TIME magazine breastfeeding cover shows why attachment parenting is NOT for me

If they were looking to shock people, and I'm sure they were, they got just what they wanted. The photo you're looking at is the cover of the May 21 issue of TIME magazine in which you'll find a whole section on how attachment parenting has driven some moms to extremes. When I first saw the image, I thought the child was like 5 years old. It turns out he's only 3--not that this makes it any less shocking.

I've written about the topic of breastfeeding until your children are in elementary school and other incomprehensible things moms do in my weekly column about extreme parenting, but I was truly interested in reading this article to see if I could better understand what drives a mom to completely let go of herself, her needs, her independence in the name of their children. And, mostly, so I could figure out why I've never felt the same way. 

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It turns out that the article is not so much about why so many moms decide to take this route when raising their children, but more about the man behind this parenting practice, Dr. William Sears, renowned pediatrician and author of the hugely popular The Baby Book, which was originally published in 1992 and has sold more than 1.5 million copies.

I guess the first answer as to why I don't subscribe to attachment parenting per se (I didn't breastfeed until my kids where in school, no co-sleeping and only some "baby wearing") is that I didn't read Sear's best seller or any of his other books or website, for that matter. 

What I found the most interesting is that those who advocate for attachment parenting, including Dr. Sears and his wife Martha, seem to have had a not so ideal childhood themselves and thus they're compensating for their shortcomings by becoming extreme parents. In other words, showing complete devotion to their children and having no problems sacrificing their needs and wants for those of their kids as complete opposite of how they were raised themselves. 

Second answer as to why I don't subscribe to attachment parenting. I was one of those lucky kids who had an amazing childhood, loving parents whom I always felt were devoted to me, but who also made sure I became a stable, well-balanced and self-sufficient human being.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again, people have the right to parent their children as they please--as long as they're not harming them. And yet, I hate the fact that moms who read books like that of Dr. Sears and attempt to do the attachment parenting thing and-- understandably--have a hard time doing it, end up feeling like failures. To those moms I say, trust your motherly instincts and never EVER do anything you don't feel comfortable doing regardless of what these so-called experts tell you. 

What is your take on attachment parenting? How much do you know about Dr. Sears background? Please share your opinion with us by leaving a comment. 

Image via Time

Topics: child rearing  how to parent  on parenting  parents and children