Ah, it rings a melody to my ears. The hugging, the kissing, the cuddling, and smelling all the baby head I can smell. Sounds divine, right? It is.
That is until you hear all of the misconceptions that people have on attachment parenting. Unfortunately, the general assumption seems to be that meeting a child’s needs, for example: not letting them cry it out, is equal to giving a child everything they want, or spoiling them. (GASP!)
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Contrary to popular belief, attached parents don’t want to raise a spoiled brat. I certainly don’t, and I know my husband doesn’t either.
So let’s talk about what attachment parenting really is, and what it is not.
Attachment parenting is…
Attachment Parenting is putting your child’s needs first.
Since my son was born, I have responded consistently and immediately to his needs so that he feels loved and secure in this world. No I don’t want him to think the world revolves around him, but I do want him to know that his mother loves him with all of her heart. He’ll never have to question that.
Attachment Parenting is being sensitive and responsive to your child’s emotions.
There’s tons of research out there that supports the theory that secure attachment fosters emotional intelligence. A study done on American kids ages 9-11 showed kids with secure attachment relationships–and greater levels of maternal support–showed “higher levels of positive mood, more constructive coping, and better regulation of emotion.” (Kerns et al 2007).
Attachment Parenting is lots of skin-to-skin, breastfeeding and co-sleeping.
I love skin-to-skin and all the cuddling that comes with it. The breastfeeding, the co-sleeping, the baby-wearing. All of this close contact helps your baby meet their need for physical contact, affection, security and stimulation.
Side note: Whoever came up with the idea that “holding a baby will spoil them” was just a downright dummy. Sorry to all you dummies who may be reading this.
Attachment parenting is not..
Attachment Parenting is not leaving your child to cry it out.
For those that follow the Attachment Parenting style, crying it out, isn’t a choice. Honestly, we hate to even acknowledge that there is such a thing.
Attachment Parenting is not giving your child whatever they want.
Nope, my child does not get whatever he wants when he wants it. In fact, it’s actually easier for me to say no to a toy when I know that I’ve given him my ALL, physically and emotionally.
Attachment Parenting does not mean there is no discipline.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions of Attachment Parenting, that we don’t believe in discipline? Are you people cray cray? Have you ever heard the phrase “terrible twos?”
I’m a firm believer in discipline and boundaries, but I enforce it with compassion. I like to look on the bright side of things: Toddlers have tantrums because they’re having a hard time, not because they’re giving you a hard time.
I didn’t choose attachment parenting.
To be quite frank with you, I didn’t choose Attachment Parenting. Attachment Parenting chose me.
Before my son, I had very little experience in the parenting department (Ok, I had none). But when that little bundle of joy was placed into my arms, my heart melted, along with my sanity, and I kind of just went with the flow. I went with what felt right to me, as a mother.
To be quite frank with you, I didn’t choose attachment parenting. Attachment Parenting chose me.
I love my parenting style and I think I’m pretty good at this whole “mom thing.” No matter what parenting style you decide to go with, it’s your choice. It’s your child.
Do what feels right for you and your baby. Everything is gonna be ok.