Monday, January 22, 2007

I'm not crazy....

So, I watched an incredible Dr Phil the other day. He had All the Sears Drs on to answer moms and dads parenting questions. It was So nice to hear Dr Phil call them the Gold standard on child rearing advice. I mean, I already knew that but now everyone elses who watches knows. :) Anyway, I was talking to my sil(sister n law) yesterday and she was remarking about how she had read on someones elses blog that they were glad that they didn't bring up attachment parenting at all because it comes with such a negative stigma. Now, this is where I get confused. I notice when I talk to alot of people (friends and strangers) about Sears or AP they look at me like I am some crazy hippie who doesn't know what I am talking about, or they just tune me out because they think its extreme. What I am wondering is why this whole Sears and AP style parenting comes with such a negative stigma? Whats funny is that alot of the same people who tune me out are those people who probably, without knowing it, are attachment parenters. But because no one listens they wouldn't know that. Attachment parenting is just about listening to your childs needs and responding to them. Obviously, there is more involved but that is what I feel it is in a nutshell. I was asking Des yesterday what she thought made people tune out or whatever and the only think she could think of was the fact that I go to La Leche League and some may have a misconception about the people there. So, then you have the stigma to LLL. I guess since I think its important to nurse my child and I need a chance to socialize with other moms a couple times a month then I am a hippie who lets my kid run my life. OK, that may be extreme but I'm venting! :) That's another thing, people think its odd that I am so passionate about certain parenting things and breastfeeding. Shouldn't you be passionate about things that you feel are good for your children? If you really believe in something don't you want to share it? Isn't that what we do with our faith, why not with other things we believe. How are we going to educate people about this stuff if just sit around with our hands folded on our laps. I am SO glad that people were willing to educate me so that I could make an educated decision about what to do with my own children. Anyway, I just wonder what people really think when they hear Dr Sears or attachment parenting and if anyone has any other insight into this. Sorry if I am being repetitive or rambling but this post took about 2 hours to write this morning because with my kids its hard to just sit down and do something uninterrupted. I got it done though! :)

36 comments:

Mrs. Sara said...

Wow, I always thought people who went to La Leche League meetings were nudist hippies, which is why I wanted to join. I guess I'll have to find a different nudist hippie group.

I think people don't like attachment parenting because they think that these parents sleep in the same bed with their kids forever. I had someone say to me once that attachment parenting was abuse because you shouldn't let your five year old see you have sex! Um, yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not what attachment parenting is! No sane person thinks it's a good idea for your five year old to be in the bed with you when you're intimate with your husband, thank you very much!

Sarafu said...

WOW! Thats is Crazy that people think that! Thats insane, who beleives that crap? I guess that explains why some people think its extreme. :)
Its funny, the one thing (out of all the other issues) that people always bring up when you talk about AP is the co sleeping issue. Although Sears is an advocate for co sleeping they sate Very clearly that whatever sleep situation gives YOUR Family the most sleep is the best arrangmnet for you. Whether it be in your bed, beside your bed, in the same room or not, you have to figure out what gives you the most sleep. Now he does give reasons why co sleeping is beneficial but by no means says it is necasary.
You know what else I think is funny is that people act like if there is a child in your bed than you cant have sex. I have a whole freakin house to get busy in! Is there a rule about keeping sex exclusivly in your bed?? I wasnt informed of that one, Oh Crap! :)
Oh Hey, Wu, totally off topic Could I borrow that book that you have about NFP?

leviathen said...

i think its fine that you are passionate about something like this, but just don't get pissed when others are just as passionate about the opposite and they express their opinions just as passionately as you.

:)

levi

Sarafu said...

I dont mind that, I just mind when people act like I am an idiot or make judgement without being educated about the specific subject. If people want to parent differently I dont care because they arent parenting my kids but I just dont appreciate when people act like what I do is extreme when they dont actually know.

Elizabeth F. said...

