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Jean Leidloff - Continuum Concept May 31, 2004 12:38 PM

I may be a bit old for this site - my son, who lives with me, is 17; my eldest daughter is 24 and at Uni in the UK. My younger daughter is 6 but I haven't had access to her for the last 3 years due to relationship problems. However, my interest is that I brought up my oldest daughter following the CONTINUUM CONCEPT proposed by Jean Leidloff and I believe her ideas are worth checking out for anyone interested in attachment parenting. I believe I continue to have a strong attachment to my younger daughter (and her to me) even though I am being kept away from her; because she was also a Continuum baby and we were fully bonded before she was taken into care at 10 months old (due partly to my illness that has left me disabled). Anyone else know the ideas of the Continuum Concept?  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Tell more May 31, 2004 5:06 PM

Hi! Just read your post about continuum concept and would like to know more..  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Hello Ali June 01, 2004 2:34 PM

thanks for your interest. All the details/facts can be found at: www.continuum-concept.org I believe Jean is still writing and developing the concept worldwide. What I can offer is what it felt like actually trying to follow the ideas in an urban environment... not always easy! Look her up and see what you think - let me know, Thanks  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 June 02, 2004 5:49 PM

The thing about these concepts, which I have followed with my daughter is that people always suggest that I'm doing something "strange", but as far as I'm concerned it just seems instinctual...which realistically it is. As one of one my friends put it, our western "civilised" culture is the only one that advocates separating a newborn from it's mother and putting it in a plastic box. I was so lucky when my daughter was born that even though my homebirth ended in an emergency transfer, the midwives who cared for us in the hospital she was eventually born in actively encouraged co-sleeping, breastfeeding etc. I am now in the position of having a 7 year old who still occasionally breastfeeds, and who will still choose to come to sleep with me, usually when things are happening in her life that upset her...I just love the fact that she feels able to come and be with me when she wants to be here.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Quick Preview of Website June 02, 2004 5:50 PM

Hello! I went to the website and did a quick overall view of the ideas, and realized that for the most part, this is the way I have been raising my child. I knew when I became pregnant that I would want to be at home and care for her myself. There would be no daycare and no babysitters. It has been a struggle financially as we have to depend entirely on my husband's meager income. But the financial sacrifices are diminished in contrast to the spiritual fulfillment that our daughter brings to us. I breastfed until she was about 15 months old, and the weaning happened quite naturally. She slept mostly with me or us until about the same time and then I tried putting her on a futon mattress on the floor in a small adjacent bedroom. If she woke in the middle of the night, I would go in and see her and end up falling asleep with her. Later we bought her a little child's bed with guardrail and it sits at the end of our bed. She sleeps there by herself mostly through the night, and some mornings she crawls in with us for the last hour or two of sleep. I have been around her since she was born, and have had no extended absences from her. I took a very part time job when she was 15 months old, but only when Dad could be there to be with her. Sometimes she stayed with our cousin and her 2 kids during the day or the odd night out my husband and I had. I believe that this has had nothing but a positive impact on our child. She is now 2 years old, and very confident, happy, secure, smart, independent, and people are always commenting on her sunny attitude, vocabulary skills and smarts. Often she is mistaken for 3 years old (well, she is very tall for her age...lol) I am not saying these things to brag, but only to say to myself that the ways in which my husband and I have chosen to raise our daughter has obviously been good for her. And that is the most important thing. I can't say that anybody else should do anything other than what they feel is right FOR THE CHILD. Parents in this day and age need to look more at what is good for the baby rather than what is good for them. Your individual needs are never as important as the needs of your child.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Continuum June 02, 2004 6:59 PM

in my experience, the reason people see this as strange is that they expect to see neurotic panicky and insecure children (their 'norm', which they do not realise has been created in the infant)and when the child is not, displaying confidence & independence instead, they believe there must be something wrong. I had a whole series of 'experts' against me with my 2nd daughter and was eventually stopped from even mentioning Continuum to back up my case against social services because it did not match their idea of reality! Unbelievably, they saw confidence and independence as withdrawal and detatchment! They actually advocated causing pain to my daughter to try to 'make' her become normal. And here we live in a civilised country!!!! Mind you, at the same time they were doing this to my daughter, they were letting another child die - Victoria Climbie has become a cause celebre in the UK which has brought about massive changes in policy: it was the same social services department that was mistreating my child (only at the time we did not know). love Stephen  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 June 13, 2004 7:09 PM

