Just some thoughts on being "attached" vs. "baby training"

Discussion in 'Gentle Guidance FAQ' started by Smokey's Wife, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. I have read ALL of the posts regarding this explosive topic, and I just have some thoughts on why we, as a family have chosen to be "attachement parents".

    We were created, as women, to respond physically to our babies cries. Our heart rate rises, and if breastfeeding, our breasts tend to leak, or prepare to feed. This is how we are designed, and to chose not to respond to a child's cries, is us fighting our mothering instinct. This instinct is very important, and when we fight it, we fight what we were created to be.

    Our main reason in being so called "attachemnent parents" is more for the long term, than just to meet my young childs needs. If we train them to sleep alone by not responding to thier cries, they learn that they can not trust us to be there for them. I know many of us were parented that way, and most of us turned out just fine, right? But, as a teenager, were you completely comfortable going to your parents for ANYTHING, to talk about being pressured into sex, or to experiment with drugs?

    My theory is that by showing our children now, when they are young, that they can count on us for their every need, that later on in life this feeling will continue. And when the time arrises that they are feeling the pressure to have sex, or to experiment with drugs or alcohol, that they can come to us,because they trust us completely, and KNOW that we have always been there for them, and always will be there for them.


    I read once somewhere....."Would you leave your 90 year old incapacitated grandparent alone in a room crying? Only to check on them and say, it's okay go back to slep, but never comfort them or find out what they need, even if it is companionship to fall asleep?" If you would not treat your grandparent this way, then why a helpless child?


    So in then end, while I respect that every mother choses how she raises her children, think about what kind of people you want them to become.
  2. Deanna

    Deanna With arms wide open...

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  3. mylilfey

    mylilfey Magic Mama

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    I agree! My parents were very far from being "attachment parents" and as I got older we had sooo many problems (I moved out when I was 17 and never felt like I could talk to them about things, and although our relationship is better, I still feel that way to an extent). I'm not saying that by being an "ap" it's going to miraculously solve or prevent every problem, but I do believe it can only help. I can not imagine letting my baby cio, etc. I personally think it's just plain mean and shows them that mommy and daddy can't be trusted and that they're all alone in the world. I do not believe that children should be "trained" like animals. They are not and shouldn't be treated as such. How would any of us like it to have someone try to "train" us into a behavior they choose, etc. and neglet our needs? Isn't that what abusive husbands/partners do? I know that sounds harsh, but I hate it when people refer to their children like they would a dog.

    I'm feeling very emotional right now, so maybe I should stop. I have so many thoughts and emotions going through me right now. Maybe I need a nap! ;)
  4. just some more thoughts

    I have been thinking of this alot today, and as my children have been getting older, I see how our parenting has affected them. My daughters are compassionate, caring, trusting and trustworthy. They truely care about the world around them. Also they are very independant, and I think this stems from always knowing that we will be there for them. And despite the common myth that they will be breastfeeding and co-sleeping until college, they have moved to their own queen bed(that they share), and my youngest has just weaned at 3 years. So to me this shows that with increased contact between child and parents, comes more independance and self-esteem. Those are my thoughts for the day anyway :)
  5. Mendomama

    Mendomama Amity's Focus Member

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    This is why I sometimes feel like I'm a poster child for AP ;) lol! My mom did follow her instincts in 1974. I was breastfed for 3-1/2 years, I co-slept, I was never left to cry and I was never spanked. She carried me in a backpack many hours a day and we were definitely attached! I was able to go to my mom with ANY problem. She was the one I turned to when life was hard, not boys, sex, drugs, etc. The trust and security I always felt for my parents was priceless. I never feared them and I never want my boys to fear me. My mom wasn't one of those "cool" moms as some people refer to parents that don't really care and let their teenagers do what ever they want. I had the earliest curfew of my friends. I understood it and I respected it. As a older child and teen I don't ever remember fighting with my parents or even talking back to them. It is possible to teach your children to respect you without teaching them to fear you.

    My mom had my brother 4 years earlier than she had me. She was 19 it was 1970 and she followed bad (normal) advice. She put my brother in his crib, on a strict schedule and only breastfed for 6 months. Even though she didn't want to wean him at 6 months her doctor told her to so she did :(. My brother had a good childhood too but he never got to bond with mom like I did. He had much more difficult and rebellious teen years and to this day does not have as close as a relationship with my mom.

