Monday, January 9, 2012

Attachment Parenting Part 1/4- Coming out of the Closet!

I am coming out of the closet!... I am a Christian, and I like Attachment Parenting(mumbled under breath)- there, I said it! That feels good, until I get some nasty comments of course ;-). Before you stop reading, give me a few minutes. I enjoy reading "self help books" on marriage and parenting and almost all are written by Christians. I have found that there is often a stigma about the concept of Attachment parenting- a misguided idea of what it means, and that it means the same thing to all people- it does not! I will share with you what I have found in using AP. First off, if your new to the term, Attachment Parenting it is usually explained by the 7 B's. Which are :

1.Birth bonding
2.Breastfeeding
3.Baby wearing
4.Bedding close to baby
5.Belief in the value of baby's cries(their only way to communicate)
6.Beware of baby trainers
7.BALANCE. 

That last one is the one I think is where AP parenting gets its bad wrap from, some parents who practice it- do not know balance and become the "Martyr mom" or "helicopter parent", giving their children everything they want-thinking it is a need.

I don't think I knew anything about Attachment Parenting when I had my first son- I just knew what I liked to do and what would get us sleep- and the apartments around us. I wore my baby because I got more done that way, and had a quiet content baby -babies who are worn in a sling or carrier/carried tend to learn more when they are up with mom seeing what she does-this does not mean you do not allow them to crawl and explore-just another tool in your tool belt. Balance- I think we all have to work on that regardless of what parenting style we choose. Balance when I had a young baby for me, meant that Id allow myself a shower at least every other day, allow myself to eat and drink even if the baby was crying, and allow myself to get out of the house- if I wanted it. My first was a high needs baby, and I did have postpartum depression, but that did not come from AP- AP is what made things better for me, it is what helped me figure out my baby's problems instead of saying" oh well, he will grow out of it- whatever IT is"- No I was going to find out what it is(and what it was, was acid reflux around 8 weeks and lactose intolerance which was discovered around 8 months).

 One of the myths with Attachment parenting is that if you keep your babies close to you, it will foster dependance- it will do the opposite! You teach your child (babies in particular) to be confident by not constantly pushing them to be on their own and in return they become very independent. Sounds backwards? I've seen it work first hand, around 10 months to a year, my formerly difficult baby started to keep himself entertained- ALL DAY, nearly every day. He hardly needed me for anything-give him his toys and let him go to town. Sure part of it may be personality, and age, but I have seen children who are pushed for independence so much and they seem to have the hardest time with separation anxiety. You can have a independent child without this, every child is different-but I found it helps.

Now along with this is the misconception that Attachment parenting means coddling. Absolutely not. The difference between a healthy AP relationship and coddling means that, you do not keep the child close to you because of your own need to fulfill yourself and keep them from experiences or even consequences. You let them experience failure-they cannot always be the winner, you let them experience natural consequences, you don't protect them from their own bad choices- within reason of course(running into the street for instance). AP does not mean you are a permissive parent or do not discipline your child! It means that you have a close attachment/relationship so that when you do talk to them about what they have done wrong, you can have a conversation and instead of them being bitter and closing their heart because mommy does not understand-she never understands. They open it-not always, because they may be really mad they got in trouble for something- but I think it makes them become a little more of a sponge for wisdom.

Part 1 of 3

1 comment:

  1. I love this Ashley!
    I've never heard AP explained like this, but it makes so much sense! We love AP in our home!

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