I, honestly, believe that AP is the only way to parent. I say that knowing that someone out there will be offended. But, if you really know what AP is, I can't believe that anyone in their right minds would disagree. OK...brief synopsis:

-Birth Bonding (being close to baby and bonding immediately after birth)
-Breastfeeding (The BEST thing for your baby)
-Babywearing (Keeping baby close in the day)
-Bedding Close to Baby (not necessarily with the baby in your bed)
-Belief in Baby's cries (they are not just trying to manipulate you-as newborns)
-Positive Discipline (don't beat your kids--work with their personality to get the behavior that you want)


These are some common traits that you will find with AP families. It does not necessarily mean that if you don't practice all of them that you are not AP. There are mothers who could not Breastfeed who are AP. There are Breastfeeders who choose not to Co-sleep. They are still AP. Lots of people Breastfeed, but don't wear baby in a sling. They are still AP.

Above all, AP means opening your heart and mind to the INDIVIDUAL NEEDS of your baby and letting your knowledge of your child be your guide to making parenting decisions. I know all of you will not agree with what I have stated, but it's a free world...so as you wish. But, I do agree that alot of you are AP and just don't know it. I did not read about AP and then decide to jump on board with a new trendy parenting philosophy. I was AP and then found a Dr. that agreed with ME!!! There were Attachment Parents before the books were written and before it even had a name!!

Elizabeth F. said...

AP is not extreme at all. It's probably the most balanced approach to parenting that I've ever heard of. I think letting your baby scream in a crib by him/herself for hours to "train" them to go to sleep by themselves is extreme and cruel!! JMO.

Sarafu said...

Someone being just as passionate about the opposite would probably involve discussions whereas mostly we just get looks like we have some crazy ideas.

Sarafu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarafu said...

Ooops, it got deleted....
Great Comment Elizabeth!

Mrs. Sara said...

Elizabeth,
It's okay and normal to believe your way is the best way. After all, if you didn't think it was the best way, why would you be doing it? :)

Daniel said...

Levi,
Why do you think that Sara doesn't let others voice their opinions, or get pissed if they do?
That's weird.

jenny w said...

hey sara--just for the record i've been a wierd hippie tree huggin Jesus freak who doesn't vaccinate her kids doesn't have sex and only eats organic food for a long time now:) and i still have friends!! (i think...) lol Embrace your passions. love your kids. then tell everyone else they're wrong and have a good laugh:)

Elizabeth F. said...

Good advice Jenny! LOL!
And you are a perfect example. I would consider you AP. You breastfed, but did not "wear" your babies. You co-slept, but not forever. You always dig deep to see what's really going on with your kids. You parent in response to your children's needs with love and compassion. You are a great mom!!

leviathen said...

i woul disagree. sure there are some of those things i think are healthy and good.

but i also think that (for example) there comes a time when a child needs to "cry it out" or "self soothe". away from the parent, not in the same room.

spanking is also very much a part of our dicipline process. however, always explained before, and lots of love and affirmation after.

eliz - like your statement "they are not just trying to manipulate you-as newborns" i think is correct however a one and a half year old is completely manipulating and totally knows exactly whats going on. and so listening to thier needs at that point isn't my largest concern. because half the time aftons "needs" are cookies and candy.

;)

l.

Sarafu said...

Yes, I totally think a one and a half year has no idea what the difference between a "need" and a "want" are and I by no means give into things just because a child is crying. I guess its the whole choose your battles thing. Different families choose different battles because they are made up of different personalities and needs. Some parents dont care if their kids say yes maam or excuse me etc. THat is something I find paticularly important. I, on the other hand and pretty leanant(how do you spell that?) about super strict schedules. Again, you gotta do what works for you.
I am not an advocate, personally, for the whole "self soothing" thing because I beleive that soon enough my children will be grown and independant whether I pay attention to their cries or not. That said, THere are times when I have let my babies scream because there are times in life that you cant answer Every cry but I typiclly wont let it go for more than 10 minutes and the reason behind it is has nothing to do with self soothing but circumstances at that specific moment. The cry it out method goes against everything that my maternal instincts tell me to do and I dont want to numb those God given instincts. But, I know that that is an extremly controversal issue.
JMO :)
The spanking issue is one that Dr Sears addresses and makes clear that he is not an advocate for but realizes that people will choose to spank anyway and therefor gives advice on how it should be done. Not spanking in anger, explanations, etc.... Our view is most likely similiar to yours. I dont think it should be used Alot and it should not be done in anger or just plain frustration. I am trying to be more gentle these days because I found myself disciplining out of my own frustration rather than simply trying to teach my children right and wrong. I remember how effective yelling was when I was little and I am trying to do less of it. Some days are better than others. :)

Sarafu said...

