We need to set the record straight on Attachment Parenting because too many are thinking it's an oppressive, hovering form of taking care of your kids. It's not. It's actually nothing new -- it's not some trend -- and Dr. Bill Sears didn't invent the concept. And contrary to how most media outlets are portraying it, it doesn't mean you are physically attached to your baby all the time. Dr. Sears isn't some freak pushing some extreme parenting agenda that demands you breastfeed your baby until he's 16. He just wrote about a natural way to parent -- a way many have been doing it for thousands of years -- and he just put it in books because, you know, people like to read books and open their minds to different ways people do things.
There is actually a good chance that even if you never heard of Dr. Sears or Attachment Parenting before this whole Time magazine cover story came out, you may have even practised it yourself.
It's all about letting your baby feel secure, that mama or daddy is there for them, and that their feelings are valid. And when you are dealing with an infant, you can't just buy some card with a heart on the front and write "I love you and I'm here for you" in it and expect her to understand. She's a baby! So what do you do? You show her. Or him. You show your kids you love them by actions.
The values are interpreted in many ways to fit each family but at its core, it is respect and love. So take a look at this checklist.
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You might be an Attachment Parent if ...
- You babywear about town, but you have a stroller on those bad back or my baby doesn't match my outfit days and use that, too. (Kidding. Babies match everything, but you do love your stroller sometimes.)
- You think putting on Dora and plopping your kid in the pack and play so you could go in the other room and play video games for seven hours is a really bad idea.
- You scoff at relatives who have said to spank your child so they learn.
- You don't just leave baby in her crib with a box of tissues so she can cry her face off into them.
- You still have sex with your husband, you just do it in the living room as not to wake the baby in the bedroom.
- You actually change your baby's diaper when it has poop in it.
- Sometimes you even get excited when baby poops.
- After birth, you spent as much time as possible with your baby oohhing and ahhing at her every move and you didn't once think you'd rather be on a beach in Jamaica.
- You feed your baby with love. Maybe you breastfeed, but if you can't, you lovingly give her the bottle while snuggling skin to skin.
- You know kid isn't exactly like Jane's kid down the block so you don't just do what she's doing because she's doing it.
- You are NOT a helicopter parent. You don't hover.
- You smile a lot when thinking of your kid.
- You don't feel like you are parenting in a way that is forced or unnatural.
- No one in the house sings (or screams or babbles) Aretha Franklin's "Respect" because everyone gets some.
Now some of these things might not work for your family. Maybe co-sleeping isn't an option for whatever reason ... that doesn't mean you don't love your kids. Or as Time mag would say you aren't "mom enough". That headline was to sell magazines, you know that, right? Because anyone who does what's right for their family with everyone's best interests in mind is mom enough. Everyone practises some form of AP parenting.
We are all different. We do what's right for us. Allow those who want to be attachment parents do so without grief or being called freaks. AP parents will do the same. All we're asking for is a little respect ... for all.
Did this clear up some myths you heard about Attachment Parenting? Do you follow some AP ways?
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