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Old 11-23-2012, 09:56 AM   #1
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star What Attachment Parenting Is Not...

What AP is Not

Attachment parenting is not a new style of parenting. Attachment parenting is one of the oldest ways of caring for babies. In fact, it's the way that parents for centuries have taken care of babies, until childcare advisors came on the scene and led parents to follow books instead of their babies. Picture your family on a deserted island and you've just delivered a baby. There are no books, advisors, or in-laws around to shower you with child baby- tending advice. The baby B's of attachment parenting would come naturally to you as they have other cultures who have centuries more child-rearing experience and tradition than all of us have.

Attachment parenting is not indulgent parenting. You may hear or worry that being nurturing and responsive to your baby's needs might spoil your baby and set you up for being manipulated manipulated by your baby. This is why we stress that attachment parenting is responding appropriately to your baby's needs, which means knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no." Sometimes in their zeal to give children everything they need, it's easy for parents to give their children everything they want.

Attachment parenting is a question of balance –not being indulgent or permissive, yet being attentive. As you and your baby grow together, you will develop the right balance between attentive, but not indulgent. In fact, being possessive, or a "smother mother" (or father) is unfair to the child, fosters an inappropriate dependency on the parent, and hinders your child from becoming normally independent. For example, you don't need to respond to the cries of a seven-month-old baby as quickly as you would a seven-day-old baby.

As your baby grows, you become more expert in reading her cries, so you can gradually delay your response. Say, for example, you are busy in the kitchen and your seven-month-old is sitting and playing nearby and cries to be picked up. Instead of rushing to scoop your baby up, simply acknowledge your baby and give your baby "it's okay" cues. Because you and your baby are so connected, your baby can read your body language and see that you're not anxious, so you naturally give your baby the message, "No problem, baby, you can handle this." In this way, you're being a facilitator , and because of your close attachment you're actually better able to help your baby delay gratification and ease into independence.

Attachment Tip:
"It's easier for me to say 'no' to my attachment- parented child when she wants a lot of stuff, because I know I have given her so much of myself."

Attachment parenting is not permissive parenting. not control a child. Attachment parents become like gardeners: you can't control the color of the flower or the time of the year it blooms, but you can pick the weeds and prune the plant so that the flower blooms more beautifully. That's shaping. Attachment parents become master behavior-shapers.

Attachment mothering is not martyr mothering. Don't think that AP means baby pulls mommy's string and she jumps. Because of the mutual sensitivity that develops between attached parents and their attached children, parents' response time can gradually lengthen as mother enables the older baby to discover that he does not need instant gratification. Yes, you give a lot of yourself in those early months, but you get back a lot more in return. Attachment-parenting is the best investment you'll ever make -- the best long- term investment you'll ever make, in your child, and yourselves.

"Won't a mother feel tied down by constant baby-tending?"
Mothers do need baby breaks. This is why shared parenting by the father and other trusted caregivers is important. But with attachment parenting, instead of feeling tied down, mothers feel tied together with their babies. Attachment mothers we interviewed described their feelings: "I feel so connected with my baby." "I feel right when with her, not right when we're apart." "I feel fulfilled."

Remember, too, that attachment parenting, by mellowing a child's behavior, makes it easier to go places with your child. You don't have to feel tied down to your house or apartment and a lifestyle that includes only babies.

Attachment parenting is not hard. Attachment parenting may sound like one big give-a-thon. Initially, there is a lot of giving. This is a fact of new parent life. Babies are takers, and parents are givers. One of the payoffs you will soon experience of attachment parenting is one we call mutual giving – the more you give to your baby, the more baby gives back to you. This is how you grow to enjoy your child and feel more competent as a parent. Remember, your baby is not just a passive player in the parenting game. The infant takes an active part in shaping your attitudes, helping you make wise decisions as you become an astute baby-reader.

