What Does the Mommy Psychologist Have to Say About Attachment Parenting?

It’s time to address this question: What do I think about Attachment Parenting? I’ve been getting asked it a lot especially after I posted about Mayim Bialik’s new book. Answering this question is going to take much more than just one post, so I’m going to split it up into a few posts over the next couple of days.

The first thing I want to make clear is that I don’t believe there’s a superior theory of parenting. I’m not an advocate of any particular way to parent your child. I simply advocate doing what works. I practice parenting just like I practice therapy. When I enter the therapy room, I go in with my toolbox. My toolbox is filled with a variety of tools that I have gathered from various theories and past experiences. Depending on the specific situation and child, I pull out a tool that I think may be helpful. If the tool doesn’t work like I had expected I put it back in my toolbox and grab something else. I approach parenting in exactly the same manner. And I definitely carry tools from Attachment Parenting in my toolbox along with the tools from other parenting theories.

So, there you go. I’m not an Attachment Parent hater, but I certainly have a few issues with Attachment Parenting.

The biggest problem with Attachment Parenting is the name.

Yep. You read that right. The name. It’s misleading. And it’s not fair. Here’s why.

If there is a type of parenting called Attachment Parenting then it logically follows that all other types of parenting are by definition Non-attachment Parenting. And who wants to practice parenting that isn’t attached? You look cold and heartless. It’s like saying I don’t want to be attached to my kids. That’s ridiculous. Who doesn’t want to be attached to their kids? All of us want to be attached to our children. The name itself doesn’t allow parents to look at it objectively.

Don’t believe me?

Developmental Parenting is another theory of parenting. It’s based on the developmental stage theories of child development. In this type of parenting, the parenting techniques match where the child is at in his/her developmental stage. Parents learn what is considered developmentally appropriate for a child’s particular stage and then model their actions accordingly. It’s fluid and dynamic. What if instead of calling this type of parenting Developmental Parenting we labeled it Loving Parenting? Your perception of it would change immediately.

The point I want to make clear for everyone is that it’s not called Attachment Parenting because it is the only form of parenting that allows you to be able to become attached to your children or for your children to become attached to you. Not at all. There are all types of parenting styles that allow you to be able to develop a secure attachment relationship with your child.

Can you be an attached parent without adhering to Attachment Parenting principles? The answer is absolutely yes. Do not be misled by the name and mistakenly believe that you are an un-attached parent if you do not align yourself.

Where does the theory of Attachment Parenting come from? Stay tuned…

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