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Attachment Parenting

Attached and Detached - There Is a LOT in Between!
From Our AP Forum Archives
Confused by the archive abbreviations? Click here to check out the acronym list from our boards!

From Cath: I have seen some incredible examples of the "attachment-detachment spectrum" parenting in the past 24 hours. At work yesterday there was a woman with a couple of children and a baby. She was trying to fill out some forms and answer some questions and her kids were running riot. Every time they approached her to ask for something or to get a hug, she hit them pushed them off her knee, plonked them on the floor etc. She had the infant in her arms, facing away from her with a bottle absentmindedly jabbed into its mouth and she was not even looking at her baby.

In another part of the office was a mother and father and their newborn in his stroller. The baby was drifting off to sleep and the mother was filling out her forms with one hand while gently rocking the stroller back and forth.

A little later a mother came in with her baby, asked someone to warm a bottle for her and sat her baby in the stroller to feed her bottle to her. She was smiling and cooing at her baby and looking very lovingly towards him.

A couple of mothers had their babies in front carriers and breastfed or held them in their arms whilst they filled their forms in.

Another mother with an 8 week old baby was having a great deal of trouble getting her baby to settle so she could fill out her forms and concentrate on her interview and she was relieved when a staff member asked if she cold hold the baby while she concentrated on what she was doing. She said "Thanks sooo much - she loves being held,"

So what's the point of showing all these scenarios?

Just to say that I would not call ALL of them "attached" but nor would I consider them 'detached" with the exception of the first mother who was most definitely detached! (yuk)

I am interested in what people here consider to be "detached" as compared to "just mainstream-but-not-AP" because as I said, my take on it is that it's a spectrum with AP at one end, DP at the other and a range of approaches in between. And as we have pointed out in many many previous discussions just because WE chose AP doesn't mean we believe "mainstream" parents are detached or bad parents!

From Gayesy: Very interesting examples, Cath. It is so true that parenting style is not just black or white. It is not a matter of AP or DP, as you say.

I have a friend (the mother of Thomas's little girlfriend! ) who is expecting her second child in a few weeks, and she is not AP, but she is certainly not in any way "detached". She did not co-sleep with her first child (she slept in a bassinet, then cot and now a bed), but never left her to CIO, and does still take her into bed with her when she is sick or in need of extra cuddles (or when her husband is on night duty at work!! ). She did not breastfeed, but not because she couldn't be bothered. She had problems and tried to get help, but was told that there was no one who would help her! She is determined to breastfeed her new baby, and I will be there to help her as much as I can. She didn't use a sling or snuggly, but only because she didn't find one that was comfy (I am going to lend her mine this time). She does not hit her child, does not force her into toilet training, etc, and does treat her with respect. So even though "technically" she couldn't be described as AP (because the usual features of extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, sling wearing etc don't apply), she is certainly very far from DP! She and I get along really well, because we both see children as a gift to be treasured rather than controlled and somehow made "convenient".

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