Sunday, May 25, 2008

And now for something...

Not quite completely different.

I'm taking a break from my UC thoughts today to review a book. However it's AP-related, and as I said I'd be doing a series of crunchy posts, the timing of couldn't have been better.

I picked up this book for various reasons. First, it's summer and I needed something to read. It was also on our AP Playgroup's list of books they read for book club last year before I was a part of the group- I wanted to read it so I had more in common with the other moms. Also, I had heard it described as one of the first books to promote attachment parenting- it's kind of like a classic. Attachment parenting isn't something I knew even existed until last year, so I've been looking for things that help explain what AP is and how to do it. Since this book seemed like the original AP book, I decided it would be a good place to start.

Liedloff had gone to South America to live with some native peoples for a couple of years. She noticed a huge difference between the behavior of babies, toddlers, and children of our culture and their more "primitive" one. The biggest thing she pushes for is carrying your baby. As she goes through the book, she pretty much suggests that pretty much all of the problems in our society stem from not holding our children during the first 6-8 months of their lives.

She states that children can learn to communicate and behave in their environment better when they are being carried- either in arms or in a sling-type carrier because they can see how adults interact due to the fact that they are at adult level and not down in a playpen or crib away from adults. Another one of her main points was that when you leave a child alone, they grow accustomed to fear, being worried, etc., and learn that those states are the status quo. She claims that personalities that, for example, can't seem happy unless they've got something to worry about, are like that because as infants they learned that life's status quo was "worry" and not "satisfied." So they worry about lots of things- and find things to worry about even when they don't need to. Holding your child lets them observe the world that you live in safely and while feeing "right." I thought it was a very interesting book and a great one to read. It read a little differently from what I was used to, but I definitely learned from it.


  1. It was actually Dr. William Sears who coined the phrase "Attachment Parenting" after studying this book, The Continuum Concept.

    He also noticed over several decades of experience that the parents with the most harmonious relationships with their children all had certain practices in common, which he later identifyed as the principles of Attachment Parenting.

    This book was part of the inspiration for us creating the playgroup - we all wanted that tribal community that shared our parenting values.

  2. I've been thinking about reading this book too...I have always liked the AP concepts even though I didn't know until very recently that it had a name. We love being so attached in our family.


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