Parenting babies, toddlers, and preschoolers is both magical and challenging. Many parents turn to books for advice only to wonder, “Now what?” after the last page. What if you could bring a parenting book to life and ask questions, personalize the info, and go deeper? Now you can! Over six interactive sessions, we’ll bring the award-winning book Attached at the Heart to life. You’ll discover how the evidence-based principles of attachment parenting can work with your family’s unique dynamic—from positive discipline to sleep to balancing your own needs. This course is appropriate for parents, parents-to-be, and caregivers of kids pre-conception through preschool.
Session 1: 2-4 PM on Sunday, March 29**FREE PREVIEW DAY
Sessions 2-6: 2-4 PM on Sundays April 12 – May 17 (no class on Easter or Mother’s Day)
Location: NOVA Natural Birth Center 4200 Technology Court Chantilly, VA 20151 (map)
Who is this class for? You may be a current parent, someday-parent, grandparent, caregiver, or professional. If you want to understand how the principles of attachment parenting can help parents of kids pre-conception through to preschool thrive, this course is for you. Previous attendees ranged from not-yet-expecting to pregnant to parents of first babies as well as experienced parents who would like to better utilize gentle parenting with subsequent babies.
Why is the first session free? Committing your time and money to a 6-week class without knowing if it really will be a fit is a tough thing to do. Or maybe you just want to understand what attachment parenting is (and isn’t). For these reasons, the first session of Attached at the Heart is free and open to the public, however pre-registration is required because space is limited. This is not a sales talk in disguise: it is a complete, full session from the curriculum with no hard sell.
Do I have to practice a certain style of parenting to attend the class? All backgrounds are welcome. Take what works for you and leave the rest. That said, my hope is that the evidence-based strategies we cover will encourage you to lean into attachment theory in your caregiving. (Don’t know what attachment theory is? No sweat! We’ll cover it.)
What will sessions look like? Each week we’ll focus on a different topic via live presentation, but we’ll also utilize discussion, multi-media, and other methods. It will be an engaging and educational time.
Can I bring my child to class with me? Babes-in-arms are welcome to attend class with you, however consider if your style of learning will thrive if your attention is divided. Because of the pace of the class, the depth of sharing in some sessions, and out of respect to the learning styles of others, we cannot accommodate older babies or children in the classroom. Please contact me if you would like to brainstorm caregiver ideas together.
What are the exact dates of the class? March 29 (free preview day) plus five additional Sundays: April 12, 19, and 26 and May 3 and 17 (There is no class on Easter, April 5 or May 10, Mother’s Day). All sessions meet from 2-4 PM.
What if I miss a session? I encourage you to catch up by reading the corresponding chapters in Attached at the Heart. Missed handouts will be available the following week. If you know of an absence beforehand, connect with another student and see if they will take notes for you.
What will I learn?
Week 1- Charting a New Course: Introduction to Attachment Parenting (free preview day) We’ll start our course with a look at how culture impacts parenting choices and examine what attachment theory is and why it matters to our families.
Week 2- Prepare Yourself for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting + Use Nurturing Touch Expecting and potential parents will gain an understanding of options surrounding pregnancy and birth while those post-partum can reflect on their experiences. Then, we’ll explore how to use massage, babywearing, and play to connect with babies and kids. This session includes a live demonstration of the 4 major categories of baby carriers along with safety and developmental considerations for each. Caregivers are invited to bring their own carriers for hands-on help.
Week 3- Respond with Sensitivity + Ensure Safe Sleep Physically and Emotionally Babies and young children can communicate physical and emotional needs intense ways like crying and tantrums. We’ll talk about how parents and caregivers can leverage this communication into a strong relationship. Additionally, parents will increase their understanding of infant sleep patterns, creating safe sleep environments, and the importance of responding to a child’s nighttime needs.
Week 4- Feed with Love and Respect + Balance Your Needs From breast or bottle to solid foods, meals are a time for parent-child connection. We’ll explore finding healthy methods that work best for your family. Additionally, we’ll develop strategies to nourish your own emotional and physical needs while meeting your child’s needs.
Week 5- Practice Positive Discipline The key difference between positive discipline and permissive parenting is setting healthy boundaries, but what does that mean and how do you enact it? Leave this session armed with over 25 practical ways to connect with your kids through gentle discipline.
Week 6- Provide Consistent Loving Care + The Ripple Effect of Parenting Empathy can be every parent’s secret weapon for addressing overwhelming cries, tantrums, and misbehavior, but this ‘language of love’ doesn’t always come intuitively. Thankfully, there are strategies you can use to help. Additionally, we’ll talk about choosing a caregiver when you are away from your child and staying true to your style of parenting in the midst of a culture filled with competing ideas.
What do people say about the class? Several previous attendees named their favorite thing about the full course:
- “Getting to ask questions and apply to how I want to parent; also learning things I didn’t know before. Finally, having [my husband] be able to ask questions and hear things not just from me.”
- “Learning and understanding that what my instincts tell me to do is right.”
- “Discussion of how to implement the principles of attachment parenting in everyday life.”
Although the free preview class is a great option, you may elect to complete the full, paid registration ahead of time to secure your spot in the class before it fills up. If the class does not meet the five-person registrant requirement, your money will be refunded.
Step 1: Sign up
Step 2: Pay
About the Instructor
Hi, my name is Pamm Fontana. I am accredited by Attachment Parenting International (API) as an Attached at the Heart Parent Educator. I had the amazing privilege of being mentored directly by Lysa Parker & Barbara Nicholson (founders of API and authors of Attached at the Heart). I am a mom to two delightful little boys (and another baby on-the-way), founder of More Green for Less Green, blogger for Mothering.com, and volunteer as a babywearing educator. Professionally, I work as a director in a large and thriving children’s ministry. Over the years, I’ve worked with thousands of kids, parents, and teachers. Each one is different, and I look forward to getting to know your unique family, too. I am thrilled to bring this class to the NOVA Natural Birth Center and to empower caregivers to parent from the heart, armed with knowledge, which will pave the way for happier, healthier children and a more peaceful world.