Well, Time magazine sure got our attention. The May cover depicting a mom breastfeeding her almost-four year old son threw out a challenge. Essentially it asked, “Are you mom enough to try attachment parenting?”
What is attachment parenting? It is a philosophy advocated by Dr. Bill Sears, which focuses on the seven B’s: Bonding, Breastfeeding, Baby-wearing, Bedding (co-sleeping), Being wary of baby trainers, and creating a Balance. On the whole, attachment parenting advocates parent-child closeness and full attention to the child at all times.
Looking back at my childhood, I realize that I am a product of attachment parenting myself. Yes, I think it works. But it only works if it holds true to your family structure and your family values. Nobody ever taught my East Indian ancestors or my parents about “attachment parenting.” They just raised their kids based on what worked for the previous generations and the advice just passed on from one generation to the next.
I can think of many reasons why attachment parenting does not work in this day and age. Working moms, small families, living far away from extended family etc. On the contrary, I can think of many ways this parenting can work for today’s moms. As a working mom, I have a moderate approach to the one outlined by Dr. Sears. I believe that bonding, breastfeeding, holding, and cuddling my kids will never spoil them or make them weak or dependent as adults. I advocate sleeping in the same room (not bed) for the first year for nursing moms. I say no just as often to my kids as I say yes. I don’t believe in hovering over the kids at all times. But if they need me, I am right there. And if I don’t know how to handle a situation, then I think, “What would my mom do?” And voila, I always have the right answer.
The parenting philosophy that matters the most is your own and it is up to you to tailor it to your family. No matter what anyone says.
Photo: Courtesy of Time Magazine