Attachment parenting may sound difficult, but in the long run it's actually the easiest parenting style. What is "hard" about parenting is the feeling "I just don't know what my baby wants" or "I just can't seem to get through to her." If you feel you really know your baby and have a handle on the relationship, parenting is easier and more relaxed. There is great comfort in feeling connected to your baby. Attachment parenting is the best way we know to get connected. True, this style of parenting takes a tremendous amount of patience and stamina, but it's worth it. Attachment parenting early on makes later parenting easier, not only in infancy but in childhood and teenage years. The ability to read and respond to your baby, carries over into the ability to get behind the eyes of your growing child and see things from her point of view. When you truly know your child, parenting is easier at all ages.

Attachment parenting is not rigid. On the contrary, it has options and is very flexible. Attachment mothers speak of a flow between themselves and their baby; a flow of thoughts and feelings that help a mother pull from her many options the right choice at the right time when confronted with the daily "what do I do now?" baby-care decisions. The connected pair mirror each other's feelings. The baby perceives himself by how the mother reflects his value. This insight is most noticeable in the mother's ability to get behind the eyes of her child and read her child's feelings during discipline decisions. One day our two-year-old, Lauren, impulsively grabbed a carton of milk out of the refrigerator and spilled it on the floor. As Lauren was about to disintegrate, Martha mellowed out the situation and preserved the fragile feelings of a sensitive child and prevented the angry feelings of inconvenienced parents. When I asked how she managed to handle things so calmly, she said, "I asked myself if I were Lauren, how would I want my mother to respond?"

Attachment parenting is not spoiling a child. . New parents ask, "Won't holding our baby a lot, responding to cries, nursing our baby on cue, and even sleeping with our baby create an overly dependent manipulative child?" Our answer is an emphatic no. In fact, both experience and research have shown the opposite. Attachment fosters independence. Attachment parenting implies responding appropriately to your baby; spoiling suggests responding inappropriately. The spoiling theory began in the early part of this century when parents turned over their intuitive childrearing to "experts"; unfortunately, the childcare thinkers at the time advocated restraint and detachment (i.e., formulas for childcare), along with scientifically produced artificial baby milk – "formula" for feeding babies. They felt that if you held your baby a lot, fed on cue, and responded to cries, you would spoil and create a clingy, dependent baby. There was no scientific basis to this spoiling theory, just unwarranted fears and opinions. We would like to put the spoiling theory on the shelf – to spoil forever.

Research has finally proven what mothers have long suspected: You cannot spoil a baby by attachment. Spoiling means leaving something alone, such as putting food on the shelf to spoil. The attachment style of parenting does not mean overindulgence or inappropriate dependency. The possessive parent, or "hover mother," is one who keeps an infant from doing what he needs to do because of her own insecure needs. This has a detrimental effect on both the infants and the parents. Attachment differs from prolonged dependency. Attachment enhances development; prolonged dependency will hinder development.


Read More:
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/att...ng/what-ap-not

--------- Why Do You do attachment parenting or why don't you ? ---------
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: What Attachment Parenting Is Not...

I had no idea my method of parenting came with a title until Time magazine released the controversial cover and the term "AP" went viral. I was grateful to have discovered that there are others out there who practice same/similar methodology that I do when it comes to parenting.

I get a lot of criticism for my parenting style. AP is a lot more demanding on a single mother with no outside-coming-in support, but the truth of the matter is, it definately **IS** worth it. I knew the kind of mother I wanted to be and the kind of family unit I wanted for my future child/children and although God had a different plan for me (to do it on my own) He also gave me the strength to ensure that I was able to be that mother for my son...on my own.

What people on the outside see when they see and hear about my interaction with my son is that I'm "controlled" by him. Yes, I live my life for my son and am present. I'm attentive to his wants and needs. But what they don't understand is that I'm playing the role of two people in my son's life. All too often I hear "you need time for you"...well, surely that may be true to some extent...mom's can always benefit from getting a break from the day to day demands of caring for a child; however, when you're a single mother who puts great priority on your childs emotional and psychological welfare in the formative first five years ... you don't get a break. It's a sacrifice that's well worth it for the child's entire life.

Extended nursing is something that is taboo in this country and I get a lot of snickers and criticism for practicing such with my son; however, what people have to realize is that our society has over sexualized female breasts and God intended the child to receive sustanance from the mother. If such wasn't the case, we would not lactate.