All of my children have been raised this way. My youngest is 8 and she is still sleeping with us. I love cuddling with her. She has her own room and bed, but prefers sleeping with us or with her older sister. I loved when my children were babies and I could snuggle with them all night, and hardly had to wake up to breastfeed them, they'd just nuzzle around till they found what they needed. This felt completely natural and instinctive to me. I often read reports in newspapers and mainstream parenting magazines about co-sleeping, how babies are emotionally and physically threatened by co-sleeping (even tho statistically more babies die of SIDS and suffocation in cribs), how parents are depriving themselves of their own space and privacy. I feel sad for babies who are left to cry themselves to sleep, but I don't go around telling other parents how to raise their children - why do parents raising their children in the "American" way feel the need to tell the rest of us how to live?  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Hello Brenda June 14, 2004 5:40 PM

thanks for your comments ... 'depriving parents of their space'? Wow, why do these people think we have children in the first place - as objects to be put aside, when we are tired of them? Well done for your gift to your children, you are giving them the best possible opportunity for the rest of their lives!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
UK Social Services June 20, 2004 11:40 AM

I have had a bad experience with these lot because of my parenting views. My house is a bit untidy - okay pretty much very untidy, but there is a difference between untidy & dirty. I had a report written about me that my 'haphazard life style' was effecting the children. I was asked why I didn't spend the day tidying - woman's job apparently!!- when I only had a baby, who could be put in a cot and left while I tidied. I'm of the housework can wait school, my kids don't thrive on the fact that there's no dust on the tv or i've ironed there pants. They enjoy their mum having time for them. By the way, leaving a pile of ironing about, having a'lack of routine' and not feeding my children at the same time everyday, is a form of neglect, and I was told I would go on a register if I didn't keep my house tidy and instill some disipline into my children. (oh and they wanted to know why I wasn't feeding my baby jars of food and hadn't potty trained my 3 year old yet!) Are they running wild, burning cars and mugging old ladies? No, they are 5, 3 and 7 months old!! They are not naughty they are children who are still learning and growing, so they will make mistakes and make a mess. Perhaps socail services should concentrate on people who are harming there children, rather than thoses of us who are trying to do our bexxt for them  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
sorry June 20, 2004 11:44 AM

sorry about spelling, hope you get the idea!! - one handedtyper - got wriggly 7mth old in other arm!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
S.S. June 20, 2004 11:50 AM

We know what that stands for! Thanks for the message of truth,Emma. When I kept trying to explain why my daughter, Omnya, was so peaceful (as a contented Continuum baby) I was told to shut up - that she was unusually placid, therefore damaged, and she should be screaming and crying, because all babies do that, after all! Wow! Even my own solicitor said she would drop my case if I persisted trying to explain the Continuum Concept because the 'experts' had not heard of it, therefore it could not be relevant, or correct. They knew what was right!!!!! Today the power of the expert is finally being called into question - at long last! But too late for my daughter and me. And too late for Victoria Climbie and all the other victims of the S.S. Love. Stephen.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
hi stephen and everybody September 20, 2004 8:43 PM

I 1st read tcc 14 yrs. ago when i had my son. it really makes sense to me though i do find it challenging since we are not in tribal family. I have begun re-reading it since my dd has been born-just over a yr. ago. One of the things that is striking me now is how do I heal the parts of myself that weren't raised and nurtured in an attachment parenting sort of way? I have a very weak bond with my mom and no bond with my father. I know there is some places in me that lack esteem and I'm suspect that this is related to my upbringing. I have done some inner child work and psychotherapy but can't help but feel there is something physically I can do to relieve this physical ache I have for closeness. i love the water and that seems to be a sanctuary for me-the warm closeness-but thought you good folks might have some experiences of your own healing and ideas. Thanks! Love, Laura  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
My Own experience September 21, 2004 12:49 PM

Hello! I don't have children but I do have the experience of my own chidhood. I know I could have benifited greatly from attachment parenting and the like. I was always very insecure as a child and constantly looking for approval. I would write notes to my parents: Do you love me, yes or no? etc. I never felt secure in their love for me, nor do I to this day. I still have problems with showing and receiving physical affection because of the lack of it as a child. My partner and I plan to have children and we will most likely use this form, or something like it, when raising our children. And I know with two mothers it will be an amazing experience, the one I longed for as a child!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 September 22, 2004 10:49 AM

I had never heard of this concept, but it sounds very much like how I was raised and how I'm trying to raise my son, who is 3 and a half. We let him sleep with us from birth and he still crawls in with us anytime he needs us. As soon as he was born, my inlaws started asking when I was going to put him in daycare and go back to work. We told them never, and they were horrified. How would we survive on one income? Why would I "trap" myself at home with a baby? Why was I letting the baby tell me when he was hungry, rather than arbitrarily feeding him by the clock? Didn't I know that if I picked him up when he cried I'd spoil him? I can't even tell you how many people told me to "let him cry". I never did it, and I really believe that's why my son is such a happy, secure little guy. He knows his needs will be met, that no one will ignore him when he's unhappy. Yes, it's been hard to live on one income. Yes, sometimes I need to get out of the house. Yes, it's tiring to be the parent on call 24 hours a day. But I can't imagine doing it any other way. Not that my son would LET me change things now! He's in charge around here and he lets me know it when I get out of line! lol  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
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