Attachment Parents Get Real: Melissa from the Happy Mommy Blog

Welcome to Attachment Parents Get Real! Today I am featuring Melissa of the Happy Mommy Blog. Attachment Parents Get Real is a series featuring real life attachment parents and caregivers  in an effort to help normalize attachment parenting, dispel myths, and help others identify with attachment parenting and gentle discipline. We would love to have you join us. If you are interested in being featured on Living Peacefully with Children as part of the Attachment Parents Get Real series, please read more about the initiative and fill out the form. 

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Melissa didn’t set out to be an attachment parent. In fact, until about 1 1/2 years ago, she didn’t even know that attachment parenting existed. When she began her parenting journey, she did so without the tenets of attachment parenting in mind. However, she did have  her own ideals. Melissa knew that she didn’t want to ever leave her children alone to cry it out or to hit them in any fashion.

The tools and techniques Melissa and her family uses have changed as they have grown on their journeys. They have moved from a more authoritarian style of parenting, which included  time outs or use parentally imposed consequences, to a more authoritative, gentle discipline style. As their children have grown, Melissa and her husband realized that if they were always imposing consequences, their children would not have experience dealing with situations on their own. Decisions would always be based on fear of consequences rather than genuine decisions based on what the child believed was the correct thing to do. They realized that childhood was an opportunity – one of learning with loving parents.

Attachment parenting became even more important to Melissa when her second child, and then her third, were diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, sometimes referred to as Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Their family has found help with therapists and a special sensory diet, but it has been their parenting decisions that have made the most difference. All of the family benefits from their attachment parenting choices. Melissa, herself, feels calmer now than when she utilized punishments and rewards. She has given herself permission to take a moment to gather her thoughts and feelings when faced with parenting challenges. Doing so allows her to act in the manner which will be of the most help rather than reacting to the situation. Her children have learned that whatever is happening, their mother will be there for them to help them. She is their ally rather than their adversary.

Family life has changes in other ways, based on the needs of the family. Melissa became a SAHM a couple of years ago in order to start homeschooling their children and help her children with special needs. Prior to that time, she worked outside the home after receiving her master’s degree. They have practiced safe bed sharing for as long as each child desired, which also helped when her son was having issues breathing at night. Extended nursing has helped all of her children to calm down after active days spent playing and learning or with the hyperactivity sometimes associated with Sensory Processing Disorder. Through it all, Melissa and her husband stay connected with their children through both family and individual time together.

Melissa is the author of the Happy Mommy Blog, where she shares her trials and tribulations in her journey toward peaceful parenting. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page. She is a human rights activists and is taking life one day at a time, working together with her family. She considers herself a “work in progress.” She isn’t perfect, but her children are proof that attachment parenting works. Melissa encourages parents to find others who are supportive and tries to support other parents in any way she can. Attachment parenting, just like any type of parenting, isn’t always easy, but the effort, just like our children, is worth it.

 

Looking for more information on SPD? Check out some of these posts and resources:

Introducing: Attachment Parents Get Real!

I’d like to introduce a new series that will soon be hosted on Living peacefully with Children: Attachment Parents Get Real! The goal of the series is to put faces to attachment parenting. Attachment parenting is for everyone regardless of gender, race, educational background, work status, or any other differentiating factor. Attachment parenting is about connecting child and caregiver and treating everyone in a respectful, attached manner. We want others to be able to identify with attachment parents. If you practice an area of AP, we want to hear from you – mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or other caregivers.

As this is a series on attachment parenting, we will be focusing on the ideals of attachment parenting. Advocating cry-it-out, hitting, or disrespectful treatment of children will not be posted. However, beyond that, anything is acceptable. Do you practice one specific area? Did you have to work through something to become a more gentle caregiver or did you struggle in an area? Do you have special needs which AP has aided? Does your family look different from others? Something else? Please share!

Attachment Parents Get Real is just that. We won’t be spinning AP for some ulterior motive. All features will be e-mailed to participants prior to posting. We want families to feel comfortable sharing and that can’t happen if there is a fear that a feature will be twisted in some way. We are all people who care about our children. There will be no surprise media spin.

First, fill out the web form. This will alert me to your interest in being featured. Please be patient. I’m a busy mom, myself, and it may take me a while to get back to you.

I will need a photo to include in your feature. Not everyone is comfortable posting personal pictures on the internet. That is perfectly fine. Find a different picture which means something to you. Flickr Creative Commons is one source of pictures for use by others. Please be certain to send appropriate links and credit with the picture.

Do you have a blog or business? You are more than welcome to promote yourself in your feature. Let me know the name and links. Feel free to include any other links such as FB pages, twitter, etc. I hope that you will also promote your feature and Attachment Parents Get Real. Need a badge? Grab one over at the right!

Questions? Feel free to drop me a line! mandy @ livingpeacfullywithchildren . com  (no spaces)