Getting Attached: What It Means – Part Three

This article is about attachment parenting and covers such topics as: Question covering, attachment parenting high standards. What if I mess up? Does it mean I’m not a good mother if I don’t breastfeed or sleep with my baby?, What about the mother who chooses to or has to return to work?, Are there special family situations in which attachment parenting is most needed?, How do attachment-parented children turn out? What type of people do they become?, Are attachment-parented children easier to discipline?, The Long-Term Effects Of Attachment Parenting.

Some believe that the best way to achieve the proper fit between parents and child is to practice a parenting style called attachment parenting. This style is a way of caring that brings out the best in parents and their babies. It is,Guest Posting in fact, only recently that this style of parenting has needed a name at all, for it is basically the commonsense parenting we all would do if left to our own healthy resources.

Attachment parenting sets high standards. What if I mess up? Am I setting myself up for a real guilt trip?
We all mess up, but when attachment parents mess up, the effect is minimal because their basic relationship with their child is solid. Also, attached children are resilient, and this helps take the pressure off parents. The attachment style of parenting is not a list things you must do to have a bright and well-behaved child. The seven attachment concepts are like foundation blocks, the first steps in building your own parenting style. They are very basic, intuitive, commonsense ways of caring for a baby. Using these starter blocks of attachment parenting, you can create your own parenting style according to your individual life-style and the need level of y our baby. Also, there may be medical, social, or economic reasons that you may not wish to or be able to practice all of the attachment concepts all the time with each child. Do as much as you can, when you can.

Yes, you will feel guilty at times. Parenting is a guild-ridden profession. Love for your baby makes you vulnerable to feeling you are not doing enough. But take note. The feeling of guild can be healthy; guild is an inner warning system, a sort o alarm that goes off when we behave in ways we are not supposed to. Part of maturing as a person and as a parent is recognizing healthy guilt and using it to make good decisions. Attachment parenting develops your sensitivity, an inner signal that helps you make important baby-care decisions.

Does it mean I’m not a good mother if I don’t breastfeed or sleep with my baby?
No, it does not! becoming attached to your child is a gradual process. There are many interactions that lead to a strong parent-child bond. The seven attachment tips advised simply give your relationship a head start. There may be medical or domestic circumstances making breastfeeding difficult. And for some parents and babies, sharing sleep is neither desirable nor necessary,.

Does attachment parenting require a full-time at-home mother? What about the mother who chooses to or has to return to work?
Attachment parenting is easier for a full-time mother, but a full-time at-home mother is not a requirement for attachment parenting. In fact, this style of parenting is especially helpful for mothers who are separated from their babies for part of the day. Attachment parenting makes the most of your time with your bay and helps you reconnect with your baby after separation. It prevents a distance from developing between you and your bay as you learn to combine employment and parenting. (See my articles on Working and Parenting, for an in-depth discussion of how to keep attached while working.)

I believe that attachment parenting will be right for our family, but my confidence gets shaky when I read books or talk to people who feel differently.
As new parents you will be bombarded with advice. Attachment parenting is a real confidence builder, enabling you to listen to advice, learn from some of it, and discount the rest. You will check what the “experts” and casual advisers have to say against your own instincts and wisdom. Learn to confide in people who can be supportive. Nothing divides people like different opinions about child rearing, so you will naturally gravitate toward like-minded friends. You don’t have to defend your style to others. Just say, “It works for us.”

Are there special family situations in which attachment parenting is most needed?
This style of infant and child care gives a boost to any parent who has a special-needs child or a family situation that requires an extra bit of parental intuition. By being able to read their child’s behavior, single parents especially profit from any style of parenting that makes discipline easier.

The real payoff occurs with the high-need baby, the one who, as it were, at birth says: “Hi, mom and dad! You’ve been blessed with an above-average baby and I need above-average parenting. If you give it to me, we’re going to get along; if not, we’re going to have a bit of trouble down the road.” This style of parenting helps you match the giving level of the parent with the need level of the baby. The result is that you bring out the best in each other. Matching a high-need child with unconnected parents often brings out the worst.

How do attachment-parented children turn out? What type of people do they become?
Parents should not be too quick to take all the blame or the credit for the person their child becomes. There are many factors that contribute to the eventual person. Attachment parenting during the early formative years just increases the chances of a good outcome. parenting teens

A pediatrician did a simple study on the long-term effects of parenting styles. Parents who were into restraint parenting (scheduling, letting their baby cry it out, fear of spoiling, and so on) got a red dot on their baby’s chart. Parents who practiced attachment parenting got a blue dot. Blue dot parents who practiced all seven of the Baby B’s (as mentioned earlier) plus father involvement got an extra dot. This simple system was not meant to judge parenting styles or the degree of “goodness” of the parents. It was simply to gather information from which conclusions could be drawn. It was not very scientific, nor was there a perfect correlation between what parents did and how their children turn out, but the doctor was able to draw some general conclusions.

Not only did attachment-parented children show long-term benefits, good things were happening to the parents too. First, the attachment parents developed confidence sooner. They used the basic tools of attachment parenting, but felt confident and free enough to branch out into their own style until they found what worked for them, their baby, and their life-style. During well-baby checkups they were asked, “Is it working?” Parents were advised periodically to take inventory of what worked and discard what didn’t. What works at one stage of development may not work at another. For example, some babies initially sleep better in bed with their parents but become restless late on, necessitating a change of sleeping arrangements. Other babies initially sleep better alone but need to share sleep with their parents in later months. These parents used themselves and their baby as the barometer of their parenting style, not the norms of the neighborhood.

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