You may have heard about attachment parenting as one of the many ways to raise your child. Up until recently, I did not know what attachment parenting was. I was actually looking for a way to calm my seemingly always unhappy toddler when I stumbled upon this parenting style. Because my baby boy was so clingy and just plain annoying to me, I decided to find out what to do about it. Of course, I went on Pinterest and typed in “why is my child crying all the time?” One of the resulting pins was about attachment parenting so I clicked on it.
That was my first real encounter with the parenting style. I read a bit about how you should use more love and gentleness toward your child and how whining and crying is just your child trying to communicate something to you. This was interesting to me and also made me feel sympathy toward my son because maybe I was just not hearing what he had to say. Maybe he was in pain or maybe he thought mom would leave him all alone at daycare again(he went to daycare for the first time a couple of weeks ago). I did not know his concerns and worries and quite frankly, maybe I wasn’t even listening!
So I decided to implement some of the principles of attachment parenting in the way I treated my child. So far, it has been going good and my son seems to be less whiny. Maybe he just needed mom to play with him or be in the same room as him more. Whatever it is, my son and I seem to both be benefiting from attachment parenting. However, I do not agree with all the 8 principles of the parenting style.
According to WebMD.com, there are 8 principles to attachment parenting. Here they are in my own words:
1. Prepare yourself emotionally for becoming a parent. And not just prepare…think positively about the whole experience. I agree with this. Why not make something as hard as parenting as positive as possible?
2. Create a secure attachment when they are very young through breastfeeding. This tells the child that the parent is listening to them and responding by fulfilling their needs. I am all for breastfeeding if you can. However, I believe that even if you don’t breastfeed, you can still raise a wonderful child who is healthily attached to you.
3. Listen and respond sensitively to your child. Attachment parenting says that all outbursts or tantrums, and any other expression of emotion are an indication that your child is trying to communicate. Parents should not dismiss or punish their children for communicating. I believe that listening to your child and being present is very important. I think that being sensitive to them when they are communicating is right. I also believe that children should learn to communicate without throwing tantrums and should be trained not to throw them. So I partially agree with this principle.
4. Use touch to build attachment. This includes babywearing, joint baths, and skin-to-skin bonding. I would say this is a great way to bond with a small child if you have the opportunity.
5. Nighttime parenting, such as co-sleeping and bed-sharing is advised. I understand why closeness like this would be advised but I would have to say to be careful when co-sleeping because it increases the risk of SIDS.
6. Loving care should be constantly given to the child. Always make sure your child knows you’re present. It even goes as far as stating that the parent should be present to the child even during work. I agree that the parents’ presence is vital for the well-being of a child. However, a child may not see his father while he is at work, and that’s normal. In my opinion, it is ok for a child not to be with his mom or dad 24/7.
7. Positive discipline is a must. Parents should redirect or distract their children instead of spanking. Parents should try to understand what the bad behavior is communicating. Personally, I think you should always try to understand the behavior of your child. However, I believe that part of disciplining your child includes spanking and other consequences for negative behavior.
8. Balance your personal and family life. Attachment parenting advises that parents should have a support system, lead a healthy life, and live so they don’t burn out as parents. I totally agree with that!
Those are just my opinions on attachment parenting and why some of the principles work for me. I believe that it is important to form a special attachment and bond with each of your children. There are definitely some good tips on how to parent your children in this parenting style, even though I do not agree with absolutely everything.
Let me know what you think!
Source: “What Is Attachment Parenting?” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.