Jenny, Good Advice!!!! Thanks!

Elizabeth F. said...

L-
Babies cry to communicate. That's how they get their needs met. Period. It's our job to find out why and fix "it." As babies get older and can understand more, it's fine to not give into everything. We can offer an acceptable substitutions or just plain old say NO. But, then we need to offer love and sensitivity to their disappointed feelings. I would want the same if it were me.

AP does not mean to give into every whim or to not have boundaries with your kids.

just for the record...you guys are great parents. :-) and I do not think that I have all of the answers. Oh, quite the contrary. I think if we are all open and humble, we can learn alot from each other.

John F. said...

Accept me I know everything and don't have anything to learn from any of you. 2 words Duck (Duct) Tape. then they don't cry. hahaha

Daniel said...

Yeah, I'm with John on this one. Between the two of us, we pretty much know everything about everything. We will rule the world.

Elizabeth F. said...

For the record, no husband of mine will ever duct tape my kid's mouth! Aside from that he knows EVERYTHING! ha...ha...

leviathen said...

duct tape and a dark basement

:)

l.

Elizabeth F. said...

guys say stuff like that, so that their wives will never leave them alone with the children. LOL!

Dan said...

I'm getting into a new parenting fad. It's called the expendable pet method (or the EP method for short). Basically, you buy you child a lovable animal (puppies work great, but bunnies are cheaper and can be more effective). If your kid does something wrong, they wake up the next morning and find that their little friend is gone. Now the simplest way to do this method is just to kill off the pet every time your kid does something they shouldn't. But I personally think that this can get expensive and messy. I prefer to take the pet away to a safe location for a while and then, if little johnny ask what happened to Cuddles, i tell him "I'm sorry Johnny, the goblins must have taken him. They live underground and can only come out when little children are bad. You must have been bad enough for them to be able to come up and get Cuddles. Maybe if you're good they'll bring him back." This method also allows you to threaten a child by telling them that if they are too bad then the goblins will take him/her away.
Some people don't like my method, but hey, it's no worse than telling your kid that a fat man comes down through their chimney once a year. You lie to make them happy, I lie to make them well behaved. When you think about it, my lie is more productive.

Mrs. Sara said...

Ladies and gentlemen, the father of my future children!

Sarafu said...

LOL! I feel for the person who doesnt know us and doesnt know our sense of humor. :) We're bound do offend somone.
Hey Dan, I bet you could put that into a book and people would actually buy it! :)

jenny w said...

blogs are more fun when we're offending people:)

Dan said...

hmmmm....I really could. Time to brainstorm titles.

And the Goblins Start With Your Toes: A Creative Guide to Raising Children

Traumatize your Kids to Success

Teach you Kids to Behave by Screwing With Their Heads: A Nurturing Approach

leviathen said...

"And the Goblins Start With Your Toes: A Creative Guide to Raising Children"

now thats a winning brand.

l.

betharoo said...

I'm surprised John and Levi have any feet, let alone toes left, considering the hell-raisers they were.

Elizabeth F. said...

I dunno...have you seen their feet? Kinda scary! LOL!

jenny w said...

strangers who stumble across this post are gonna go "what the hell..." as a matter of fact i'm not a stranger and i'm kinda thinkin it myself... :)

Elizabeth F. said...

we always take over Sara's blog and stumble off in another direction...
and we never answer her questions.

Mrs. Sara said...

Wait, there was a question asked?

birdietwoshoes said...

Whoa, I've been out of the loop for a few days I see! I guess I forgot to check Sara's blog...

Anyway, do you want me to be honest? Yes, of course you do. :)

When I first heard of AP I thought it was ridiculous. There was NO WAY I was going to let my baby sleep with us and there was no way I was going to BF everytime she cried. I also thought LLL was a little "out there" and there was no way I would ever join. And I must admit, I still hold those opinions, just maybe not as strongly. Since I got to know Sara, and through her blog, Elizabeth, I see that this approach to parenting works for them. Now don't think that I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum just because I said that. Yes, I did read BabyWise and I agreed with some of it. I believe Levi said something... yes, he said: "but i also think that (for example) there comes a time when a child needs to "cry it out" or "self soothe". away from the parent, not in the same room."

