Aletha Solter, Ph.D.

Founder and Director of The Aware Parenting Institute

photo of Dr. Solter

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. She has two adult children and two grandchildren, and she lives near Santa Barbara in southern California.

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 would have liked to have as a new mother. The Aware Baby has sold over 200,000 copies worldwide. Its sequel, Cooperative and Connected (a 2018 revised edition of Helping Young Children Flourish), describes this same approach, covering the age range from two to eight years. Her other books are Tears and Tantrums (1998), Raising Drug-Free Kids (2006), Attachment Play (2013), and Healing Your Traumatized Child (2022). Her books have been translated into many languages, and she has also written numerous articles for parents and professionals.

Dr. Solter has given talks and led workshops for parents and professionals in 18 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 over 20 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 (online or in person). If you wish to schedule a lecture, workshop, or consultation, you can reach her by e-mail ( Please note that she does not give advice by e-mail.


Published 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.


Videos and Podcast Interviews with Aletha Solter

The Aware Parenting YouTube channel (over 20 videos)

TV Interview with Aletha Solter
Interview done in Santa Barbara, California in 2014.

Video interview with Aletha Solter about the basic aspects of Aware Parenting.
Interview by Rebecca Sheikh in 2020.

Podcast interview with Aletha Solter about her book, Healing Your Traumatized Child
Interview by Joss Goulden for her Aware Parenting Stories Podcast in 2022.

Podcast interview with Aletha Solter about stages of development
Interview by Marion Rose and Lael Stone for their Aware Parenting Podcast in 2022.

Video interview with Aletha Solter about helping children cope with stress.
Interview by Aletha's son and daughter-in-law (Nick and Sonja) for their Dyslexia Journey Podcast in 2022.

Video interview with Aletha Solter about taking care of ourselves and dealing with guilt.
Interview by Aletha's son and daughter-in-law (Nick and Sonja) for their Dyslexia Journey Podcast in 2023.

Video interview with Aletha Solter about the healing power of children's tears.
Interview by Lithuanian talk show host, Renata Cikanaite in 2023.

Podcast interview with Aletha Solter about Aware Parenting.
Interview by Respectful Parenting in Lithuania (Pagarby Tevyste) in 2023.

Podcast interview with Aletha Solter about parenting children with special needs
Interview by Spirited Hearts: the Podcast with Steph Fleeton in 2023.


This page was last updated on May 17, 2023. Copyright © 1996 to 2023 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.