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Attachment Parenting

Attached and Detached - There Is a LOT in Between!
From Our AP Forum Archives
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Page 3 . . .

From NancyG: This was a good idea, Cath.

I guess, for me, parenting is such an awesome responsibility that it transcends the physical aspects of feeding, sleeping and diapering and ends up as being all about love and guidance. I truly wanted to practice the physical side of AP but we don't always get what we want.

I would have loved to have breastfed, but it just didn't work. We got help, read everything we could find and tried every method, device and piece of advice from LLL to Sears and it just never happened. So I pumped for five months and had to stop when Sarah began to cry every time she saw me turning on the pump because she knew it meant I couldn't hold her for a long time. Out went the pump, in came the formula.

We tried co-sleeping, but she didn't like being confined and our room isn't big enough for the side car so into the crib she went, monitor on and me sleeping many nights on the floor of her room next to her.

I am a sahm, I am with her every minute of every day. We have had a sitter exactly four times since she was born and it was always my parent's or dh's. I spend most of my days on the living room floor playing ball drop or making a plastic cow moo.

She hated the sling and the carrier, but loved being in her stroller looking up at us, so we acquiesced.

I guess my bottom line is, listening to your child and letting their needs supercede your own is being attached to them in spirit even if not as physically as you would like to be. It's the love with which needs are met that really makes the difference. I would have loved to breastfeed and co-sleep and it breaks my heart that it wasn't happening. But, I realized early on that my little lady had wants of her own that I needed to respect in order to give her the best I could.

I think a truly detached parent is one who puts their needs before those of the child and, therefore, makes their child feel like a second rate citizen instead of a loved and cherished human being.

Thanks for letting me get that out!

From ange: That's ME ME ME . . . not doing a lot of the physical aspects of AP . . . but doing the best I can at loving my baby and doing what I feel is best for him! I like this board because you give wonderful advice and you don't make anyone feel like they are a bad parent as long as their choices are made out of love and well being for their child. It is so important to realize the different spectrums of parenthood! It's also important to remember that all parents grow and change in their parenting styles as they raise their first and following children!

From Cath: Then - At the other end of the spectrum we have DETACHMENT parenting. Here's an excerpt from William Sears' book Nighttime Parenting:

"This is a restrained style of parenting that warns parents against taking cues from their child. The advocates of detachment parenting preach: 'Let the baby cry it out. He has to learn to sleep through the night.' 'Don't be so quick to pick your baby up. You're spoiling her.' 'Get your baby on a schedule. He's manipulating you.' 'Don't let your baby in your bed. You're creating a terrible habit.' Besides being full of negatives, this style of parenting also features quick and easy recipes for difficult problems. For example, when a baby repeatedly awakens during the night, detachment parenting advises, 'Let him cry one hour the first night, forty-five minutes the second night and by the third night, he'll sleep through the night.'

Definitely DETACHED - looks at ways of making the baby as "convenient" as possible without the parents having to invest any long term "real" effort into dealing with challenges. Attachment philosophy shows there are no "quick fix" answers to challenging problems and that the more difficult areas such as sleeping, challenging behaviours etc, require a well thought out and dedicated input. If you put good stuff into your child, you get good stuff in return.

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