Since I’m going to start writing blogs for Natural Parents Network, and a lot of it is about attachment parenting, I joined a few AP groups so I could figure out where I differ from the pack. I figure its best to be upfront on my own blog, and to be human, and to be an individual and true to my parenting intuition, also to share that process.
Mostly I do fit in with attachment parenting philosophies and the crunchy natural parenting. Co-sleeping, breastfeeding, lots of constant contact, consistent care, alternate vaccination schedule. But here are some ways I’m not an atachment parent/crunchy mama.
1. I believe in schedules. Iris has been on a schedule since 3 months-old. It means sanity for me and consistency for my child. I don’t believe in child-led bedtimes. If I did, she would stay up three extra hours and then be so cranky that she cried for three more hours. Sometimes this happens because of teething, but it is rare. In 14 years I have worked in every walk of childcare and seen every type of family run. I believe children thrive on schedules and predictability.
2. Didn’t Do Elimination Communication. We didn’t do EC (diaper-free baby) I just knew it was too much for me. My new baby peed and pood too frequently and I wouldn’t have a life beyond urine and feces. I wasn’t getting enough sleep to put that much attachment into my parenting. I would have lost my mind. But now we are happily and sucessfully doing early potty training and it is amazing because we communicate so well now that she is 14 months! I really don’t “read her cues” I have tried to but she doesn’t actually have any until its too late. I just give her lots of “oppor-poo-nities” and “oppor-pee-nities.” And she has started to sign “potty” when she wants to go.
3. I believe in discipline. Iris knows “No” and she knows what it means. Some parents only say “ah-ah-ah” I have seen this woman’s children throw tantrums at a local store. They are dearly loved children in my community but they have not been taught one boundary which is going to make it very difficult to get along and make friends. Maybe she just plans on homeschooling (see 4). I believe in the word “No” and positive/ gentle discpline. I believe that at an early age, it is better to distract and say yes as often as possible but Iris will learn to to look to me if she is unsure about something and I will help her by saying “yes” or “no”.
4. Homeschooling creeps me out. They’re going to crucify me for this one. Maybe it is great if the children live on a bonafide farm- that is a great education of a different sort. Mostly I worry that there usually is not be enough community involved to mitigate familial abuse. But personally, I want my daughter to learn the infinite amount of things she can learn from spending hours with another trusted adult and children from other lifestyles, backgrounds and I want her to do the work it takes to learn how to get along with all sorts of people on an ongoing basis. And truthfully, I’m going to absolutely covet doing my own thing for a few hours a day.