What is Attachment Parenting?
Although it is still a controversial parental application, there is an important buzz around attachment parenting. More and more parents are opting to raise their young children by following the principles behind this theory – while it is becoming a popular option, there are still many families who haven’t heard of attachment parenting and are wondering about what it entails. Below, you will find all the information you need on attachment parenting, including pros and cons and the guiding principles behind it.
Attachment parenting, in short, can be described by being a type of parenting focused on the child, and the child alone. Instead of following rules, or a developmental calendar, parents are raising, educating and taking care of their young children by devoting their attention to the child and studying the reactions of the child to the parenting. One of the main reasons why attachment parenting is not highly regarded in the professional field is that many researchers and doctors feel that this fosters a slower growth and development of children, rather than pushing towards development by following milestones, calendars, etc.
Here are the guiding principles behind attachment parenting, according to Dr. Sears:
- Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
- Feed with Love and Respect
- Respond with Sensitivity
- Use Nurturing Touch
- Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
- Provide Consistent Loving Care
- Practice Positive Discipline
- Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life
Coupled with those guiding principles, many individuals opting for attachment parenting will also use Natural Family Living rules to raise their children, such as co-sleeping for example. Co-sleeping – although highly debated (and for good reasons) – is becoming more and more popular with new parents. Other NFL aspects include natural childbirth, stay-at-home parenting, homeschooling and more.
Although in theory attachment parenting sounds like a wonderful thing, there are many controversies attached to it. For example, many people argue that attachment parenting is too demanding and strenuous on parents and does not reflect the realities of a modern society in which both parents often have to hold a job. There are also many strong advocates of co-sleeping, which is associated with attachment parenting. Co-sleeping is highly dangerous for the life a child and research has shown that room-sharing offers the same closeness to the child without risking Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Attachment parenting is a very controversial practice and while many new families seem to opt for this type of parenting, there are still some strong advocates to it – including reputable doctors and researchers. No considerable studies or collection of data has been made with attachment parenting to prove its benefits; it mostly rests on theories and teachings from a few dedicated professionals. It is entirely up to you if you decide to try it out or look into it for your next pregnancy. However, be advised that all the controversies associated with attachment parenting cannot all be unfounded; gather all the information and take what you want – you are also allowed to leave out the bits that don’t seem realistic to you.