Attachment Parenting: Good or Bad?
Time’s latest cover says it loud and clear: “Are You Mom Enough?” Coupled with an image of a young attractive mother breast feeding her three-year-old son, it’s no surprise that the article has sparked some heated debate.
Certainly, Time was looking for shock value on the cover — but what of the article itself? Well, it details the rising popularity of “attachment parenting.” Developed by Dr. William Sears, attachment parenting consists of three basic tenets,
1. Breastfeeding, sometimes well into toddlerhood.
2. Co-sleeping, or sharing a bed with your baby.
3. Baby wearing, of having your baby close to your body in a sling all the time.
Proponents of attachment parenting say that creating a bond between mother and child is crucial to the child’s development. They’ll turn out better prepared for life’s challenges than children who were not parented with this philosophy. They cry less. They turn out to be smarter. They’ll be more independent.
Criticisms abound, too. One major concern, for instance, is that attachment parenting takes a lot of time and work. Realistically, it can be quite taxing on working mothers — not every mother has the luxury of being a stay-at-home parent, or, as Dr. Sears has suggested, taking out a loan to avoid going back to work. What’s more, research into the superiority of attachment parenting over conventional parenting methods is not conclusive.
What do you think of attachment parenting? Have you practiced it yourself, or would you? Does it expect to much of mothers? Tell us your stories and give us your opinions in the comments section below!