Saturday, October 02, 2010

Why I am Anti Attachment Parenting

So, I came out before as being anti-attachment parenting. I am sure that didn't sit well with some of you, and I can understand why. Attachment parenting theory is often touted as what "enlightened" and "well-educated" parents do, and as such, it is considered the gold standard in parenting theory in some circles.

In order to understand why I don't believe in attachment parenting theory, I think it is important to understand the origins of the theory. AP grew out of the research done in the first parts of this century that showed that when we neglect kids, they don't turn out well. The theory itself focuses on the importance of early family relationships in helping children develop into healthy individuals, and promotes the idea that emotional disturbance in children is the result of abnormal or inadequate bonding with parents in infancy and early childhood. The abnormal or inadequate bonding is, of course, a result of the consequences of the parent's own childhood experiences of inadequate or abnormal family bonding. The "treatment" to assist a child in developing into a mentally healthy adult is for “the infant and young child should experience a warm, intimate, and continuous relationship with his mother (or permanent mother substitute) in which both find satisfaction and enjoyment.”
There are concepts in the origins of attachment parenting theory with which I agree, and there are things that I are limitations in the theory. For instance, I agree with the idea that attachments in infancy and early childhood are important and often set the standard for how a child will be able to form attachments later in life; a healthy attachment to parents/caregivers is vital to an infant/child's well-being. However, I think to say that children don't form attachments because their parents had messed up attachments as a child is grossly underestimating the many influences on children. The theory itself, is just that: a theory. It is unproven, and some research supports good outcomes when the tenants are practiced, while other research does not support the tenants of the theory.
Currently, when you think of how attachment parenting theory is actually put into practice, you probably have a certain picture come to mind: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, on-demand breastfeeding, stay-at-home parents, etc. Attachment Parenting International is a website that discusses the current practice of AP. According to the website, there are 8 principles of AP. These principles alone do not cause me pause, nor do they seem extreme in their basic concepts. However, when you examine the ways the API says these principles should be "lived out," I start taking issue. Some of the ideas the API promotes as "living out" the AP principles include: 
- breastfeeding on demand and "comfort nursing", or in the case of those who do not breastfeed, bottle feed on-demand and avoid schedules
- form your schedule around your child's "natural inner rhythms"
-"High levels of stress, such as during prolonged crying, cause a baby to experience an unbalanced chemical state in the brain and can place him at risk for physical and emotional problems later in life" and should be avoided
- "It is perfectly normal for babies to want constant physical contact " and physical contact should be maintained as much as possible (baby wearing)
- tantrums are "normal" and the parent's role should be to comfort a child who is having a tantrum
- co-sleeping (in the same room) and bed-sharing (in the same bed) are encouraged until your child no longer expresses interest in the practice
- separation greater than 2 nights should be avoided until a child is at least 3 years old
- "Daycare situations that exceed twenty hours a week can be extremely stressful and detrimental to the long-term health of children under the age of thirty months. In-home care, either by a trusted caregiver or parent, is preferable."
- follow the child's lead with regard to readiness to separate
- "Explore a variety of economic and work arrangement options to permit your child to be cared for by one or both parents at all times"
- "Studies show that spanking and other physical discipline techniques can create ongoing behavioral and emotional problems"
- "Attachment Parenting incorporates the "golden rule" of parenting; parents should treat their children the way they would want to be treated"
- "Positive Discipline involves using such techniques as prevention, distraction, and substitution to gently guide children away from harm"
- "Resolve problems together in a way that leaves everyone's dignity intact"
- "Discipline through play"
- "Consider carefully before imposing the parent's will"
- "Use logical consequences sparingly and with compassion"
The API states on their website that "The long-range vision of Attachment Parenting is to raise children who will become adults with a highly developed capacity for empathy and connection," implying that parenting with a different method predisposes your child to be emotionally disconnected and heartless. Dr. Sears, probably the biggest proponent of attachment parenting in the US, writes on his website that "Attachment parenting is a style of caring for your infant that brings out the best in the baby and the best in the parents" and the goals of attachment parenting are to raise a "connected" child, implying that other methods of parenting result in children and parents who do not meet their full potential and are never fully "connected" to each other.


