Stop Thinking Attachment Parenting Is Overparenting Already!

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mom wearing baby in slingA friend recently posted how he didn't understand why parents bit the nails of their infants instead of just using a nail clipper. Those clippers are sharp and seeing blood gush out of your little one's finger may scar you from ever using nail clippers again. Some resort to nibbling them off ourselves. It has to be done somehow. In the thread, someone called that helicopter parenting. Thou shall not helicopter parent! Is a motto of mine (not really) so I wasn't into this comment. But then I thought, before nail clippers were invented, guess how baby's nails got cut? Yep. Mama bit them off.

What we've also been doing since the dawn of time is Attachment Parenting -- way before any label was given to anything. Before there was formula, mothers breastfed. Before there were fancy cribs, we co-slept. Before there were $1,500 strollers, we wore our babies. It was natural and instinctual. Yet when discussed in mainstream media, it's criticized and called overparenting.

Katie Couric had attachment parenting mom Chloe Jo Davis on her show discussing what it really means to be AP. Now one mom's AP doesn't necessarily exactly add up to what another mom's practice of AP is -- but the philosophy is the same. We're not clones because cloning is completely unnatural and goes against our credo. Of course the episode was called "Overparenting" hoping to get the same rise out of parents as the Time magazine "Are you mom enough" cover did.

Any time anyone suggests their form of parenting is "crazy" you have to expect that.

Couric suggested some felt this was an overbearing kind of parenting which didn't foster independence or make your child want to be with anyone else but you. Davis said she spends 99.9 percent of her time with her kids and is never away from them more than an hour. This just isn't possible for some, but remember, no clones! Some AP moms must work outside of the house. Yes, yes they can. AP parenting, however, fosters independence and kids grow up to be very self-reliant. Fact. This is an instinctual kind of parenting style, something that has been practiced for years and years and years. Co-sleeping, babywearing, and breastfeeding isn't some new fad. It may have all but disappeared because of the advent of products meant to replace skin-to-skin human contact like cell phones and texting. But wouldn't you rather get a real live phone call or in person visit rather than a text about something really important? A text is cold. Impersonal. It's kind of like that with parenting because it's kind of a really big, important deal all the time. You never want to choose the cold, impersonal route with your kids. That's basically guaranteeing they turn out to be cold, impersonal adults. No thanks. 

Many of us also practice some form of attachment parenting whether we realize it or not. Basically, it's not treating our children as an inconvenience -- showing them love. And you can never have too much of that.

Do you think attachment parenting is overparenting? Why or why not?


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babywearing, breastfeeding, natural parenting


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sassy... sassykat122

Unless a nanny is raising your kid we all attachment parent to some degree. In my case i 'nibbled' both my kids nails as babies because we did nip our son as a newborn. We co slept because i could feel my baby sleeping next to me and kept me sane. I used a wrap to 'wear' my baby because regular holding hurt my back. I also formula fed because it also kept me sane. I let my kids cry it out a bit. I do spank sometimes. I'm a combo of styles, doing what works for me and my husband

miche... micheledo

Great article!

insei... inseineangel

I can't bite my kids nails. There's not many things that gross me out, but nail biting is one of them. Do you know how much bacteria lives under your nails? And how nasty the human mouth is? (I don't care HOW often you brush/floss/rinse, your mouth is disgusting.) I've accidentally made my daughter's little fingertips bleed with the nail clippers, but ya know what? It's not a life threatening wound, it doesn't seem to hurt her, she's not going to die from it. 

sassykat is right in that everyone does AP to a degree. If you didn't, that would mean either - as she said - you got a 24/7 nanny for your kid, or you don't even HAVE kids, lol. 

Caera Caera

It's not "independence" if your kid is so desperate to get away from you and your smothering style of parenting they're running as soon as their legs will carry them.

Attachment parenting is smothering, annoying, helicoptering overparenting.

Give your damn kids a chance to breathe, would ya?

lovem... lovemy2sons25

I did not breastfeed, I did not carry either one of my babies in a sling, I just held them or used a stroller, I have never bit my childs finger nails and I rarely co sleeped with my them. I don't thinks attatchment parenting is wrong I just know its not for me!! I personally don't think a certain parenting style makes you any better of a parent. As long as your child isn't being neglected or abused and is being well taken care of and loved that's what's most important. I know I'm a good mom. That's all that matters to me!!

nonmember avatar ClassyGurl

And this pic shows EXACTLY why people get all in a tissy about breastfeeding. Is it really necessary to let that much boob hang out & show of that 10" nipple?! No.

nonmember avatar Rebecca

independence is an important developmental skill but ideally it follows after dependance and interdependence. when we miss filling those earlier needs our kids miss out on valuable social cues and skills that effect their ability ti form secure interpersonal attachments. I love psychological attachment theory (Bowlby/Ainsworth) but am less of a fan of Sear's Attachment Parenting philosophy. Why? because HOW one parents (as in breast/bottle, crib/cosleep) does not directly correlate to how your child experiences your relationship and so many mothers (and fathers) are caught up in these personal battles thinking they aren't good enough.... we all have the capacity to be good enough parents for our children. no matter how we choose to parent. parent from the heart. parent with love. when children feel love they grow up with the ability to create secure healthy interpersonal attachments.

Todd Vrancic

I wore our youngest while pushing our middle child in the stroller because that's what worked.

nonmember avatar aimee

so when exactly do people think crib/baby beds came into peoples lifes?

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