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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 4 . . .

From Mairi: I was also thinking about something - you can all tell me if it sounds like a wild theory (or possibly just a lame excuse). What about "less attached" children? Fionna (20 months) is now sleeping in our bed (about three times a week), but wouldn't until around 1 1/2 months ago. She never wanted to sleep in my arms. She nursed simply for sustenance (for 17 months), no comfort sucking there. My husband and I used to get our feelings hurt occasionally because Fionna seemed to get annoyed with us for hovering over her. This was the complete opposite of her "very attached" sister. Although we did try to make sure that neither of our children "suffered" from a lack of attention when we brought Fionna home from the hospital, we can't think of anything that we did to bring on the independence and general difference in our children's personalities. So, I guess my point is that I think some parents would possibly be more attached if their child let them. What do you all think?

From MommyBess: This a great topic! I guess I officially fall in between, though I agree with all the AP ideas, unfortunately things aren't always ideal and don't work the way you would like. With my first son I did not breastfeed him but it wasn't because I didn't want to. I had a doctor tell us we had to wean temporarily, and we never got back on track with it I used a Snugli with him until he was too big, never heard of a sling back then but if I had I would have used one. I didn't co-sleep with my oldest, but if we had we both would have slept better. With sons #2 and #3, I did breastfeed until 7 months and 9 months, at that point they were ready and so was I, but son #3 never had a bottle. I used a Snugli again with them, still was not aware of a sling. I co-slept with both of them as newborns through six months, after that I was too worried about their safety, so they slept in a crib in our room until they were sleeping through the night. With son #4, I am still breastfeeding but only at bedtime and that seems to be going away, but we both are okay with this decision. He's still cuddled and loved in the same manner. I use a sling with him about 90% of the time that we are out, using a stroller for places like the mall (with sling if he needs it), for me it's easier to have a place to stash purchases with a stroller and holding son #3's hand. As far as spankings go, NEVER an object but I can't honestly say that the 3 older boys have not had a spanking on an occasion only after other forms of discipline have not worked. But I am in hopes to change that and just purchased Dr. Sears "Discipline" book. I am always with my sons, only having left Lucas with my mother a couple times and once dh's grandmother. I want my kids with me at all times, but now as my 2 oldest boys get older, they are wanting more independence, so as much as I would love to have them with me at all times, they need to be given the freedom to grow. I also believe in homeschooling but do not do it any longer. With 4 boys and a home based business it just wasn't the quality time that I needed to devote to it but they are happy in public school and doing above average, which I like to attribute to their previous homeschooling.

From Schrody2: I think Mairi asked a good question -- what if your children aren't into AP? To me, at least, being AP means providing your children with what they need. Most babies like to be carried in slings and sleep with their parents. But some don't, and a truly AP parent would respect that and put their children's desire for separate sleeping space ahead of the parent's desire to have a warm little baby to sleep with. Although I'll be very sad if any of our future babies don't want to sleep with us, since DH and I both love having DD to snuggle with.

Cath -- I like that definition of detached. I think I was making my definition more like "neglectful" which may be too extreme. I was thinking of my cousin and her sister. My cousin is a fully AP parent, although I'm not sure she even knows such a movement exists. She's still nursing and co-sleeping with her almost two year old daughter, has pretty much never been away from her and is an amazingly patient, caring, loving mother who practices alternative discipline and redirection. Her sister drank and smoke throughout her pregnancy and still does. She takes her baby to smoke-filled bars and leaves her sitting in her carrier on a table while she gets drunk. Now, she's as "detached" as you can get, but is really borderline abusive and completely neglectful. So I'd like to amend my definition of "detached" to be more along the lines of the quote you offered -- someone whose main goal is to have a "convenient" baby that fits in around the edges of their life and disrupts it as little as possible, no matter what the consequences are to the child. The kind of person who would let a one-week-old baby CIO (well, that's clearly abusive, too; make that an 8 week old or older), at the risk of the child never developing trust in their caregivers and learning that communicating the only way she knows how is pointless since no one is listening.

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