I do agree with that. But I don't let her scream for hours to teach her to fall asleep. Sheesh, I can barely go 10 minutes. Anyway, I know a lady who co-slept with her kids and now she can't get them to sleep in their own room through the night. When I heard that, I was like yeah, no way. And the whole, "I'm never going to be away from my kids" thing... What? You mean, you're never leaving your kids to go out on a date with your husband? How are you ever going to get your kids to want to be with anyone else if you don't want to leave them? What happens when they have to go to school or something? Or if you're always with them, how are they going to learn to play by themselves and "pretend"?? (You know, like when little girls play Barbies and talk to them and have tea parties, all content to play by themselves) Not saying you should just pay attention to your child when they need to eat or have their diaper changed. But I think they do need to learn to occupy themselves and "self-soothe" sometimes too.

Yeah, so hopefully I didn't offend. I'm certainly not saying I'm the expert on parenting, since I've only been one for 3 months. I do agree with the "listening to your childs individual needs" thing. Most definitely. So I guess you could say I'm a "In the middle" type. Again, not meant to offend. Just sharing my side. But thanks to all of you for helping me be a bit more open minded about these things, esp Sara and Liz.

Sarafu said...

Totally not offended! :)I asked the question to get peoples point of view so I am glad that you shared it! In AP defense, I have never heard someone say that we should Never be away from our babies (did someone post that and I didnt see it?) because Lord knows that I need that sometimes. :) Obviously, because I am breastfeeding I am going to have to be a little less selfish with my time but its only for a season. I do go on dates and make it a priority to get away sometimes. My kids are quiite good at playing on their own as well. Although it sounds good, playing with my kids all day isnt too practical. My house would be a mess and we would never eat. :) Jack actually has a Fabulous imagination and is Really good at playing on his own but that is Very much a part of his personality. I dont take any credit for that as a parent. ANyway, Its good to know what people "hear" when they hear Attachment Parenting. I think the whole Co Sleeping think is a big part of it and like I said, Dr Sears makes it clear that you by NO means have to co sleep! Its something we have chosen because I get more sleep and we enjoy the bonding time.
I was talking to the women at LLL the other day and asking about all the hippie extreme reputation that goes along with it. I guess I am blessed to live in an area where we arent the stereotype but apparently there are groups out there who fit it quite well. Some have family in Seattle and said that there are several meetings around them that consist of lots of women in sack dresses but, being Seattle, there are also 10 other meetings to choose from and they can find one that is more their speed.
I think that when it comes to parenting, you have to do what works for you and your child (notice I said you and the child :) )but at the same time be educated about different options and open to the differing needs of EVERY child. Ok, I will stop rambling. Thanks for you input and honesty! :) I think that all of you guys are grat parents!

Elizabeth F. said...

Most AP families choose to keep their babies close to them, because that is where everyone is comfortable...baby and mom included. I definitely think you have to take time for yourself and your marriage. That does not always mean leaving your home though. There are seasons of that and you shouldn't feel obligated to be away from your baby just because everyone else does or b/c they think you are wierd. You don't know how many new moms that I talk to say that THEY do not want to leave their baby, but their husbands, MIL, extended families, and friends are all presssuring them to. Because these people think that it is normal for a mother to leave her newborn baby. If you look at things from a "natural" perspective: Babies are born to Breastfeed. That's why we produce milk. Babies typically Breastfeed every 2-3 hours or so. That is a built in system that requires mama to not be gone for very long, because baby will need to eat. As baby gets older you will be able to be away for longer periods of time. Also, there are hormones involved. Very strong ones that for some people make them not want to leave their babies. It is an innate maternal instinct. I choose to listen to my instincts and keep my children close (in general we like to be with our kids, except for the occassional night out or whatever). That does not mean that I don't take time for myself or my marriage. When you choose to have kids, you choose for your marriage to change. Forever. To expect things to stay the same as before kids is setting yourself up for disappointment. (And I don't mean change for the worse, just different!)Being a mom is such hard work, we are all doing the best that we can. Oh! and a disclaimer that we give at the beginning of LLL meetings is to "take the info that works for you and leave the rest!" That way no one feels that we are saying that there is only one way to parent. :-)