A parenting style with unexpected benefits
Secure and strong
Some fear that attachment parenting will create clingy, “spoiled” children. Attachment proponents claim the opposite is true. “Attached children may be dependent longer, but because the dependency phase is completely fulfilled, the child can grow into an independent, secure adult,” Aldort says.
Mothers who choose the attachment parenting route may encounter criticism from others. Carrie Eisenbeisz is one mom who knew instinctively before 25-month-old Courtney was born that she wanted to sleep with her baby and breastfeed her into toddlerhood. “When someone questions me, I say, ‘It’s my intention to spoil her as much as possible.’”
The costs of not parenting in an attached way can be great, according to Aldort and other attachment proponents. “Several research studies show a clear connection between children not getting their needs met at an early age and malfunctions in adulthood, such as depression, drug use, violence and divorce,” Aldort says.
“It is our job to be responsive parents, meeting the needs of our child; it is not the child’s job to meet our needs for a quiet and perfectly well-behaved child,” adds child psychologist Jan Hunt, M.Sc., director of The Natural Child Project Society and Web site. “In short, attachment parenting means loving and trusting our children.”