Should I do Attachment Parenting? - Nichola


You know there was once a study in which a women's clothes shop replaced all their labels so that each item had a tag stating it was two sizes smaller than it actually was. What resulted was 87% of shoppers believed they had lost weight rather than questioning the size of the clothes. Fascinating huh? Also I made that up but I'm willing to bet that if such an experiment had occurred anywhere other than in my imagination, those would be the results because people are just far too attached to labels. 

I don't think there are any styles of parenting really, there are just parents getting through it  - any way they can. The impression is sometimes given that parenting styles are laid out like some kind of fruit platter and you should just pick whichever takes your fancy. This is preposterous. When you're a parent you simply play to your strengths, the result of which is you relate to your child in your own unique way. If you value control this may make you more authoritarian; if you're fairly easy going you might be more free range. Of course we're all different it's just society feels the need to separate people like they're M&Ms in a rock band's rider.  It's not that we can't learn from observing child rearing habits, it's just unnecessary to make the way you feed your child your whole identity. 

Attachment Parenting aims to promote the attachment of mother and child through immediate responsiveness and continuous bodily closeness. If this sounds like your idea of a good time, please do give it a go. Studies have shown (real ones) that children raised in this way have increased confidence but to be honest, as I've explained before, I have beef with such research. In this case to be an attachment parent you need to have time to carry your kid round all day; if you have time to carry your kid round all day it's unlikely you can let a pesky thing such as work get in the way; if you don't have to work you probably have someone to support you and your child financially; if your partner can support you and your child they probably have a good career and if they have a good career they probably had a stable upbringing and a smattering of good opportunities and it's likely the case that your youngster will too. If your child is confident could a factor be the the relative privilege of his or her home life and not three years in a sling? 

I'm not saying it's bad, in fact I think it sounds wonderful, I'm just saying it's no magic feather. As parents we want to believe things are right because we're desperate to have all the answers and when we think we have the answers we can bury our insecurities under a great big pile of smug. This is the terrible truth - there are no answers; you could raise your child with textbook precision and they might still end up as a contestant on The Bachelor. Don't read that and disregard parenting styles and theories - examine them all and choose what works for you; if we can recognise the fluidity of sexuality, why not parenting? I myself am a pseudo-crunchy, semi-permissive with Tiger Mother tendencies and proud. 



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12 comments

  1. I will be honest, I have stopped researching parenting and am just winging it at the moment. I have found that whatever topic of parenting I researched, I was always doing something wrong in someone's eyes. So now I just tend to go it alone! That said, I have ended up following what seems to be the "Natural Parenting" route at night time, which means Bo often ends up curled up next to me in bed and needs hugs to go to sleep. It's just the way that seems to have worked out best for us. #BrilliantBlogPosts

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    1. That's wonderful, I think as parents we need to trust ourselves more. I would call you an instinctive parent (which is PR for winging it :))

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  2. I'd not even thought about labelling myself as a parent until I read this. I did carry by son in a sling when he was a baby but that was because he had such bad colic and reflux I pretty much had to in order to move from the sofa/bed without being constantly sicked on, or constantly screamed at. I have just written a post about my son's separation anxiety and how as a result we always end up cosleeping for the 2nd part of the night..again, this would prob be called attachment parenting but is a result of us trying to find any way we can to get enough sleep to function. You are right - I think everyone is just really doing the best they can to make things work for them. I know from my teaching experience and training that there are studies to show how security breeds confidence and security, I guess that's probably what it means....but all kids are different too aren't they? #brillblogposts

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    1. Yes I think you're possibly an accidental attachment parent :) Yes the idea is the more secure a child feels the more confident they are to explore the world. My son seems to have been born confident though, we didn't bed share and he is fearless

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  3. I'm always somewhat fascinated by the parenting labels thing. I can honestly say I'm totally uninterested in those descriptions. I guess I just fit in a 'trying to get through every day as best I can' camp!
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely! xxx

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    1. Yep I'm also a member of the keep on trucking club and it's working out fine so far xx

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  4. SO well said! My Mom even mentioned to me the other day that she feel's bad for parents today because of all the labels, pressures, and advice that is placed on us. They weren't overwhelmed with all those things when she was raising us (and we turned out pretty damn good if I say so myself ;) Anyways, your post was great. Happy to have read it! #brillblogposts

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  5. I love this and the Bachelor comment- LOL! It is just such an incredible enigma to me that from when you have a bump to a tot to a teen EVERYONE ELSE thinks they know best and likes to inform you of what they did and what they think you should do. Life just isn't like that and for each child so many planets and constellations and factors have collided to make them unique and as parents we have a right to choose absolutely OUR OWN way of doing the best for their child. Well said. Lou at www.peppermintcove.com

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  6. Great post! I think one of the problems with labels, that if we add one to ourselves we stop thinking and trusting our own instincts. Much better to be ourselves and think through each of our parenting decisions rather than mindlessly follow everything that a parenting philosophy recommends we do. I say that as someone who does follow a particular parenting philosophy myself, but still there's got to be room for us to make our own individual parenting choices. We know our children best! #BriliantBlogPosts

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  7. I'd never heard of parenting labels until I had my daughter. It baffled me! What frustrates me is that some advocates for certain types of parenting claim that it is the only way to do it. As for us ... I tried to carry my baby around in a sling to free up my hands and she screamed her head off! No baby wearing for us ... #brillblogposts

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  8. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to parenting, I'm sure. If you do what is best for you and your child the rest will fall in place.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

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  9. Good advice! I think it is hard to find anyone who truly follows only one specific parenting 'style'. I lean towards the attachment style more than anything, but definitely don't follow it absolutely or only do that, or indeed even deliberately try to follow any particular style or method - that one just happens to be what most closely fits my personal beliefs & philosophy. #coolmumclub

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