Sunday, November 7, 2010

A late night discussion...

Darn. I was just about to go to bed, at a decent time too, and I had to go on FB one last time. Of course while there I saw this article:

Mother Madness by Erica Jong

And of course now I have to write what I'm thinking.

It's clear from the article that Jong really has no idea of the real theory behind attachment parenting. She is also mixing up other parenting practices that have nothing really to do with attachment parenting, like cloth diapering and making your own baby food (yes, many parents who practice AP do these things, but these have little to do with actual attachment theory, they have more to do with having an ecological conscience or maybe even saving money!). Plus she's also clumping together very different parenting styles {helicopter parenting with attachment parenting} to argue and prove her point. Which is not correct as attachment parenting and helicopter parenting should not even be considered in the same category as they deal with very different things.

{I do not wish to write about the differences right now, perhaps another time when it's not almost midnight I will.}

I can see why it is tempting and appealing to blame the attachment parenting movement for many of the ills parents {mamas in particular} face today. I can see how this could happen, especially for someone who never practiced attachment parenting and who has not seen the benefits first hand. But the truth is that the burdens mothers carry are not caused by the need to meet their children's needs. Instead these burdens are caused by the society we have created where us women have been made to feel that to be seen, to be recognized and to have worth, we need to be like men, that we need to deny and turn away from everything that makes us women {which believe it or not includes the ability to create a child within our bellies and make milk in our breasts}. I believe this and have since the time I could understand these issues {and I was happy to see one of the comments on the article bring this point up}. In order to truly embrace feminism we have to allow women the space and respect to make their choices. Respect and choice. Those are always good things.

Which interestingly is exactly what attachment parenting is about.

One of the things I see people struggling with the most when I'm trying to explain attachment parenting, is the fact that it's not about raising your children in a way where they will "rule the roost". It's not about putting your life on hold or dropping all other responsibilities and catering to their every whim.

It's about raising your children in a way that shows them you respect them. That you are there for them. That you care {while still meeting your needs and responsibilities as a parent and an adult. And yes it's possible to do both}.

Because believe or not people, kiddos learn from their parents.

And guess what they are going to learn from parents who respect them?

There are many ways to be an attached family. And every family has to find the way that works for them.

There's always a way.

And attachment parenting encourages parents to find that way. It may not be the same for you, me, and the family down the street. But what all these families do have in common is that when it comes down to it, they love and respect each other. Respect is about seeing someone for who they are and allowing them to be that. And treating others in the same way you would like to be treated.

Isn't that a nice way to grow up?

I wish people would stop blaming society's problems on things like attachment parenting, when in fact, what has caused many of these problems is that we've forced ourselves away from what is in our nature to do {which is what AP strives to encourage parents to do: follow your instinct}.

As always I could write a book on this and still have more to say. But it's now almost midnight and it's also the day the clocks go back which means I have an early morning ahead of me. So I should get to bed.

This AP mama is calling it quits and hopes that the above mentioned article does not turn mamas and papas  away from attachment parenting if that's the parenting approach that appeals to them.

1 comment:

Thanks for letting me know you stopped by!