The Aware
Parenting Institute

Transforming families around the world

P.O. Box 206, Goleta, CA 93116, U.S.A.
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Aletha Solter, Ph.D.

Founder and Director of The Aware Parenting Institute

photo of Dr. Solter
red dot Aletha Solter's biography
red dot Audio interview with Aletha Solter
red dot Organizations that have sponsored her presentations
red dot Professional articles
red dot Family photos

Aletha Solter's biography

Aletha Solter is a Swiss/American developmental psychologist, who is recognized internationally as an expert on attachment, trauma, and non-punitive discipline. She studied with the Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget, at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, where she obtained a Master's degree in human biology in 1969. She then earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1975, after which she taught psychology at the University of California and conducted research for a few years.

When her first child was born in 1977 (following a traumatic birth) she did not find any parenting books that advocated attachment-style parenting and non-punitive discipline while taking into account the impact of stress and trauma on children's development. The first book she wrote, The Aware Baby (first published in 1984, revised in 2001), is the one that she wished she had had as a new mother. The Aware Baby has sold over 150,000 copies worldwide. Its sequel, Helping Young Children Flourish, describes this same approach, covering the age range from two to eight years. Her three other books are Tears and Tantrums (1998), Raising Drug-Free Kids (2006), and Attachment Play (2013).

Her books have been translated into many languages, and she has also written workbooks to accompany her first two, as well as numerous articles for parents and professionals.

Dr. Solter has given talks and led workshops for parents and professionals in 16 countries, and has appeared on TV in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South Africa. She also offers consultations for parents who are familiar with her work. In 1990 she founded The Aware Parenting Institute, which now has certified instructors in 17 countries. Her goal is to help create a nonviolent world in which all children are allowed to attain their full potential. With the tools of Aware Parenting, she is confident that parents can raise their children to be competent, compassionate, nonviolent, and drug free. She also knows that parenting is a difficult job and that parents deserve recognition, information, and support.

She lives in Goleta, California, and is available for lectures, workshops, and consultations (by phone, skype, or in person). If you wish to schedule a lecture, workshop, or consultation, you can reach her by e-mail ( or by phone at (805) 968-1868. If you live outside the U.S., please make your initial contact by e-mail.

Please note that she does not give advice by e-mail. Please click here for information about her consultations and fees, or go to our Parent Support Page.


Audio interview with Aletha Solter


Organizations that have sponsored Aletha Solter's presentations

Following is a partial list of organizations that have sponsored her lectures and workshops:

blue dotEltern-Kind-Zentrum (Kirchdorf).
blue dotQueensland Baptist Counseling Service (Brisbane)
blue dotYogababy (Brisbane)
blue dotKindred Magazine
blue dotNature's Child (Byron Bay)
blue dotKyabra and Lighthouse Resources (Brisbane)
blue dotQueensland Department of Child Safety
blue dotSave the Children Australia, Queensland Division
blue dotParenting With Presence (near Byron Bay)
blue dotSt. Lukes Innovative Resources (Bendigo, Victoria)
blue dotDe Onderstroom (near Antwerp)
blue dotEcole des Parents et des Educateurs de Belgique (Brussels)
blue dotCentre Premier Berceau (Quebec)
blue dotChilliwack Community Services (British Columbia)
blue dotEntendons-nous (Grenoble)
blue dotCentre Nascita du Nord (Lille)
blue dotEtablissement public départemental des soins, d'adaptation et d'éducation. (Lille)
blue dotGroupe de Recherche sur L'Education des Jeunes et des Enfants (Valence)
blue dotCoeur de Famille (Pau)
blue dotLa Cause des Parents (Lyon)
blue dotBeratungsstelle für Natürliche Geburt und Elternsein (Munich)
blue dotDie Wiege (Sulz)
blue dotAWO Elternschule (Singen)
blue dotEdith Stein Institut für soziale Berufe (Rottweil)
blue dotExpressive Play (Tralee)
blue dotMúsica Prenatal (Mexico City)
blue dotNederlands Jeugdinstituut
blue dotNetherlands Effectiveness Training (Amsterdam)
blue dotNederlands Instituut voor Zorg en Welzijn
blue dotAsociatia Pentru Comunicare Non-Violenta (Bucharest)
South Africa:
blue dotSouth African Institute of Cranial Studies (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg)
blue dotZoes Educación Consciente (Gijón)
blue dotCentro del Profesorado y de Recursos (Avilés)
blue dotEspacio Creativo (Guadalajara)
blue dotPolarity Bildungszentrum Schweiz (Zurich)
blue dotForum Geburt (Zurich)
blue dotNaissance Active (Geneva)
blue dotInstitut de Formation des Parents (Lausanne)
blue dotZuelose (Bern)
blue dotTragetuch (Aarau)
blue dotPhilips Avent (Istanbul)
blue dotPsikoloji Istanbul Saglik Hizmetieri (Istanbul)
United Kingdom:
blue dotChange Strategies (Sheffield)
United States:
blue dotNational Association for the Education of Young Children
blue dotCalifornia Association for the Education of Young Children
blue dotAssociation for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health
blue dotAssociation for the Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children
blue dotInternational Primal Association (keynote speaker)
blue dotMaryland Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools (keynote speaker)
blue dotCalifornia Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools
blue dotChild Care Coordinating Council (Albany, New York)
blue dotSanta Barbara Community College Continuing Education (Santa Barbara, California)
blue dotWoodland Healthcare (Woodland, California)
blue dotVacaville Unified School District (Vacaville, California)
blue dotOpen Alternative School (Ventura, California)
blue dotBirth Resource Center (Santa Barbara, California)
blue dotMothers of Multiples (Santa Barbara, California)
blue dotNorthampton Parents Center (Northampton, Massachusetts)
blue dotFoundation for Healthy Family Living (Sonoma, California)
blue dotNatural Childbirth and Family Clinic (Portland, Oregon)
blue dotAttachment Parenting International of San Francisco (San Francisco, California)
blue dotSanta Barbara County Head Start (Santa Barbara, California)
blue dotPoint Richmond Association of Mothers (Point Richmond, California)
blue dotHeal the Hearts Foundation (Keynote speaker, Los Angeles, California)
blue dotRed Earth Waldorf Preschool (Sedona, Arizona)
blue dotRuth Washburn Cooperative Nursery School (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
blue dotShining Mountain Waldorf School (Boulder, Colorado)
blue dotPortland Parenting Connection (Portland, Oregon)
blue dotGoleta Union School Disctict (Goleta, California)

