A few months ago I met a brilliantly honest mum who told me that her parenting style is “Detachment Parenting”. This came as a bit of a surprise as I see a lot of people following Attachment Parenting but it was a first to have a mum describe it in this way. And it was quite refreshing!
There is so much to read about this on websites, in books and articles, and there are even entire magazines devoted to AP. There are also support groups in most towns, and spin-off groups such as baby-wearers, co-sleepers and sling groups, and some breastfeeding groups which will all help you to understand the principles of Attachment Parenting and bring them into your life.
According to attachmentparenting.co.uk : “Attachment Parenting is about:
…building strong bonds by responding to children’s needs in a timely and sensitive way
…modelling behaviour and having respect, empathy and a desire for connection
…life-long relationship quality built on physical closeness & emotional understanding
…feeling your way with trust in your instincts and compassion for yourself”
AP is very popular at the moment, and people who follow it often believe that it truly is the best way to raise children. (And if you believe all you read, it’s THE only way to raise a child without giving them permanent emotional damage and potentially creating a serial killer!)
But we are all individuals and our children are individuals too, so this style of parenting isn’t for everyone. Many of us would rather just get on with being parents without following a particular style, letting our children fit in with our lives, and adapting according to their needs. Which is why meeting a mum who was at what might be considered to be the “opposite end of the scale” to AP was great too!
Now, this does NOT mean that you completely detach yourself from your child. It is more about focussing on your child’s needs whilst being aware of your own needs too (yes, we do still have needs after our baby is born!) and allowing our children to develop and become independent rather than trying to maintain their dependence on us. After all, before we know it, our little treasures will be off and away without a backward glance and where will we be if we have totally 100% devoted our lives to fulfilling their emotional needs?
Aunt Annies Childcare Blog’s take on Detachment Parenting: “It means taking a ‘time out’ for yourself from your parenting mission, stepping back and looking at the big picture. It means understanding that your child grows increasingly separate from you.”
And finally a quote from Nicola Kraus at The Huffington Post who talks about the problems with taking any method or style of parenting to the extreme:
“Trade in the sling for a slingshot and think about the kid you want to shoot out into the world when you’re no longer there.”
So essentially what we have here are two very different ways of interpreting the same thing: Focussing on your child’s needs. Which style is better? WHICHEVER WORKS FOR YOU!