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Saturday, December 1, 2007


Over the past few days I've had a couple of people ask me about "attachment parenting" (AP) so I decided to put a little info out here.

I guess I have melded into AP over time without really realizing it, but knew before M was born that we would be considered AP parents in the "label" world (BTW, if you didn't know, I hate labels). It is hard to distinguish when it all began. I mean there isn't one day that I just knew this is how I wanted it to be. I think it started with homeschooling which led to unschooling, which in a round about way led to me going veg, which IMO helped lead to me getting pregnant, which I saw as a chance to parent the way I always thought I would have wanted to (from the beginning) if I hadn't been 16 when I had S and lived with my parents who were definitely NOT AP! Whew!

So anyway, instead of typing out everything myself I have taken the liberty to provide some links from the person that I think describes AP the best, Dr. William Sears. He and his wife, Martha Sears, have written lots of books on many general topics but probably the most popular is The Baby Book (thanks Carri for recommending this book to me oh so long ago!). The books are great and you can get most from the library.

Here are the links:
Dr. Sears website
What AP Is
What AP Is Not

I always tell people the best advice I can give them is to not listen to anybody's advice. Go with your gut. Parents tend to have very strong instincts when it comes to their children. Be the kind of parent you would be if you didn't have everyone else trying to tell you how to do it. Sure people are going to think you're crazy and spoiling your child... so what! You are not spoiling them. Hold your children, hug your children, just be with your children and let them be with you. Watch them and play with them. You'll be amazed at them. My children never cease to amaze me.

AP is the kind of parenting most people would naturally fall into if they were by themselves on an island with just their family and no one else to tell them what they should or shouldn't be doing with their own child. Don't be afraid to go against what society thinks is "normal" (another word I hate). What is normal anyway? There is no normal b/c everyone is different! Normal in the US is not normal in other countries. The US is one of the few countries where AP type tendencies are looked down on b/c we're warped. I love living in America, don't get me wrong-I'm glad I do, but we are a messed up society that has gotten so far away from our families and we have streamlined our lives so much that we can't slow down and don't want to be bothered with our children... I could go on but I won't.

Enough of my soapbox - can you tell I'm passionate about this (Hey Laura, found something I'm passionate about and didn't know it!)? Anyway, feel free to ask me questions if you want to. I promise I won't yell - don't be scared ;-)


carri said...

Great post, Leslie! I love Dr. Sears for many reasons, but mostly because he tells you to listen to your instincts.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted this, Les. I like what you said about going with your gut. A mother's instinct is never wrong and what works for someone you know may not work for you. I loved the book Secrets of the Baby Whisperer when I had Brandon. I tried Babywise, which many many of my friends and family members raved about. But I just didn't like it, it didn't work for Brandon. Baby Whisperer was perfect for us. And after reading it I fell into a routine without even realizing what I was doing. But at the same token, that did not work for Trisha. It was too stressful for her. I finally told her to put down all the books and do what she feels is right. And she was much happier doing her own thing. I don't like labels either, because I think we practiced a little bit of everything with Brandon. I'm glad you posted this. If you have first time mom friends out there it will be good advice for them too. There is so much advice out there for child-rearing, it's easy to feel overwhelmed.

Crissy said...

So many questions...

How far is the moon from the earth? Why did the dinosaurs die? How hot is it in Haiti?...What?... Not those kind of questions you say? Well... nevermind.

Hilaree said...

Hi Leslie,

Wonderful stuff you've got here. Keep being brave with your mothering! You asked if you could link to my blog...which of course I would love...and can I link to yours? :)

Kimmi said...

you're a good mom, even if you are a vegan, diabetic, unschooling nut. love you, les. listen to the still, small voice that tells you how to parent. that's the Holy Spirit teaching you.