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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A TM:I, Community Built Website

   I am really interested in hearing more from all of you guys. I would like a lot more input and involvement from the TM:I community regarding parenting topics. So, I plan on asking a QOTD (question of the day) on the page and on the forum. I'm hoping to turn this into a growing community that everyone is involved in and has input in.

I'm hoping to eventually to have a whole website with all the info we can gather in one place and all you guys as contributors. I also would like to link to various other bloggers and sites and links in a categorized way. That way, it will be easy enough to have all the parenting info you could want in an easy to find place.

Is this something you guys would be interested in? Let me know why or why not and what you'd like to see and hear about and anything else that might help. You can comment here, on the page, or on the forum.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

When it comes to AP parenting, ignorance knows no bounds

When it comes to AP parenting, ignorance knows no bounds  

     Usually, I am not a fan of labels, BUT, I can understand the appeal of a parenting label to help with finding a community and support in the journey. This label, however, comes with SO much misinformation and judgement that it is hard to "WANT" to be called AP. Like the assumptions that if you are "AP" it means your marriage is failing, your kid NEVER sleeps, you nurse until the kids are 20, your kid is attached to your side 24/7 (and by attached, they mean literally), your kid rearfaces until 18, your kid only eats Baby led organic veggies, they co-sleep until high school...and so on. Honestly, NONE of this is AP. Not one thing. In fact, none of that is "Crunchy" parenting. Hell, while we're at it, that's not even something "extreme" parents do.

     Let's look at some labels and what they ACTUALLY mean. We will start with AP, the most misunderstood of all...

Attachment parenting, a phrase coined by pediatrician William Sears, is a parenting philosophy based on the principles of attachment theory in developmental psychology. According to attachment theory, the child forms a strong emotional bond with caregivers during childhood with lifelong consequences. Sensitive and emotionally available parenting helps the child to form a secure attachment style which fosters a child's socio-emotional development and well-being. In extreme and rare conditions, the child may not form an attachment at all and may suffer from reactive attachment disorder. Principles of attachment parenting aim to increase development of a child's secure attachment and decrease insecure attachment.
When mothers are taught to increase their sensitivity to an infant's needs and signals, this increases the development of the child's attachment security. Sears's specific techniques of attachment parenting remain under study.

Per Dr. Sears' theory of attachment parenting (AP), proponents such as the API attempt to foster a secure bond with their children by promoting eight principles which are identified as goals for parents to strive for. These eight principles are:
  1. Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
  2. Feed with Love and Respect
  3. Respond with Sensitivity
  4. Use Nurturing Touch
  5. Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
  6. Provide Consistent Loving Care
  7. Practice Positive Discipline
  8. Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life
These values are interpreted in a variety of ways. Many attachment parents also choose to live a natural family living (NFL) lifestyle, such as natural childbirth, home birth, stay-at-home parenting, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling, unschooling, the anti-circumcision movement, natural health, cooperative movements, paleolithic lifestyle, naturism and support of organic and local foods.
However, Dr. Sears does not require a parent to strictly follow any set of rules, instead encouraging parents to be creative in responding to their child's needs. Attachment parenting, outside the guise of Dr. Sears, focuses on responses that support secure attachments.

Hmmm...I don't don't see any of the misguided attitudes listed up there. It doesn't say AP parents need to breastfeed, co-sleep forever, or cloth diaper or wear their kid. That's odd because there are SO many people that say you have to before you can be AP and SO many people that claim they HATE AP parents and what they are. Turns out, they hate themselves, because MOST parents fall under AP if you look at the principles alone.

     Crunchy parenting is really what Silky people dislike, they just confuse the two since a lot of AP parents do crunchy things. A crunchy parent, DOES believe in: 
  • Natural childbirth and/or home birth
  • No infant circumcision
  • Breastfeeding according to WHO recommendations and using baby-led weaning
  • Baby-led solids
  • Cloth diapering
  • Reusable menstrual products
  • Fertility Awareness Method for birth control and conception
  • Co-sleeping (bed sharing)
  • Baby wearing (slings etc.)
  • Buying organic and local foods
  • Vegetarianism/Veganism
  • Rejection of “Western medicine” in favor of homeopathy, herbs, naturopathy, chiropractic, etc.
  • Not vaccinating or using an alternative vaccination schedule
  • Homeschooling
  • Gentle Discipline
See...there is a difference. AP and Crunchy are NOT the same thing. You cannot lump them together. So, it is  NOT AP you loathe. You might loathe Crunchy parenting.

Another label is Silky. A Silky parent is polar opposite of Crunchy. If Crunchy does it, Silky doesn't and vice versa. Silky parents:
  1. Formula Feed
  2. Induce
  3. Get Epidurals
  4. Put baby in its own bed/room day 1
  5. Use CIO
  6. Put baby in PCD(Plastic Containment Devices)
  7. Feed baby cereal early plus jarred baby food
  8. Vaccinate on time and fully
  9. Spank
  10. Disposable Diapers
  11. Circumcise
You get the picture.

Lastly is Mainstream parenting...they enjoy a mix of all the styles

     When you start labeling and griping and throwing fits and hurling insults at people, at least get it right. Don't accuse everyone of being AP when they are really Crunchy, or call a Silky a Mainstream mom. Seriously...all the AP bashing is just getting ridiculous and causing people to avoid it like the plague. And it's not even their fault. 
     So, Miss Detachment Parenting Mom, most of us AP moms think your daughters life sounds like hell. And poor dad that never gets to see his daughter awake at night because you put her to bed at 7:30 so you can have romantic single people supper...and go on childless couple trips. I mean...that just sounds ├╝ber fun. NOT! I actually enjoy my kid. He also managed to sleep ALL. NIGHT. LONG. from 12 weeks old, in my bed, even when I wasn't in it. OH EM GEE!!!! How on earth did I accomplish that feat without throwing my kid in the crib in another room and using St. Sleeps A Lots book? And really, 12 hours a night? No baby needs to sleep like that. And not a lot of adults can pull that off. Not without an Ambien. Maybe that's how you got by...