Unless you have been stranded on a desert island, I’m sure you have seen the cover of the latest TIME magazine, OR have at least heard the buzz it has generated in the media. The article featured Pier to Peer’s fellow MomsLA blogger, Jamie Lynn (www.Imnotthebabysitter.com) and her decision to practice Attachment Parenting. I’m not one to judge a book by its cover, or in this case a magazine, but this article definitely got me thinking!
Let me make it clear that I deeply admire Jamie’s bold decision to open up so publicly about what she believes in, and about a topic sure to bring controversy. However, one of the great benefits about being a blogger is the ability to share your ideas and opinions with others. While I know that some may not agree with me, the following reflects my opinion on the topic of Attachment Parenting and I appreciate your willingness to allow me to share my thoughts. I hope to create a healthy and respectful discussion among those who choose to comment.
Let me start with a bit of background information; Attachment Parenting, supported by Dr. Sears and his book, The Baby Book, is a way for parents to create a nurturing, loving and respectful relationship with their children starting from infancy. Parents co-sleep with their children and do not believe in letting babies “cry it out.” Mothers nurse until their child decides he/she is ready to self-wean. Only positive discipline is used and parents practice what they believe is the “golden rule” of parenting; parents should treat their children the way they want to be treated. By doing so their intended goal is to build a strong bond and create a safe haven for their child and a relationship built off of mutual respect. The question I have been asking myself is while Attachment Parenting creates an undeniable bond between child and parent, does it also result in a child being too dependent or unprepared for the real world?
If a child is not able to learn to self sooth and is used to living in an environment of “yes,” then what tools are they taught for handling the many adversities in life? Will the child not have the self coping skills to handle a future break-up or a professional set back? Will a lack of discipline or experience of disappointment result in a child who holds the expectation that everyone should cater to his or her needs? Is Attachment Parenting feeding in to parents who may feel insecure about their child not “needing” them?
Once again, to each is their own.
I have just recently begun learning about Attachment Parenting and am curious about the effects. Being a parent truly is the most difficult and rewarding job on the planet. There is no right or wrong way to parent, and of course it boils down to what works best for each family. Personally, I do not agree with the practices advocated by Attachment Parenting and have chosen to raise my children using the foundations of other parenting techniques. A few books I have enjoyed and have taken many lessons from seem to reflect opposing values of Attachment Parenting, The Price of Privilege and The Blessing of A Skinned Knee.
Wendy Mogul, Ph.D. author of the The Blessing of A Skinned Knee, is a clinical psychologist and a lecturer whom I’ve had the pleasure of listening to here in Manhattan Beach. In her book she talks about teaching respect for adults, avoiding over-scheduling and over-protection, developing independence and self-control any many other important topics.
What I have learned the most from her is that I am doing more for my child by not running and catering to their every need or cry. I do consciously think about each situation and whether they can figure out their own resolution. I’ve learned not to underestimate them, they are smart and capable. Afterall that’s what I have been working towards and will continue to by setting structure and boundaries as a parent.
The Price of Privilege by Madeline Levine, Ph.D. is another one of my favorite parenting books that I highly recommend.She discusses the cultural toxins and how well intended, but misguided, parents can actually be compromising their childs healthy well-being by giving them everything without any reason to earn it. Sometimes too much can really be too much. She offers her advice and tools to help redirect the child into developing a healthy sense of self, awareness of peer pressure and to maintain the confidence to make their own right decisions.
I truly believe it is our responsibility to raise our children to be prepared for the real world, capable to one day leave the nest with independence, confidence and the competence to make their own decisions. I agree with the goal of Attachment Parenting; to create a strong sense of love and closeness between parent and child. However, I also believe children thrive on structure and need to be provided with a foundation to develop independence, motivation and an “I can do” attitude. Parenting is a difficult job in and of itself, but I believe as long as there is a healthy dose of love and good intent behind any technique or philosophy, we are doing something right.
I would LOVE to open this topic of discussion up for comments and a RESPECTFUL debate!
What are your thoughts on Attachment Parenting?
There are many philosophies on parenting. Which philosophies, techniques and books have you found to be helpful?