However, when I look at the results of putting attachment parenting principles into action, I don't see that these goals are met, let alone met more consistently because of the particular parenting philosophy being used.


When I examine these ideas, I am left with the impression that the parent is not there to guide, direct, teach, train, educate, and prepare their child for active participation in the world and society around them, but rather to indulge and gratify (as quickly as possible) their child and create a co-dependent relationship with their child. And that is probably my biggest reason that I am anti-attachment parenting: I have never seen it work!


John and I agree that of the parents we know who use attachment parenting principles, we don't enjoy spending time with most of the adults and have even stronger feelings of preventing our kids from spending too much time with their kids. These are very nice, well-educated, well-off, well-meaning, loving parents, and I am not judging whether AP is working for them, their children, or their family. What I am saying is that I don't like spending time with them, and even more so, I don't like spending time with their children. Why? Because consistently, their children behave in ways my children would never be allowed to behave. I am not saying their kids are "bad" but rather that they have raised children who are rewarded for behaviors I would not tolerate from my children. These observations started before I had my own children (I babysat a lot and had opportunities to observe a variety of parenting methods) and continued over the past 8 years of parenting.


What kind of behaviors have I observed? Well, for those parents who have infants, I know that none of them have children who are "good sleepers," and several have babies who are still waking up several times a night- even at the one year mark- to nurse/eat. The babies consistently over-eat, and the breastfeeding moms are constantly expected to whip out the boob at the slightest indication of hunger or discontent in their baby; bottle-feeding parents constantly have a bottle at the ready. The parents are always 100% aware of where the pacifier or bottle is, and these are the primary tools used to comfort the baby; baby cannot fall asleep without a bottle/breast, and needs to be held, driven, or put in the swing to stay asleep. The babies are not comfortable with anyone other than mom (and maybe occasionally dad) and do not want to interact with others, not even their own siblings.


Toddlers are generally clingy, whiny, and demand attention from their parents at all times. They exhibit little to no ability to play independently, even for short periods of time. They are late potty-trainers, and generally make diaper changing an unpleasant experience for everyone involved. They have tantrums frequently and are generally not very fun to be with in public because they are loud, distracting, and have no control over their behavior. They are picky eaters and whine, cry, or tantrum during meal times. They don't sleep well at night, and scream when they are put down for a nap, or demand that mom/dad stay with them while they fall asleep. Even if they fall asleep in their own room (which is rare), they consistently make their way into mom and dad's bed at night. They are often very jealous of younger siblings and have little interest in playing with older siblings or friends. They are "attention hogs."


Pre-school and school age children... again, poor sleepers, often tired during the day because they have spent all night trying to sleep next to mom who is trying to also sleep next to her younger kids. They don't have a close relationship with younger siblings and often struggle to gain mom's attention away from the younger kids. Picky eaters, whiny, few friends, little ability to engage appropriately with peers in play or school setting.


Again, these are just my observations, and I am sure there are kids who are the product of AP who are not this way. However, I look at the principles of AP, and I can see how these behaviors are the product of those principles.


The way I see it is this: AP principles place emphasis on making your child "feel good." Gratification, limitless attention, limitless access to parents... these are all purported to improve the "connection" between parents and children, which in turn is supposed to help your child feel loved, and from there help them develop into caring and compassionate individuals. But I think this is just as likely to lead to children who believe that the whole world revolves around them.


Ultimately, I also think that the issues I have with AP have to do with the goals of the philosophy. There are many things that I want for my children, and certainly, I want them to feel loved and connected/bonded/attached to me- I want them to be compassionate and caring individuals. But I also want them to be deeply connected to their siblings. I want them to focus on becoming productive members of the society in which they are a part, and to use their productivity to benefit those who need a champion. I want them to be able to think for themselves, to question, to make good decisions, to love learning, to stand up for the defenseless, to stand up for themselves, and to be able to form healthy and rewarding connections with others. I don't think the AP methods help my children achieve these goals.


