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Attachment Parenting – Two Sides of the Issue

Almost everyone who is expecting a baby or who has recently welcomed a baby into the world has heard the phrase ‘Attachment Parenting’. It’s one of the hot buzzwords in today’s parenting world.

However, there are as many naysayers as there are supporters of this style of parenting. Below are the highlights of the positives and the negatives, providing you with more info on how you want to raise your child.

What is Attachment Parenting?

Attachment parenting, in a nutshell, is providing a nurturing environment for your child, making them the center of attention and providing love and almost constant attention for the first years of their lives. The enthusiasts of this method believe in breastfeeding as the only way to go. They also believe in bed-sharing, maintaining close physical contact during their child’s first 30 months, and positive reinforcement for all of a child’s achievements and behaviours.

As the child reaches the toddler stage of their development, they believe in including the child’s input in the formative process of defining what’s good and bad behaviour and establishing the child’s daily schedule. By raising a child in this manner, proponents of attachment parenting are said to produce well-adjusted, independent children who are emotionally secure in their relationships.

The Other Side of the Issue

Parents who have come out against attachment parenting point to the strain that the method puts on the parents as being reason enough not to pursue the method. They certainly have a valid point.

Making the child the center of attention takes a toll on parents as they feel they must respond to their child’s every bout of crying, tantrum and mood. And in doing so, they must put their lives on hold in order to devote attention to the child.

This is fine for a parent who has time (and patience!) on their hands, but many parents simply don’t have that luxury as they are juggling their own lives and careers. Trying to find a balance between their own needs and those of the child is tough enough. The usual result of this struggle is a growing sense of guilt that they’re not spending enough time with the child.

Naysayers also point to the attachment parenting as being prone to produce needy, clinging children who grow up thinking that the world revolves around them.

Finding Your Balance in Child Rearing

A parent should find a balance in child-rearing methods that work for them and their lifestyle. We all want what’s best for our kids but there is simply no point in adopting one method or another hook, line and sinker, if that method makes you miserable. There’s no winning formula for raising the perfect child.

A child feeds off of a parent’s happiness. Choose the aspects of child-rearing that you can work with and that will keep you and your child happy.

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