Attachment Parenting VS WHAT??
Every time I think of the concept of “Attachment Parenting” my blood pressure boils. As a mom and a professional, I am so insulted and infuriated by this coined term. To label a parenting style in this manner means that any other style would mean “Unattached Parenting” and this notion is ridiculous.
I’m not here to bash Attachment Parenting because this is a parenting style that works for many families. However, it is
not always the best for every family, every child, every parent or every situation. The claims made that any other parenting style is
harming our children or breaking the bond between baby and parent or even worse, nurturing unattached and unconnected children who will grow up without empathy, caring, security or confidence is ludicrous.
Our society needs to understand that what might be right for one family is not right for the other. The “Attachment Parenting” world has such big views and big voices about their parenting style
but to make others feel terrible about the parenting style they choose, is unfair. As a mother, who had 3 children under 16 months (singleton and twins) and a husband who worked 14 hours a day with no support or finances to get support, there was no way I could possibly use the “Attachment Parenting” approaches suggested today. I was the ONLY care provider for my children and to baby-wear, breastfeed on demand, bed-share and try to get at least 3 hours of sleep per day were impossible. I needed to have a rigid schedule and routine to ensure that my children were fed, cleaned and healthy. Now does this mean, because I did this my children were not loved? Absolutely NOT! I was with my children all day, every day. We hugged and kissed all the time, we snuggled on the floor, we played together at home and at the park, we ate every meal together, we spent every waking moment together AND WE STILL DO! The bond between my daughters and I is so strong that I still have trouble cutting the apron strings as they grow older. However, when it was time to feed, they ate and when it was time to sleep, they slept in their own crib. I didn’t run to every cry because guess what, the other twin baby was crying and needed
my attention at that moment. Or the twins would cry and I was helping my toddler who was sick with fever. Or everyone was crying and I had to leave the room for a moment because I was crying too! I dare any person out there to tell me I was
a bad mother. I dare any person to challenge my bond, caring, nurturing and LOVE for my children. My oldest daughter is now 13 and my twins are 12. They are compassionate, kind, loving, intelligent, patient, generous and we still do things together every day.
I am so tired of hearing that “Attachment Parenting” is BEST for baby and is BEST for Mommy. I see clients every day feeling the exact same pressures I did to be the perfect mother. To be able to wear baby all day, sleep with baby all night and hold them in between. I see the anxiety, the depression and the feel of failure because they feel they are harming their baby and breaking the bond and risking raising a criminal because they need to sleep, they need their baby in their own crib, they need to eat but haven’t been able to because they have been holding baby for the last 6 months.
Attachment Parenting is NOT for everyone. Our society and the professionals and individuals out there pushing their parenting style down everyone’s throat is unfair and very judgemental. If you
are an Attachment Parent and this style is working for you and your family, this is wonderful! But please stop making your friend feel bad because she’s not. Stop posting mean comments on social media to families who chose to sleep train their child for whatever reason. You never know what kind of day someone is having and reading or hearing a comment about their parenting style could be
what pushes them over the edge.
The reason why this is such a hot topic is because it’s a debate. It has been a debate for the last 60 years and it will be a debate for the next 60 years. There is no 1 way to lose weight, there is no 1
way to bake a cake and there is no 1 way to parent a child.
I leave you with a final message. If you are a parent out their torn between how to parent your child, keep this in mind…
1. show love and compassion to your baby
2. Touch, hug and kiss your baby as often as possible every day for the rest of their life
3. Enjoy every waking moment with your baby spending quality time together
4. Encourage your baby to explore his world and learn skills that will help him grow and thrive as a young child and adult
5. Be present in your baby’s life through emotional, verbal and
These are the steps to successful parenting!
I call it the "Nurture Parenting" Approach!
Julie van Kessel
4/10/2013 04:55:09 pm
Thank you so much for writing this. I live in a very isolated expat community and belong to a diverse group of expat mums from all over the world. There is a woman on the forum who repeated posts how crying it out is an "ethical parenting choice". Her words, not mine. Ethical. How helpful is that to a mom? What is worse, is mums here have husbands that work ridiculous hours and their support system is a plane flight away. They need children that sleep! Not judgements.
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This is a great place to ask your questions. Anything from prenatal to preschool. From feeding to sleeping...ask away!