Additionally, I think AP parents have a harder time enforcing limits with their children. In my opinion, the goal of limits (rules) is to help a child behave in the way that is safe and acceptable until they are able to think and reason for themselves whether a certain behavior is safe and appropriate. This takes a long time and quite a bit of maturity for a child to do... they need to be able to understand the long-term consequences of their behavior before they will make good decisions about the appropriateness of their behavior. Therefore, limits are necessary, and when limits are clear and consistently enforced, kids usually respond well to them and simply adopt them as part of how they behave (of course, we do have one very strong-willed child who makes this more difficult at times...) However, AP parents generally report that they feel bad when they enforce rules because it makes their child mad, sad, or otherwise want to "withdraw." Since that is the opposite of what AP parents are trying to achieve, the kids don't have limits enforced, and effectively run the household.


From a totally different view of things... part of why I don't think AP is ideal is because I don't see the practice in other cultures or even in history. Have people historically and in other cultures breastfed? Sure! Has it been "on demand"? Well, generally not, since most people historically and in other cultures don't have the luxury of just dropping what they are doing to feed the baby... kind of hard to just put down that jug of water you are lugging 10 miles to breastfeed your baby, or to stop churning the butter to feed the baby... Have people co-slept with their kids? Sure! But not so that their baby would feel loved, but rather because there was no where else to put them, it was too cold, or they needed to know when to change the baby's diaper; they certainly didn't do it once the child was older. Have people used slings and carriers? Absolutely! But not out of a desire to be physically within reach of their child at all times... simply out of convenience... It's much easier to keep your kid safe strapped to your back while you are working in the field than to leave it somewhere- and people did and do leave their kids with caregivers (other parents, grandparents, etc) in a variety of cultures/times. Older siblings often cared for younger siblings while parents attended to household and work duties.


Even Biblical, I see little to no evidence of AP standards... not only in the parenting practices of Biblical characters, but also in the ways that God as "Father" treats us as His children. Does God make sure we always understand why He is doing what He is doing? Does He reason with us when we don't like something? Does He attend to our every desire, whim, or wish? God promises to supply our needs, but He is the one who determines what we "need." Does God make sure that we feel loved and respected at each moment of our lives? Is God more concerned with our ability to feel loved or our ability to obey? For that matter, is God more concerned with our emotions or our actions?


As for actual AP practices, some of them I simply cannot agree with. On-demand breastfeeding was the worst thing I have ever done in my life as a parent... it nearly destroyed me and certainly left Abigail anything but happy and content. When I switched to parent-directed feeding, I became happier, healthier, and better able to meet my child's needs, and out of that my child became happier, healthier, more pleasant, and better at communicating her needs. Abigail slept better when we weren't co-sleeping, which meant I slept better. I never carried Abigail much in a sling or carrier, simply because it was uncomfortable for me, and she preferred to be held by a variety of people. Despite my lack of AP parenting, Abigail turned out as a wonderful, interactive, loving, compassionate (bleeding heart, truth be told) child with a great capacity for empathy. Bonding and attaching with Anna was different, and my parenting methods were different because of our more unique situation of toddler adoption. But even still, I did not use AP principles, and Anna is securely attached and loving. Moreover, I consistently receive complements from other parents, teachers, and non-parent adults that my children are pleasant to be around... that they like when their kids spend time with my kids because my kids are so much fun and so well-behaved... that my kids make the classroom setting better... that my kids are respectful and empathetic, while also learning how to be appropriately assertive. My kids are never without a playmate, and Abigail makes friends so easily that I am a wee bit jealous (Anna is very shy, so it's harder for her to make friends, but it's not because other kids don't like her.) My kids share a great relationship with each other and count each other as a great friend, although they do have times when they don't want to be with each other (it's going to happen more and more as they get older, I imagine.) I am not saying this to brag (although, I do love my kids and I am very proud of them) but rather to show that AP is not the be-all, end-all of parenting theory.


