Tuesday, October 07, 2008

October: Attachment Parenting Month

So Attachment Parenting International has declared October "Attachment Parenting Month." While I do post about my crunchy escapades, I don't talk much about attachment parenting.

I didn't know about attachment parenting a year ago, but I was about to learn. I was pregnant and went to my first LLL meeting where I found a lady who invited me to the AP playgroup. I didn't know what AP was, but I figured, "Hey, what the heck. These ladies think homebirth is great, I might as well give some thought to what I do after the birth. I'll see what they're all about."

What AP is to me
Simply put, AP is respecting your child as a person. This means you listen to them and treat them humanely. To me, this means getting rid of the "I'm the adult and you'll do what I say" attitude. You can't demand respect because of your size or age. You can only earn respect. I'm guilty of the "Because I said so and I'm the adult here" mentality. I used to teach in a public school. Public school thrives off of that. "I'm the teacher and that's that." But I've realized that doesn't work. It just makes child resentful and bitter. I know because I've been that child before. It doesn't even have to be an adult/child relationship. Look at any sort of leadership: your boss, your own parents, the President of the USA. Adults don't give respect to leaders just because they're in leadership positions (see public satisfaction polls on the current Commander in Chief for proof). We can't expect children to give us respect just because we're bigger. We have to earn it too. And we earn it by respecting them and their opinions as people. No one likes to be belittled- children included.

So respect your children. I've been reminded to remember that Heavenly Father gives us his children to be our children. We must give them the respect that children of God deserve.

1 comment:

  1. Although I have chosen not to adopt many principles of Attachment Parenting, I have read Dr. Sear's "Baby Book" and embrace what he is trying to say. I agree, it is so important for parents to earn their child's trust. That is the essence of being a good leader and parent, someone your child will want to follow. I believe that there are many ways to do this but I have seen APing be immediately effective for many parents. I think it is a beautiful method for cementing the mother-child relationship.

    For me, however, there seemed to be an unnecessary amount of guilt associated with the philosophy, however. And I don't think guilt is part of God's plan for us as mothers. We can't listen to the Spirit and respond confidently if we are weighed down with guilt.

    I am so impressed with you, Heather. Your confidence in your choices and gentle leadership in your home inspire me. I am sorry that I couldn't see that before. The way you practice AP is inspiring and beautiful. I'm finally able to admit that you have influenced my decisions a great deal and have made me a more conscientious and thoughtful mother, even when I have chosen different specifics.

    There is a gentle and loving spirit about Attachment Parenting that I do not think is exclusive to nursing, co-sleeping, natural childbearing, and babywearing mothers.


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