Stop Thinking Attachment Parenting Is Overparenting Already!
by Michele Zipp
A friend recently posted how he didn't understand why parents bit the nails of their infants instead of just using a nail clipper. Those clippers are sharp and seeing blood gush out of your little one's finger may scar you from ever using nail clippers again. Some resort to nibbling them off ourselves. It has to be done somehow. In the thread, someone called that helicopter parenting. Thou shall not helicopter parent! Is a motto of mine (not really) so I wasn't into this comment. But then I thought, before nail clippers were invented, guess how baby's nails got cut? Yep. Mama bit them off.
What we've also been doing since the dawn of time is Attachment Parenting -- way before any label was given to anything. Before there was formula, mothers breastfed. Before there were fancy cribs, we co-slept. Before there were$1,500 strollers, we wore our babies. It was natural and instinctual. Yet when discussed in mainstream media, it's criticized and called overparenting.
Katie Couric had attachment parenting mom Chloe Jo Davis on her show discussing what it really means to be AP. Now one mom's AP doesn't necessarily exactly add up to what another mom's practice of AP is -- but the philosophy is the same. We're not clones because cloning is completely unnatural and goes against our credo. Of course the episode was called "Overparenting" hoping to get the same rise out of parents as the Time magazine "Are you mom enough" cover did.
Any time anyone suggests their form of parenting is "crazy" you have to expect that.
Couric suggested some felt this was an overbearing kind of parenting which didn't foster independence or make your child want to be with anyone else but you. Davis said she spends 99.9 percent of her time with her kids and is never away from them more than an hour. This just isn't possible for some, but remember, no clones! Some AP moms must work outside of the house. Yes, yes they can. AP parenting, however, fosters independence and kids grow up to be very self-reliant. Fact. This is an instinctual kind of parenting style, something that has been practiced for years and years and years. Co-sleeping, babywearing, and breastfeeding isn't some new fad. It may have all but disappeared because of the advent of products meant to replace skin-to-skin human contact like cell phones and texting. But wouldn't you rather get a real live phone call or in person visit rather than a text about something really important? A text is cold. Impersonal. It's kind of like that with parenting because it's kind of a really big, important deal all the time. You never want to choose the cold, impersonal route with your kids. That's basically guaranteeing they turn out to be cold, impersonal adults. No thanks.
Many of us also practice some form of attachment parenting whether we realize it or not. Basically, it's not treating our children as an inconvenience -- showing them love. And you can never have too much of that.
Do you think attachment parenting is overparenting? Why or why not?
Image via hugabub/Flickr