Overall, AP does not make sense to me on many different levels, and I personally have not seen evidence that it is effective in raising the type of children I want to have. While I certainly think that some of the practices of AP can be useful as guides in helping parents learn to respond to their children, and while I believe that truly knowing your child and having good communication with them is important, I simply cannot buy into the rest of the AP principles. If other parents chose to use AP as their primary method of parenting, that's fine with me... they are the ones who have to live with their kids, not me! And if AP works for their family, that's great for them. But it doesn't work for us, nor do I believe it truly "works" for most people, especially when examining the long-term consequences of the method.


I am not alone in thinking this. If you want to explore alternative viewpoints on AP theories and the consequences of using AP methods, you might want to consider reading a few of the following:

The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children


Spoiling Childhood: How Well-Meaning Parents Are Giving Children Too Much - But Not What They Need

 

On Becoming Baby Wise

 

Or this brief article: Why a Homebirth Couple Said NO to Attachment Parenting

 

Please note: I am not saying that any of these books/articles have everything right, simply that they offer a different perspective.

20 comments:

Melissa said...

Kudos to you for writing on something so controversial... I wholeheartedly agree with you. I mean, of course I think attachment is important, and admittedly I do indulge my guy in some of those ways, but I also ensure that boundaries and expectations are enforced. What good does constant coddling do to anyone? All it does it set a person up with unrealistic expectations of everyone they encountered. Attaching? Good? Spoiling? Not so much.

ruthie said...

Great post! As a family counselour who deals with parents who have difficulties with their children, I have heard and seen a lot. One thing is, attachment is important. However, attachment doesn't mean your child is going to be "happy" all the time (ie. catering everything to him), it means he is loved, heard, and appreciated. That's why I like Gordon Neufeld's book 'Hold on to Your Kids." It speaks about the importance of attachment to help your kids be happier, and make better decisions, etc. It is not Attachment Parenting, but helping your children become better attached...if that make sense.

And feeding on demand... oh brother.

Anonymous said...

All of the AP folks I know are also about setting boundaries that work for mom/baby, working towards non-violent means of discipline and meeting a babies basic needs. I'm not sure who you are specifically speaking about but I've met permissive parents who schedule their children and allow them to do whatever they want, it's not a theory that causes that it's a lack of parenting.
If you google Gary Ezzo (author of Babywise) this is the first site that pops up http://www.ezzo.info/ there are some real concerns here from concerns on his feeding advice (failure to thrive anyone?) to his discipline tactics.
Feeding on demand is one of the most selfless things I've done as a human being, it's hard and tiresome but it's completely rewarding knowing that my child is/was getting what she needs nutritionally. >off soapbox<

graceling said...

Anon-

That's great that on-demand feeding worked for you and your baby.

When I breastfed my daughter, it did not work. She was barely gaining weight, couldn't sleep, and I lost so much weight so quickly from the stress that my body was, literally, failing me (I look like I have cancer in pictures from that time...) When I changed to parent-directed feeding, my daughter and I both thrived... soley on breastmilk, my daughter tripled her birth weight by the time she was 6 months old (generally a milestone met at the 1 year mark) and was a happy, content baby. You could literally see the difference, not only in the chubbiness that she gained, but in her coloring, her energy level, and her satisfaction after eating. If I had continued to feed on-demand, I know she and I both would have ended up having serious health problems--- or we would have given up entirely and switched to the bottle. The rewards you gained from on-demand feeding were completely lacking for me, but seeing my daughter gain weight and transform into a truly healthy baby through PDF was extremly rewarding for me. In fact, I breatfed almost exclusively for 9 months until my baby became interested in food, and then continued to breatfeed until she was 18 months old. PDF worked for us- even through many challenges (divorce, working full-time, going to school full-time, etc) that I faced while she was breastfeeding.

I personally do not know anyone who used the Babywise/PDF method and had anything but good results, although I think there are all sorts of people who have all sorts of results with EVERY method/approach to breastfeeding. Clearly, my experiences with on-demand feeding had horrible results- I am sure some parents who try PDF also have horrible results. Ultimately, meeting the needs of the baby in a way that also allows mom and the family to have their needs met is what is most important. But to imply that a baby's nutritional needs can be met only through an on-demand method of breastfeeding is erroneous.

