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Attachment Parenting

posted Feb 9, 2011, 3:39 AM by Tascheleia Marangoni   [ updated May 26, 2011, 9:40 PM ]

While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.

~Angela Schwindt~

Link to Attachment Parenting Index on Dr. Sears website:


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Welcome to our first newsletter of 2011.  We, the Sears doctors, Martha, and our whole family have been listening to reader feedback and you will be happy to hear that our 2011 newsletters will be on topics you most requested.  One of the top requests is: "Tell us what the Sears' family passions are and what they are doing in 2011."  So, here are a few of them:

1. Lessen the epidemic of nutrition-related illnesses.
2. Raise kids who care.
3. Get behind the eyes of your child.
4. Serve healthier food.

1. Lessen the epidemic of nutrition-related illnesses.


While we are still very passionate about the top parenting issues, such as discipline, sleep, and behavior, our current passion - and our new books - are to do our part to treat the epidemic of nutrition-related illnesses at all ages, especially children.  In my forty years as a pediatrician, I've never seen so many "Ds": ADD, ADHD, BPD (bipolar disorder), ASD (autism spectrum disorder), and the big "D" - diabetes.  This epidemic is due to unhealthy lifestyles, not enough exercise, unhealthful attitudes, and unhealthy nutrition, we call our effort, and our passion, L.E.A.N.

Five years ago we realized the best way to make a difference in this D-epidemic is to equip passionate and health-savvy persons called LEAN Coaches who would teach health and nutrition tools to individuals and organizations.  This model has worked for childbirth education, why not for nutrition and health education?  We have only scratched the surface with our efforts and still need many more LEAN Coaches to reach communities and organizations throughout the United States and abroad that desperately need this information. If helping others with their health is your passion as well, or if you know of an organization that needs this information, please click here.

2.  Raise kids who care.

Our next passion is to do what we can to help parents instill the quality of empathy into their children, beginning at an early age.  School bullying, school shootings, and many other crimes that make headlines come down to one main cause: lack of empathy.  Parenting, in a nutshell, is giving your children the tools to succeed in life.  A very important tool is the quality of empathy, which means the ability to get behind the eyes of another person and imagine the effect of your behavior on that person; to think before you act.  

Raising kids who care begins by practicing as many of the Baby B's of attachment parenting as you can.  Click here to learn the seven Baby B's.  If you would spend a day with me in my pediatric practice, you would see that Dr. Bob, Dr. Jim, sometimes Dr. Pete, and I use our medical practice as a sort of laboratory.  We record kids who generally turn out well and what their parents did. The most empathetic children generally are the ones who had the most attachment parenting.  I notice attachment-parented preschoolers on a playground.  When a child falls, the attachment-parented child with empathy will immediately try to comfort that child.  Yet, the more detached children, those without empathy, will make fun of the hurting child.  Those are the ones at risk for growing up to become school bullies, and even worse. A note to new moms: Join Attachment Parenting International. Click here for your local API group.


A mother in my office asked me how to get her husband more involved in attachment parenting when we were discussing the importance of raising kids who care.  I asked her what he did for a living and she replied "He's an investment banker."  So, I invited them to a talk I was giving to a group of parents that evening.  He sat in the front row.  I talked about attachment parenting as an investment into a child's future.  He came up and thanked me later and told me he had not thought of parenting as the best investment he'd ever make.  Click here, empathy, for more tools on raising kids who care.  

3.  Get behind the eyes of your child.     


 Parenting is a series of reactions: "My child does this, how do I react?"  A simple, yet profound, parenting tool that Martha and I have learned is to

get behind the eyes of our children and ask ourselves, "If I were Lauren, how would I want my father/mother to react?"  You'll nearly always get it right.  This is especially true in nighttime parenting.  When and how to comfort a crying baby in the middle of the night is one of the most controversial subjects, and confuses tired parents.  Say your one year old cries from another room in the middle of the night.  Instead of going through all the psychological cookbook "methods" of sleep training, immediately get behind the eyes of your child and imagine what night life is like for your baby.  Would your baby who's sleeping alone in a dark, quiet room, behind bars, missing mommy want you to "let him cry it out" or would your baby want to be comforted by the most important persons in the whole world he trusts - mom or dad?

4. Serve healthier food.

One of our top passions is to help parents reshape their children's tastes to appreciate real food.  Today children's tastes have been shaped toward food that is artificially sweetened, colored, and preserved in order to taste good.  You can help reshape your child's tastes by teaching your children to avoid the "bad words" on food labels:

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Hydrogenated
  • Any color with a # symbol, such as red #40
  • Any food that make you feel like you're taking a chemistry test when you read the food label

It may take a while to reshape your children's tastes, but it will eventually happen.  When they complain, use the we principle: "This is what we eat..."  You use that principle with other child-rearing strategies, such as: "This is what we believe," "This is how we talk," "This is what we wear," etc.  Why not use it with food?  Eventually, children will make the connection between eating good food and that good gut feeling that follows.

The Sears family would like to applaud Wal-Mart for publicly announcing that they will start eliminating foods that contain unhealthy ingredients.  We hope that other retailers will also make this healthy choice. 

Readers often ask us why we keep writing so many books, articles, and website material.  The answer is simple - it gives us what we call the helper's high.  Each night we go to bed with that priceless feeling that many parents' and children's lives are happier and healthier because of what we've written.  That's what keeps us writing. 

In future newsletters, we look forward to sharing with you what's going around in our pediatric office, our comments on pertinent news issues, our next passion which is Prime-Time Health, and especially new discoveries in the field of health and nutrition. 

We wish you a happy and healthy 2011! 

The Sears Family

Dr Sears Family Essentials
2361 Campus Drive, Suite 200
Irvine CA 92612

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The content of is intended to help parents become better informed about children's health care. Always consult for your family doctor.

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