Aletha Solter, Ph.D., published her first book, The Aware Baby, in 1984. Solter's original book has been revised over the years. She has also written other books since the first one, such as Helping Young Children Flourish and Tears and Tantrums. She has even written a book about raising your kids to be drug-free.
It is said that the book, The Aware Baby, will help pare nts bond with their baby and enhance sleep. It also claims to sharpen baby's intelligence, provide alternatives to punishment, and show parents how to raise a non-violent child.
Solter's theories and books are based on several principles or tenets. She advocates attachment parenting, discipline that is not punitive, and the prevention/healing of stress and trauma. According to the Aware Parenting website, awareparenting.com, there are ten basic principles of Aware Parenting:
1. Aware parents do not withhold a child's need for physical contact, and do not subscribe to the idea that a baby or child can be "spoiled" with too much cuddling.
2. Emotions are accepted rather than treated as something wrong that must be corrected. Children's need to "feel" is recognized.
3. Aware parents understand that children learn at their own pace, and do not attempt to rush developmental stages.
4. Criticism and evaluative praise are avoided in favor of praising and encouraging a child when he or she learns new skills or reaches milestones.
5. During the day, aware parents set aside some special time each day to devote entirely to their children. This special time is child-led; parents respond, but do not direct any of the activities. Sometimes it becomes a time of observation for parents.
6. Aware parents understand that they cannot protect their children from every mistake or problem. In other words, they accept imperfection in their kids.
7. When problems do arise, aware parents encourage their kids to solve problems on their own rather than solving the problems for them.
8. Children are not controlled by "bribes," the threat of punishment, or rewards. Rather, aware parenting involves setting limitations and boundaries and gently guiding children toward these guidelines. Aware parents take a diplomatic approach, considering the needs of everyone involved in solving a problem. The concept of the "family meeting" for solving conflicts is encouraged.
9. Parents who practice aware parenting recognize their own personal needs and take care of themselves. This helps prevent parents from sacrificing to the point of resentment.
10. Aware parenting means parents are cognizant of their own childhood issues and try not to let their own painful experience interfere with their parenting.