Obviously, different methods work for different parents and different children. And as I said, if AP works for other people, that's great for them. I have yet to see it produce the kind of children I want to have, and that is why it doesn't work for me.

As for concerns about Ezzo's advice on discipline, I would encourage you to look at some of the other anti-attachment parenting resources; the AP methods of "discipline" (or, according to some- lack thereof) are not without their detractors. I have not read Ezzo's books beyond Babywise (which focuses on PDF and sleep training, not discipline.) However, from what I have read in the preface of his book and other online sources, I think Ezzo is likely to have advice/methods that align with my own parenting methods. But again, I parent in a way that helps my children develop into the people I hope they become... AP methods are designed with a different goal of parenting than my own parenting goals.

graceling said...

Anon-

That's great that on-demand feeding worked for you and your baby.

When I breastfed my daughter, it did not work. She was barely gaining weight, couldn't sleep, and I lost so much weight so quickly from the stress that my body was, literally, failing me (I look like I have cancer in pictures from that time...) When I changed to parent-directed feeding, my daughter and I both thrived... soley on breastmilk, my daughter tripled her birth weight by the time she was 6 months old (generally a milestone met at the 1 year mark) and was a happy, content baby. You could literally see the difference, not only in the chubbiness that she gained, but in her coloring, her energy level, and her satisfaction after eating. If I had continued to feed on-demand, I know she and I both would have ended up having serious health problems--- or we would have given up entirely and switched to the bottle. The rewards you gained from on-demand feeding were completely lacking for me, but seeing my daughter gain weight and transform into a truly healthy baby through PDF was extremly rewarding for me. In fact, I breatfed almost exclusively for 9 months until my baby became interested in food, and then continued to breatfeed until she was 18 months old. PDF worked for us- even through many challenges (divorce, working full-time, going to school full-time, etc) that I faced while she was breastfeeding.

I personally do not know anyone who used the Babywise/PDF method and had anything but good results, although I think there are all sorts of people who have all sorts of results with EVERY method/approach to breastfeeding. Clearly, my experiences with on-demand feeding had horrible results- I am sure some parents who try PDF also have horrible results. Ultimately, meeting the needs of the baby in a way that also allows mom and the family to have their needs met is what is most important. But to imply that a baby's nutritional needs can be met only through an on-demand method of breastfeeding is erroneous.

Obviously, different methods work for different parents and different children. And as I said, if AP works for other people, that's great for them. I have yet to see it produce the kind of children I want to have, and that is why it doesn't work for me.

As for concerns about Ezzo's advice on discipline, I would encourage you to look at some of the other anti-attachment parenting resources; the AP methods of "discipline" (or, according to some- lack thereof) are not without their detractors. I have not read Ezzo's books beyond Babywise (which focuses on PDF and sleep training, not discipline.) However, from what I have read in the preface of his book and other online sources, I think Ezzo is likely to have advice/methods that align with my own parenting methods. But again, I parent in a way that helps my children develop into the people I hope they become... AP methods are designed with a different goal of parenting than my own parenting goals.

Jaci said...

You know, if this entire post wasn't dripping with an "I'm better than you" attitude and a very judgmental tone throughout, it might have been relatively okay.

No, wait. It wouldn't.

You make the incorrect assumption that people who practice AP drop everything to meet the demands of their children. AP is child-focused, NOT child-centered. If you have trouble making the distinction then you have no business writing such an ignorant piece.

Shame on you as well for posting downright hateful comments about your "friends". Saying "What works for us" is one thing, saying "I do not like my friends or their children because they practice AP" is a completely different ballgame.

graceling said...

Oh Jaci, your comment made me laugh out loud! This is great!

First, I love that you call me judgemental, and yet it is you who uses the phrase "shame on you"... it is you who actually condems what I am saying and passes judgement on me as "ignorant" whereas I simply express why I don't think AP works, and why I know it doesn't work for my family, never condeming anyone or the practice itself. That really amuses me more than it should.

