Attachment Parenting International and Touch the Future both began 20 years ago. Both were inspired by the same vision; kids are not the problem, the self-world view each child develops and therefore society is model and experience dependent and parents are the primary model and the experience.

Post World War Two changes pulled the extended family rug out from under parents. Grandma was absent, boomer moms were chasing Valium with gin and tonic, babies were separated by technological births and never quite got the connection right, TV was the sitter and compulsory schooling began earlier and earlier to name just a few.

By the mid-nineties enough had been written about all this by tremendous teachers, Ashley Montagu, Joseph Chilton Pearce, Suzanne Arms, James Prescott and many others, volumes. Mentoring, encouraging, informing, connecting and supporting parents is the key to both healthy child development and healthy social development. The core insight: child development is social development. The way we treat our babies and young children is the way society treats us and we treat the world. Child development and social development are a single, reciprocal dynamic. Today visionaries like Gabor Mate have connected the research dots between early failed attachment and many chronic illnesses, depression, attention disorders, addiction, violence, including domestic violence, rape and suicide, all symptoms of impaired and failed attachment.

To help mark this twentieth anniversary of proactive vision and support for parents Attachment Parenting International in collaboration with Notre Dame University, Kindred and other co-sponsors are hosting a rare conference Cherishing Families, Flourishing Children.

Meet Barbara and Lysa, founders of Attachment Parenting International, what they do, who they serve and why it is so important.

Michael Mendizza