother feel tied down by constant baby-tending?"

Mothers do need baby breaks. This is why shared parenting by the father and other trusted caregivers is important. But with attachment parenting, instead of feeling tied down, mothers feel tied together with their babies. Attachment mothers we interviewed described their feelings: "I feel so connected with my baby." "I feel right when with her, not right when we're apart." "I feel fulfilled."

Remember, too, that attachment parenting, by mellowing a child's behavior, makes it easier to go places with your child. You don't have to feel tied down to your house or apartment and a lifestyle that includes only babies.

Attachment parenting is not hard. Attachment parenting may sound like one big give-a-thon. Initially, there is a lot of giving. This is a fact of new parent life. Babies are takers, and parents are givers. One of the payoffs you will soon experience of attachment parenting is one we call mutual giving � the more you give to your baby, the more baby gives back to you. This is how you grow to enjoy your child and feel more competent as a parent. Remember, your baby is not just a passive player in the parenting game. The infant takes an active part in shaping your attitudes, helping you make wise decisions as you become an astute baby-reader.

Attachment parenting may sound difficult, but in the long run it's actually the easiest parenting style. What is "hard" about parenting is the feeling "I just don't know what my baby wants" or "I just can't seem to get through to her." If you feel you really know your baby and have a handle on the relationship, parenting is easier and more relaxed. There is great comfort in feeling connected to your baby. Attachment parenting is the best way we know to get connected. True, this style of parenting takes a tremendous amount of patience and stamina, but it's worth it. Attachment parenting early on makes later parenting easier, not only in infancy but in childhood and teenage years. The ability to read and respond to your baby, carries over into the ability to get behind the eyes of your growing child and see things from her point of view. When you truly know your child, parenting is easier at all ages.

Attachment parenting is not rigid. On the contrary, it has options and is very flexible. Attachment mothers speak of a flow between themselves and their baby; a flow of thoughts and feelings that help a mother pull from her many options the right choice at the right time when confronted with the daily "what do I do now?" baby-care decisions. The connected pair mirror each other's feelings. The baby perceives himself by how the mother reflects his value. This insight is most noticeable in the mother's ability to get behind the eyes of her child and read her child's feelings during discipline decisions. One day our two-year-old, Lauren, impulsively grabbed a carton of milk out of the refrigerator and spilled it on the floor. As Lauren was about to disintegrate, Martha mellowed out the situation and preserved the fragile feelings of a sensitive child and prevented the angry feelings of inconvenienced parents. When I asked how she managed to handle things so calmly, she said, "I asked myself if I were Lauren, how would I want my mother to respond?"

Attachment parenting is not spoiling a child. . New parents ask, "Won't holding our baby a lot, responding to cries, nursing our baby on cue, and even sleeping with our baby create an overly dependent manipulative child?" Our answer is an emphatic no. In fact, both experience and research have shown the opposite. Attachment fosters independence. Attachment parenting implies responding appropriately to your baby; spoiling suggests responding inappropriately. The spoiling theory began in the early part of this century when parents turned over their intuitive childrearing to "experts"; unfortunately, the childcare thinkers at the time advocated restraint and detachment (i.e., formulas for childcare), along with scientifically produced artificial baby milk � "formula" for feeding babies. They felt that if you held your baby a lot, fed on cue, and responded to cries, you would spoil and create a clingy, dependent baby. There was no scientific basis to this spoiling theory, just unwarranted fears and opinions. We would like to put the spoiling theory on the shelf � to spoil forever.

Research has finally proven what mothers have long suspected: You cannot spoil a baby by attachment. Spoiling means leaving something alone, such as putting food on the shelf to spoil. The attachment style of parenting does not mean overindulgence or inappropriate dependency. The possessive parent, or "hover mother," is one who keeps an infant from doing what he needs to do because of her own insecure needs. This has a detrimental effect on both the infants and the parents. Attachment differs from prolonged dependency. Attachment enhances development; prolonged dependency will hinder development.

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