Second, my blog, my thoughts, my ideas... my corner of the Internet, and my place to express my (well-reasoned, well-informed and well thought-out) opinions. My post is okay... maybe it's just not okay with you. And that is fine with me. You don't need to read my blog, or comment on it, especially if you find it so offensive. And I certainly feel no need for your approval of my thoughts or opinions. So, it's more then "relatively okay." It's great. I love this post, and I don't really care if you don't.

Third, I make no assumptions about people who practice AP. I do quote principles and interpretations of how those principles should be applied from the API website as well as share personal observations of people practicing AP and my own explanation of behaviors I observe, but I certainly don't assume anything about the people who practice AP. I do state that the AP theory does not help me meet my parenting goals, and your verbage about child-focused vs. child-centered (which I do not know the difference between, to be quite honest, nor do I care) supports exactly that... my method of parenting is family-centered, future-oriented, and based on meeting specific goals that my husband and I have for our children, family, and ourselves. AP probably works for parents whose goal is to be child-focused. And that is great for them. I just probably won't end up inviting them over for play dates very often, because we value different things and have very different goals.

Fourth, I am not sure what "hateful" things I say about my friends...? The exact words I use to describe my friends are this: very nice, well-educated, well-off, well-meaning, loving parents. I do state that I don't really like spending time with their kids (and as a result, don't like spending time with them) but that is certainly far from "hateful." I mean, I love my grandpa, but I don't like spending a lot of time with him because he refers to my adopted child as "colored," and while I know that he does not mean that to be hurtful or annoying, it still kind of is. But I never state that I don't like my friends or their kids. I can only imagine that somehow my lack of "approval" of their AP practices translated to a lack of approval of them in your mind.

Fifth, my entire post is about why AP doesn't work for me, and I repeatedly say- hey, if it works for you, that's fine, because it's your family and your children and your choices... but AP doesn't work for me or my family. Not sure how you missed that.


P.S. I really love the part of your comment where you say "Shame on you." Every time I read it I laugh- I can't help it! The hubby really liked that part, too:)

P.P.S. I love how both "negative" comments on here are from people who are anonymous/not linked to a profile. Isn't it interesting how anonymity makes people feel powerful enough to judge me personally... not my thoughts about AP, but me as a person? Very amusing. I love the Internet!

Anonymous said...

AP parents are raising a bunch of self indulgent and self centered jerks. I cannot stand being around children that have been raise this way (and I have plenty of friends that have adopted this method). I have one that has a son 9 days older than mine, and all he does is whine and cry and keep her up all night. Mine is a happy, well-adjusted little guy that sleeps 13 hours a night.
These people are in for a rude awakening when their kids become teenagers. Unless of course, they homeschool and keep them sheltered from the outside world. I cannot imagine what these kids will be like when they become adults...

Elizabeth said...

I realize that you do not know me and that I'm reading this post several months after it was written, but I just had to say that it was very well-written. Lately my Facebook page has been bombarded with "Attachment Parenting is the best for your child" and "Babywise will harm your child" articles so I went looking for something to back up my own position (and wound up blogging to defend myself) and found this. There really aren't many thoughtful, well-researched articles pointing out the flaws with many of the ways in which attachment parenting is implemented. Great points and I plan on checking out the articles you linked to.

Anonymous said...

Same a Elizabeth here, so glad you wrote an article I can share with others. This is one of the more balanced articles I've read against AP.

I thought you addressed the weaknesses of AP well without making it personal.

My exposure to AP has been helping moms when AP that didn't work, oh the stories! One mom's son was so demand attention that she had to vacume with him standing on her feet while nursing; another mom suffered PPD to the point of medication bc of her 'velcro baby' nursing 24/7 so she was completely sleep deprived and neurologlically exhausted; and another mom's son was so sleep prop dependant that they had to wire child gates together as a big cage around his bed to keep him from wandering at night, forget trainging him to stay in bed, a cage? Wow.

All of those parents believed in re-direction instead of discipline and their littles ones ruled the roost and ruled them. Out the window went the husband-wife relationship.

We have 7 children who all thrived on PDF! There is abosolutely NO connection between FFT and BW, there is only heresay, no data.