This post mentioned that AP has been around for centuries...it's not new. This is so true. Before the media hype and public awareness for AP went mainstream, I was often told I was a fifties parent. The fact of the matter is, when a woman chooses to have a child, there was a time when that woman was perfectly willing to give up her life and become a mother to her child. Her new title was to be "mom". And "mom" is a very busy woman. She is shadowed by her children everywhere she goes. She cooks, cleans, teaches and nurtures. Her life is dedicated to her children. Children are only young once and "mom" gets "her time" when the child reaches school age (if home schooling isn't going to be practiced). It seems to me that this premise has been lost over the years. The whole feminist ideation of "it takes a villiage" is hogwash in my book. It takes a parent to raise a child. Those who practice AP are those who recognize that the impact a parent has on the child is priceless and you only get one chance to do it. Myself, the imprint I wish to leave on my child is one of love and validation and the sacrifices I make to do that are indeed large, but it's time to focus on my duty as a mother and that is to prepare him for HIS life. I've already lived mine.

Since I had my son I've had a few peers tell me of their own experience (their children being grown now) and expressing to me how they wish they had breastfed longer or that they hadn't felt pressured by society to conform to the "new" parenting methods that include detachment. I'm grateful that I have always been one who thumbs my nose at societal norms and am a non-conformist because as a single mother and enduring all that I have, it would have definately been easier to give in, but my son would have been the innocent victim in the equation.

Bottom line, yes, AP is much easier when you have a united, traditional family unit. Any form of parenting is easier with a 2 parent home; however, when you don't have that "extention cord" to offer your child, the only thing a person can do is concentrate on the bigger picture rather than the present. Sure, in life we can live for the moment...when you don't have a child....but when you have a child, foresight is essential. From the minute that child is born, everything a parent does has an impact on that child's life.

Last edited by MNLoveMySon; 12-29-2012 at 10:40 AM. Reason: Add points
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: What Attachment Parenting Is Not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MNLoveMySon View Post
What people on the outside see when they see and hear about my interaction with my son is that I'm "controlled" by him.
Boy do I hear this one alot, especially from my parents! I think when we are single parents we are already pushed toward some type of modified attachment parenting. Especially if there are no other main players in the child's life.

The extended nursing thing I don't quite get, but to each his own.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: What Attachment Parenting Is Not...

For me, extended nursing is a benefit to my child. Having practiced extensive animal husbandry for most of my life, I understand the reasoning. Humans are not unlike animals when it comes to natural instinct. If you look at animals in the wild, you will see that a mother will nurse her offspring until it demonstrates the ability to thrive on its own and no longer requires the practice. However, animals in captivity are often weaned for personal gain on a premature basis. The animals may adapt, just as humans may adapt, but the longer one is able to allow nature to take its course has its psychological and emotional benefits. Some AP mothers wish they could practice extended nursing; however, their child self weans early, some well before a year of age. Others just take longer. Its circumstantial. My son was born early. His first year was stressful because mine was. These factors play a role in the attachment to the breast and closeness with the mother. You see, because we don't have that "extention cord" (father) in my son's life, I'm a busy woman...my son has no choice but to have to self amuse more often than I would like ("dad" should be there to play with him while mom is busy) during times like making dinner, cleaning this, that or the other, etc., but nursing brings us together. He knows that when he's nursing, he's got my attention and I'm not going anywhere. If there was a supportive and present father in the home, it's highly possible he wouldn't still be nursing. But the bottom line here is that he does and it's because he has a natural need for it. Some children nurse for different reasons and it may not necessarily be for nutrition only...this is where AP comes into play...it's a recognition that a child may have an emotional or psychological need for it as well. The benefit from prolonged nursing is that of the child. They do it, want it, for a reason.
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: What Attachment Parenting Is Not...

Thank you for the wonderful post. Indeed, most people believe that attachment parenting means being weak, submissive parents. However, caring for your child's physical and emotional needs in the most natural way that both humans and animals have been doing so for thousands of years, is certainly not for the weak. Some may argue that having someone else raise your child is the weak option.
The socially adjusted, empathetic and confident children that attachment parenting produces could not be the result of weak and submissive parenting.
As a former latchkey kid who was "raised" by two dysfunctional working parents, I would say that my parents took the easy way out.
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