    My mom gave me the best start I could have had. I am so blessed to have been given to her. She's my best friend to this day. I talk to her at least once a day. She is the best AP Grandma and my boys love her so much. She's my role model and the mama I strive to be :).


    Sorry, this is so long. I just get passionate when I talk about my mom and why AP works.
  6. heather

    heather Jesse's Girl

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    Oh Kori!....I know it's weird but I am jsut sitting here crying over your post! What a terrific and very heartwarming story.
    I was treated very poorly as a child, lived in a very harsh environment and grew into a bad kid as a result. I clearly remember trying so hard, so many times, to reach out to my mother, only to be told "i don't care" (words I will never ever say in front of a child....the most stinging, long-lasting words I ever heard were these.) We have no realationship to speak of to this day.
    Thankfully when she left me to live on my own when I was 15 I found out that not everyone treated kids the way I was treated (any kids I ever know while growing up were the same type of situation as me.) I met people that actually talked to the parents, had GOOD relationships with them...*wanted* to be around them! It really opened my eyes. I honestly never knew that people in families really loved each other.
    I try very, very hard every day to make certain that my Ds knows I am always there. We are such a close, loving family! He is hands down the nicest, most independant, most compassionate, thoughtful and caring child I have ever known. I can only hope his feelings towards me when he grows up are an echo of the feeling you have for your Mother. Thank you so much for sharing!

    This is *exactly* how I feel. When I had Ds I had no idea of AP or any parenting style other than mainstream (cio, formula (breastfeeding is trashy....someone actually said that to me!) all that kinda stuff. Well, it just sounded WRONG to me. I didn't WANT to let him CIO. I didnt WANT to formula feed him....so I didn't. i followed my heart, against the advice of my doctors and friends, and am SO happy that I did. When I first heard about AP a few years ago I remember thinking "hey! thats me!"...and it felt Soooo good to relate! I mean, i had everyone I knew (and many I didnt know at all!) telling me how bad I was screwing up my Ds because I held him when he cried, fed him when he was hungry, and the worst offense in the world...I breastfed him FOR 2.5 YEARS! I lost friends over my chioces in parenting (not one of them had children of their own.) Now 8.5 years later I think I had the right idea all along, and I am so happy to have read Koris story as it gives me great hope!
  7. Daniel's Mama

    Daniel's Mama Amity's Focus Member

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    I agree, we are biologically created to be attached to our children.

    You can call it AP, natural parenting, parenting by instinct, following your heart or whatever.

    It used to make me wonder, in those early newborn days, when that "What to expect..." book would say that the average newborn would cry X hours a day and mine didn't. He never cried, he didn't need to! At the most he'd squeak and one of us would get him from his bassinet or swing.

    I, too, was raised in a detached family, where my needs were secondary to my parents. I didn't feel like a real person. There's a movie, it's really really old, and it stars Jason Robards (I forgot the name of it) but it involves a child and one of the lines he (the child) says is: I can't wait until I'm grown up, so that I can be a real person

    WOW. That speaks volumes to me.

    I want my son to know that he is respected and loved and accepted.

    One of the best parts of our family bed is that at night, we read him a story and then we three make up a story. Then, when it's time for hugs and kisses, Daniel opens up to us. He tells us things about his day - like one day his school went on a field trip and he rode the bus for the first time. They ran out of car seats and since he's 4, they simply buckled him in. He told us that night that he was *scared* to not be in a car seat.

    Okay, this happened at 10 am - he had been talking all afternoon and evening about the field trip to the farm, about riding the bus and all the things they did...not once did he mention his fear. It was only when we were cuddled close, giving him our undivided attention, that he felt safe to tell us.

    I've heard stories like that from so many parents. I want that closeness to my son. Sometimes people say he's a "Mama's boy" and I don't care. I'd rather he be a Mama's boy than some little wicked child who is insensitive to others and disrespectful to himself and the rest of the world!

    And something else that happened yesterday after nap. He was weaned back in June. Yesterday he asked again if he could nurse, so I said "Yeah but not on the right one" and he was SO HAPPY. At first I wondered if he'd remember how, but he did :) He is so happy to be getting chi-chis again. He missed the closeness, he still needs it. Does everyone have to know or agree with my nursing my 4 year old? No. It's what works for us. It feels right.

    My "Mama's boy" loves to nurse, loves to cuddle, kiss and hug. He also likes to chase the cats, jump up and down on the bed, is learning to swim and is very very independent.

    I pray that we can continue to raise him in a healthy and loving environment.

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