Living in the boonies like I do now, it took me this long to get a copy of the much-debated TIME Magazine with their cover story on attachment parenting. I’ve written quite a bit about this approach to parenting and consider myself an attached parent (I’m still breastfeeding my 2.5-year old and we co-sleep) so what strikes me is how TIME has labeled it “extreme”.
Attachment parenting is how children have been raised for thousands of years, and is still the norm in many developing countries. The practices, including spending all day with your baby, breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping and cloth diapering, have been used for most of human history. That’s like saying farming is extreme because less than 2% of Americans still make their living as farmers (versus about 75% in 1800): it’s less common now, but not “extreme”.
In addition, the basis of attachment parenting is love, acceptance, and doing the best you can. To judge others is NOT part of the philosophy. As I discussed in an article I wrote for Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine in Feb. 2010 titled “Light Attachment Parenting”, it’s not all-or-nothing. You can incorporate any of the principles you’re comfortable with and that fit your lifestyle, and not others. How is that extreme?
Speaking as a follower of attachment parenting, of course I believe this is the best parenting method, or I wouldn’t do it. But I’m not saying others –working moms, moms who bottle feed, etc.– are wrong. And I don’t think any attached parent, or Dr. Sears, is saying any parent is better than another. Maybe those moms just have a guilty conscience?