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Book ReviewsAttachment Parenting
There a lot of things I like about attachment parenting. In fact, when I first started hearing about AP a year or so ago, I said to myself, gee, I've been doing that for a long time, and I've been doing that for a long time and I've been doing that for a long time. The idea of carrying your child around with you all day is not new. Front packs and back packs were very popular when I had my first child 20 years ago. I had several. Before them there were parental arms. In fact, in old fashioned larger families there were more arms to do the carrying. Some cultures, even today, wrap their babies up in some sort of fabric sling and carry them many hours a day. What is new is the term "wearing your baby", coined by Dr. Sears.

Co-sleeping is also not new. It's been around a long time and is even mention in the Bible. I personally don't feel comfortable keeping a newborn baby in bed with me every night. I'm too exhausted at that point, I sleep too hard, I use too many pillows, Dad can't sleep worrying he might smother the little one, etc, etc. However, I figured out all on my own, with my very first child, that a bassinet placed right next to my side of the bed was so much easier and reassuring, than getting up 2 or 3 or more times a night to go tend to a crying newborn kept down the hall in his own bed in his own room.

Now I keep the newborns next to me in a bassinet for a few months, then move them to a play pen or crib in my room, then eventually, when they are a little older and bigger, I let them climb in our bed for a little while, then usually bed them down on a blanket on the floor in our room as long as they want to stay with us. I usually let a toddler or two take their afternoon nap in bed with me.

Of course I believe that parents should be loving and affectionate and "connected" with their child. It used to be popular to call it "bonding". Of course it is good to keep your baby with you as much as possible and to understand your child's needs and to develop a close relationship.  A few generations back it was probably just considered a normal part of loving your child. It still is for many parents even if they don't practice official "AP".

So I do agree with some of the main things Sears advocates, but I think his theory on child discipline is a poor and misleading one.

It seems to me that Dr. Sears believes that if you do this AP thing fanatically when the child is newborn to 18 months old, then you miraculously won't have any serious  discipline problems after that because you two will be so "connected". BAH! Don't buy it. It doesn't work that way. Not unless your child is extremely compliant by nature. I really think Sears reverts to permissiveness after age 18 months when the attachment part is phased out, and that is a bad way to go.

In "The Discipline Book", Sears generally starts each section with a reasonable sounding comment, then "twists" it to fit his personal theories. He actually says that spanking can be done successfully, but then he goes on and on and on and on, all about why you shouldn't spank, and spanking is awful, blah, blah, blah. He does that with a number of other things. One good idea or quote, then a lot of bad stuff. I'll pass on Dr. Sears. I think he's a good businessman who has discovered he can make a lot of money writing parenting books that appeal to the kinder, gentler, politically correct parents of today. I also think he villianizes a lot of good parents and falsely categorizes them as overly harsh when they are not.

(c) Copyright 2007 L. Elizabeth Krueger.  All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.