I have had two sleep experts and pediatricians ask what we do so they can share it with other parents. One RN saw our family at a social gathering and unbeknownest to us was watching our littles (then ages newborn to 3) and came up to tell us, as a developmental specialist who is hired by hospitals to assess FTT babies, she was amazed at how secure and happy our 3 month old was and how his older siblings happily interacted with him, and wanted to know what we were doing. She had all this cool developmental stuff to share about how he was beyond his age developmentally and mentally, it was so cool!

We ain't better than anyone else, we just happened to be blessed with the Prep for Parenting material years ago.

Thanks again for a great article.

Lovethem
P.S. I'm only anonymous bc I don't use FB, google and the other accounts listed.

ClingingVine said...

I'm suing. You read my mind when writing this article!

Elizabeth said...

Just wanted to say thanks for this well written post. I'm a new mother with a sister-in-law that is very pro-attachment parenting. She likes to imply how I should be raising my son differently and more like her. What you said totally hit home as to why I too am against attachment parenting! Thanks!

theundertoad.com said...

"...we don't enjoy spending time with most of the adults and have even stronger feelings of preventing our kids from spending too much time with their kids."

Thank you. I'm seriously considering writing a dissertation on the long term consequences of this out-of-control trend. I feel like those of us who are young, but seemingly so "old fashioned" are few and far between. Great to find a ally here.

The UnderToad

The Sweet Shop Boutique said...

This is amazing. I was someone who was interested in going the homebirth route, and by doing so was introduced (and almost "indoctrinated") into this concept of parenting. It made the first few weeks of parenting very difficult and guilt ridden for me. Life has been much happier since I have given up the idea of meeting these standards!

Nechetskys said...

Beautifully written! I Googled "anti-attachment parenting" and this is one of the results I found. It's so difficult trying to deal with mothers who use this style of parenting because they are so judgmental and constantly make me feel guilty and second-guess myself. The fact is, just as is the case with your children, people (including complete strangers in restaurants) often compliment us on how well-behaved our children are (and they're 17 months old right now) and also...how happy they seem. I have friends who do the attachment parenting either as a conscious choice or by default (because they're too afraid to stand their ground with their child) and the children have turned out horribly so far. They (the children themselves) are completely in control and everything is a total mess. If attachment parenting is so effective, why are there more spoiled, self-entitled children than ever before??? I'm so over it!!! Anyway...thanks for writing this. It's good to know I'm not the *only* one who feels this way...

Unknown said...

A big thank you from Sweden!

Amanda said...

Thank you for writing this article. I just read it aloud to my husband and we couldn't agree with you more. You wrote everything that we had been thinking and observing about AP. We have been using Parent directed feeding with our now one year old boy and have seen incredible results. Thank you so much for being brave and saying out loud what we have been thinking for awhile. I know you probably have gotten a lot of flack for writing this... but thank you for taking one for the team. : )

Amanda said...

Thank you for writing this post. It has been everything that I have been thinking and observing myself about AP. It is so taboo to disagree with that style of parenting out loud. I applaud you for doing just that.

seventytw0dpi said...

Thank you for the great post! I've been looking for other people who have the same thoughts as me and it has been hard to find. You elegantly said everything I want to about AP. I'll check out those articles you mentioned, thanks!!!

Jesika Mitchell said...

http://hippiehousewife.blogspot.com/2011/07/attachment-parenting-christian.html
This is an appropriate and has actual biblical relevance to attachment parenting.
I thought this was more appropriate explanation of attachment parenting with scriptures that support it.
I'm obviously not a fan of this post. I know and am one a many families that practice attachment parenting techniques and I've received nothing but high remarks regarding my children's behaviors.
I on the other hand am a child of a family that practiced detachment parenting and was disciplined without explanation, could not cope with my emotions, left unloved and constantly rejected. So these old fashioned ways are not something I want passed down to my children. It is only by the true Grace of God that I'm here today and am able to have such precious miracles. I'm not the only one who has suffered because of this type of parenting. I found God who was full of grace and I didn't look towards research or studies to test theories of parenting techniques I looked in His word and I found love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and peace.

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