Dr. Caron understands the challenges facing families, because she is a mama as well as a doctor. She knows that each family and each child has their own unique needs, and is sensitive to the wide spectrum of parenting philosophy and style. At the same time, she encourages "attachment parenting" practices which have been shown to benefit children and the parent-child relationship.
Attachment theory was formulated by John Bowlby in the mid-1900s to describe relationships between people. Attachment parenting has built on this theory to describe parenting practices which support a strong and healthy bond between parents and children. According to Attachment Parenting International, there are eight principles of attachment parenting:
Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
Preparing emotionally and physically for pregnancy and birth includes knowing your options for healthcare providers, birthing environments and routine newborn care. Dr. Caron can provide you with the information and resources that will help you find the right fit for you and your baby.
Parenting to encourage attachment is an ongoing process, benefitted by understanding the developmental stages of childhood, setting realistic expectations and remaining flexible. Well-child visits with Dr. Caron provide the perfect opportunity for discussing your child's development as well as potential parenting challenges.
Breastmilk is the best nourishment for an infant. Dr. Caron encourages all mothers to breastfeed their babies and young children. She is supportive of the nursing relationship for as long as the mother and child desire it.
Sometimes mothers have difficulty nursing or are unable to begin or continue breastfeeding their babies. Dr. Caron can offer support and resources for these families as well.
Dr. Caron also helps parents to encourage children to make healthy food choices.
The foundation of trust and empathy begins the moment your child is born. Pay attention to what your child is communicating and respond consistently and appropriately. Babies need calm, loving, empathetic parents to help them regulate their emotions. Respond sensitively to your child when they are hurt or experiencing strong emotions, and share in their delight and wonder.
New parents are often surprised at how challenging babies and small children can be. Dr. Caron listens to parents' worries and frustration and encourages them to understand what is developmentally appropriate for their child.
Babies and children, like adults, need physical contact, affection, security, stimulation and movement. Skin-to-skin contact, like during breastfeeding, bathing, or massage, helps your little one feel nurtured and safe. Carrying or wearing your baby also meets this need when you are on the go. Hugs, snuggling, back rubs, massage, and physical play help meet this need in older children.
Babies and children have needs at night just as they do during the day. They get hungry, lonely, scared, too hot or too cold. Your children depend on you to soothe them and help them regulate their intense emotions. Sleep training techniques (such as "crying it out") can have detrimental physiological and psychological effects. Safe bedsharing or near-sleeping has benefits to both babies and parents.
Babies and young children have an intense need for the physical presence of a consistent, loving, responsive caregiver: ideally a parent. If childcare becomes necessary, choose a caregiver who has formed a bond with the child and who cares for him in a way that strengthens the attachment relationship. With a flexible schedule, you can minimize stress and fear during short separations.
Positive discipline helps your child develop a conscience guided by his or her own internal discipline and compassion for others. Discipline that is empathetic, loving, and respectful strengthens the connection between you and your child. Rather than simply reacting to behavior, try to figure out the needs leading to the behavior. Talk with your child and discover solutions together while keeping everyone's dignity intact.
It is easier to be emotionally responsive when you feel in balance. Create a support network, set realistic goals, put people before things, and don't be afraid to say "no". Recognize individual needs within the family and meet them to the greatest extent possible without compromising your physical and emotional health. Be creative, have fun with parenting, and take time to care for yourself.