Professional articles by Aletha Solter

Solter, A. (2008). A 2-year-old child's memory of hospitalization during early infancy. Infant and Child Development, 17, 593-605.

Solter, A. (2007). A case study of traumatic stress disorder in a 5-month-old infant following surgery. Infant Mental Health Journal, 28(1), 76-96.

Solter, A. (2001). Hold me! The importance of physical contact with infants. Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, 15(3), 21-43.

Solter, A. (2000). Warum Babys weinen (Why babies cry). In T. Harms (Ed.), Auf die Welt gekommen: Die neuen Baby Therapien (pp. 387-409). Ulrich Leutner Verlag, Berlin.

Solter, A. (1999). Helping Preschoolers Cope With Stress. In B. Farber (Ed.), Guiding Young Children’s Behavior: Helpful Ideas for Parents and Teachers from 28 Early Childhood Experts (pp. 118-123). Preschool Publications, Inc.

Solter, A. (1995). Why do babies cry? Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, 10(1), 21-43.

Solter, A. (1992). Understanding tears and tantrums. Young Children, 47(4), 64-68. (National Association for the Education of Young Children)

Pellegrino, J.W., Cantoni, V., & Solter, A. (1981). Speed, accuracy, and stretagy differences in spatial processing. Bulletin of the Psychonomics Society, 18(2), 58-59.

Solter, A. & Mayer, R.E. (1978). Broader transfer produced by guided discovery of number concepts with preschool children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 70(3), 363-371.

Click here for a list of Aletha Solter's free online articles for parents.


Aletha Solter's Family Photos

aletha at age ten

That's me at age ten.

I had a very happy childhood.

aletha with son

Here I am with my son, Nicky, in 1977, before I began writing books.

I enjoyed being a full-time mother.

family photo 1983

This is me with my husband, Ken, and our two children:
Sarah (age 1) and Nicky (age 6)

This photo was taken in 1983, a year before The Aware Baby was first published.

daughter age 6

This is my daughter, Sarah, at 6 years of age

We used this photo for the cover of the first edition of Helping Young Children Flourish.

family photo 1994

This is our family in 1994, when two of my books were in print: The Aware Baby and Helping Young Children Flourish. I like the way my son spontaneously put his arms around us for this photo.

in back: Aletha, Nicky (age 17), Ken
in front: Sarah (age 12)

photo of Aletha's grandson

I am a proud grandmother holding my grandson (8 weeks old) in September 2003.

Three of my books were in print: The Aware Baby (revised edition), Helping Young Children Flourish, and Tears and Tantrums.

photo of Aletha and her granddaughter

And here I am with my granddaughter in July 2007.
She was born the day I flew to South Africa for a workshop tour, and I didn't see her until she was 7 weeks old.
I wish I'd had a sling like that for my own babies.

This was a year after Raising Drug-Free Kids was published.

photo of Aletha and grandkids

That's me with both of my grandchildren in July 2007.

Aletha and grandkids at the beach

Here I am with my grandchildren on the beach in Santa Barbara (California) in August 2011.

Aletha with son and wife 2013

March 2013: I am thankful to my son and his wife for their helpful feedback on the manuscript for Attachment Play.


This page was last updated on April 25, 2016. Copyright © 1996 to 2016 by The Aware Parenting Institute. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical (including copying to other web sites, and including translations and photos), without written permission from Aletha Solter.