Attachment Parenting or Intuitive Parenting?June 14, 2012 1 Comment
The other day I had the opportunity to truly understand the long-term effects of attachment parenting or as I like to call it “intuitive parenting”. A parent and neighbour offered to pick up my son from school as my daughter was sick. But for very understandable reasons she forgot to get my son. This had never happened to him and his teacher doesn’t hang around. Also his classroom is based at the edge of a large school away from everything.
After waiting outside his classroom for a time, my son decided to find our neighbour. Luckily he spotted her with other Mums, chatting and watching their children play.
When they arrived home my neighbour explained what had happened and after my initial horror she said, ”he asked me why I forgot and I told him I’ve got a new baby, busy with kids and I’m often forgetful about things and I’m truly sorry. Then he told me – that’s okay, I do that, I forget things too.”
Upon hearing this I secretly rejoiced. My son had overcome as he later described it, his “half-frightened” emotion, made sensible decisions, processed another person’s point of view, empathised and moved on.
This situation happened the same day a piece on attachment parenting aired on TV and it got me thinking about my son’s response and how it related to my own parenting style. So I took a look at the Attachment Parenting International API website, and I found something that resonates with my view of parenting,
The long-range vision of Attachment Parenting is to raise children who will become adults with a highly developed capacity for empathy and connection. It eliminates violence as a means for raising children, and ultimately helps to prevent violence in society as a whole.
The essence of Attachment Parenting is about forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children. Attachment Parenting challenges us as parents to treat our children with kindness, respect and dignity, and to model in our interactions with them the way we’d like them to interact with others.” (sourced API website).
While I believe in this style of parenting, others are not so convinced and I believe this is attributed to lack of understanding and the media sensationalising the extremes. An example of this was recently in TIME magazine, where it highlighted a mother breastfeeding an independent three year old child as an example of AP, which of course it is, but it sends the wrong message.
What parents hear is the notion that if they don’t breastfeed for years, carry their child in a sling long after they can walk, respond to every need, they are not being a great parent. I think this is a shame, because the truth is an attachment parenting home is not based on rigid parameters but rather common sense principles creating a home jam-packed with love which has only one way to perform in the world, to fill it with love.