Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 36: AP-gotta say my piece

By now, I'm sure you've seen this:
It is for a piece on attachment parenting from next week's Times.  

What's Attachment Parenting?
Attachment parenting is a phrase coined by Dr. Sears that describes a parenting philosophy.  Basically, it means that you practice a child-led sort of parenting that focuses on making sure the child feels safe and secure.  Instead of reinventing the wheel, I'm just going to cut and paste the 8 principals of AP from Wikipedia:
  1. Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
  2. Feed with Love and Respect
  3. Respond with Sensitivity
  4. Use Nurturing Touch
  5. Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
  6. Provide Consistent Loving Care
  7. Practice Positive Discipline
  8. Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life
That is what guides attachment parents. How they interpret it is up to that family.  It can also change over time as the family changes.   Here is what AP can look like:
  • co-sleeping/bed sharing/family bed
  • breastfeeding 
  • baby wearing
  • cloth diapering
  • homeschooling/unshcooling
  • homeopathy/herbal remedies
  • non-circumcision
  • natural childbirth/home birth
  • organic/local food
  • non-vax
  • etc
This doesn't mean all APs do all of these thigns.  I highlighted the ones I practice or have practiced.  The focus isn't on the practices, though. It's the guiding philosophy.  Again, the focus is the baby/child. There is no checklist or set of rules to being an AP

My Parenting
I subscribe to AP because of my beliefs about parenting.  God gave me these perfect little people.  He entrusted me with their care so I do my very best for them. Their needs are simple, though they can be confusing due to the communication barrier-I don't speak cry-so I have to listen to their non-verbal cues.  My kids come first to me.  I was an AP before I knew what AP was.  It is the simplest, most primal form of parenting. I keep them close and care for them the way that feels natural to me.. I protect them from harm, environmental or otherwise. I didn't hear the term until about 2 or 3 years ago, on Cafe Mom, but it described what I did to a T.

The Cover
I'm not a big fan of the cover as a picture but I understand the purposed. The woman is standing in an empowered posed.  It's meant to be provocative and to encourage dialogue, and by golly I did!  The same people finding issue with extended breastfeeding have no issue with those icky Hardee's commercials or beer commercials or any other exploitation of women's bodies.  I think the most interesting thing about attachment parents is that (in my experience) don't judge other parents. We parent the way that is right for our kids, our families.  We aren't telling other mamas what to do, yet many people feel it necessary to vocalize their utter disdain.  Then if we counter criticism with criticism, they get angry. If we counter criticism with research, they get angry. If we counter criticism by ignoring them, they get angry.

 I was interviewed by our local NBC affiliate. Here is a link to the article and the video clip is below.  In the clip, I am actually breastfeeding Popcorn at one point, but you'll miss it if you blink.  You can see Side Salad playing on a backhoe, too.

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