Home > Community > Author Spotlight > Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker
June 2010 --- Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker
|Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker already had years of parenting experience and research when they started Attachment Parenting International over 16 years ago. Passionate about the attachment parenting style and confident that it could positively impact families around the world, the two created Attached at the Heart. The book, combining in-depth research with strategies for successful childrearing, has piqued the interest of media outlets around the world, most recently at the 2009 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards. Attached at the Heart has been praised by authors, academics and even celebrities, such as Melora Hardin from NBC's The Office and syndicated columnist Lu Hanessian. iUniverse spoke with Nicholson and Parker about the success of their book and the importance of its message.
iU: What is attachment parenting? What made you take interest in it?
BN & LP: Attachment parenting is a parenting style that is based on the principles of attachment theory in developmental psychology. According to attachment theory, the child forms a strong emotional bond with caregivers during childhood with positive lifelong results in terms of success in life. The heart of this style of parenting is being mindful in our interactions with children. As young parents in the early 1980’s we were searching for positive, loving parenting strategies in raising our own children.
iU: How did Attachment Parenting International come to be?
BN & LP: Through our studies and experiences with the attachment theory, we felt a responsibility to get this information to parents and child development professionals. We felt there was an unmet need to reach parents of infants and young children. We were encouraged to gather parents together in a support group format to study and create a community. We became an official organization in 1994 and now have approximately 60 local parenting support groups around the world.
iU: Why did you write Attached at the Heart?
BN & LP: As parents, it was difficult to find parenting books that gave accurate information based on research. Too many parenting books are based on opinions that, in some cases, actually do more harm than good for children. We began gathering research, attending conferences, and communicating with thousands of families over the past 15 years. We’ve studied different cultures around the world and looked for examples of communities that are the least violent and the healthiest. This research is culminated in our evidence-based guidelines to help parents create a secure attachment relationship with their children. Attached at the Heart explains why strong emotional connections are so important for families and our society as a whole. We can change our culture by changing the way we parent our children.
iU: What is the most important thing families can get out of your book?
BN & LP: Our book assures parents that it is good for them fall in love with their babies! So many parents are afraid that if they get too attached or if they hold or love their baby too much the baby will be spoiled. Nothing could be further than the truth. Research supports that babies need copious amounts of touch and love to develop a trusting relationship with their parents. Attached at the Heart encourages parents to become the expert when it comes to their baby. Too often we distrust our inner guidance because we are vulnerable to childrearing myths. In our book, we not only share the history of where these false messages originate, but we give readers the science that has demonstrated time and again that we do have the capacity to respond appropriately to our baby’s needs. We want readers to feel inspired and empowered after reading Attached at the Heart!
iU: Your book has been very successful selling at the retail level. Why was it such a success?
BN & LP: We have established a wonderful network of parents and professionals through our organization. That has been a powerful starting point for getting the word out. We have also been traveling around the country to speak at conferences and parenting workshops and to arrange book signings from coast to coast. We’ve done numerous interviews for radio stations, some television and various print media in the U.S. and Canada. Current events have dealt us a good hand in terms of creating a number of interview opportunities for us from new attachment, breastfeeding, spanking and discipline research. Social networking has been another important outlet. It is exciting when we see that our book is being discussed on blogs and websites that we didn’t even know existed! Additionally, receiving a five-star review from ForeWord Magazine and being a finalist for their book award has given us credibility in the book world.
iU: Why did you decide to self-publish?
BN & LP: We decided to self-publish because we knew we had an important and time-sensitive message to get into the hands of parents, grandparents and professionals. We are very happy we self-published with iUniverse because we were able publish in much less time and have creative control of our book.
iU: Are more books planned for the future?
BN & LP: Absolutely! We have several books we have planned to write. One would be the sequel to our first book about how to keep the heart-to-heart connection with children from 5-12 years old. There are also some children’s books that we have in mind that would be interesting to the parents, too.