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Attachment Parenting

When I talk about attachment parenting, I'm talking about the idea that if you allow a child to be near you as much as the child desires, without pushing him away or leaving him anywhere against his will (not at the neighbors, not in a dark bedroom) he will grow more gently and solidy, and you will be a better parent for being with him so much that you really, truly know him and he fully, honestly has faith in your presence and your love.


A mom identified only as "Sunfairie" left a comment on Just Add Light:
I am glad I came to it when mine were younger (7y/o and 3y/o) when we decided unschooling was a better path for our family than "school" at home.

I was always trying to figure out what happens next with parents who espouse to attachment parenting after the baby/toddlerhood years. I never could quite put my finger on it until I discovered unschooling, and more so, radical unschooling. It was my "a-ha!' moment to the question I so longed to be answered.

I loved everything (and still do!) about being responsive, gentle, and engaged with my children in their wee years. I did not want to lose that joy, connection, and peace to "homeschooling." Home educating our kids was a natural step for us to go, but we just had the wrong idea about it.

Since the discovery (of unschooling) I never looked back. I took the opportunity much like a winner does crossing the finish line to a race..arms up, huge smile on my face, with joy in my heart, a sense of relief and gratitude, and ran.😊

—Sunfairie
She wrote a bit more, and you can see the post that inspired her to write:
How much time do you have? February 18, 2012


A mom posted this after she heard me speak in Philadelphia.

Sandra Dodd, in my experience, was a true advocate for unschooling. She said many things that I already believed and understood, but what surprised me was her inherent belief in attachment parenting and her description of it. Here’s a simulation of how it went when I got a chance to ask my question:

Me:

How important is it to be there on the ground playing with your child and the object they are playing with; some people look at me funny when I let my child walk around and interact with her world on her own without following her around.
SandraDodd:
Is she clear about communicating what she needs?
Me:
Yes, incredibly clear.
SandraDodd:
If she is communicating with you, then I would trust her to come get you when she needs you. [She is looking at me breastfeeding my child in an Ergo baby carrier.] When you attachment parent, you usually know your kids needs. [Pause.] And I mean attachment parenting of the 70s when it meant simply:

This all seems logical, but I was struck by the fact that she so naturally went from unschooling to attachment parenting — two things previously separated in my mind. It made me realize that my philosophy about both raising my child and “educating” her are the same. I trust my child’s innate curiosity and drive to learn through play. I will do by best to nurture those by creating a rich environment for her to explore and discover independently and with me.

End of quote. The mom was anonymous, using only "alivingfamily."



I led an Attachment Parenting workshop in Pune, October 31, 2010. This image is what I used as a handout:

Click here to see photos of the session. David and Schuyler Waynforth were speaking by Skype, projected on the wall.

India Homeschoolers, Homeschooling, Unschooling and Peaceful-Parenting Forum. (there was a link in 2010, but it was a "ning" site and is gone)

Dr. Mangala Wani, who was also at the session, is a Lactation Consultant in Pune (also an obstetrician and gynaecologist). Her number at the "Hirkani" Gynaecology & Breast Feeding Clinic is 25677274. (Those who were at the session will have other contact information.)


I had a letter on October 29 (2010?) from someone who was looking for a page on my site, and from her clues I helped her find it. She responded:

I saw you speak at the Homeschool Conference in Sacramento this year. I had never heard of you before and knew very little of unschooling. You talked alot about partnerships. My child had always been my adversary even though that's not how I thought of it. I left the conference room stunned. It all made sense to me. All the problems in our household, all the conflict could all be boiled down to broken partnerships and not trusting each other. Not really even broken because the partnership was never really there. I bookmarked this page (Be your Child's Partner) so I can look at it when I feel lost.

Coming from a Love and Logic way of parenting it's hard some days to quiet that voice in my head. The other day Austin wanted to take a bath in his clothes and wanted me to sit with him while he played. I did and had a hard time watching the water hit the floor when he was washing his clothes. All I could think about was the mess and cleaning it up that I wasn't seeing the fun that was being had. It took me less than two minutes to clean up the water and afterward I thought, "Damn! I could have just had fun with him in the bathroom and helped him wash his clothes in the bath but instead I nagged him about the water on the floor which wasn't that big of a deal to clean up." I came across this page that night. It reminded me what I am trying to do here which is to build a partnership and a friendship and trust.

Note:
I was unaware of a group called "Love and Logic," with seminars for parents and teachers. It seems to involve manipulations and punishments, and I'm not interested in knowing more than I saw with a brief look. I didn't know, at first, she was referring to anything other than the native love and the thoughtful logic that parents can employ anywhere.

Links for further consideration:

Being your child's PARTNER, not his adversary (SandraDodd.com/partners/child)

Children Need Touching and Attention, Harvard Researchers Say

On Pam Larichia's site: Attachment Parenting Flows Into Unschooling

Information about the life and research of John Bowlby.

A General Theory of Love is a book by Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini and Richard Lannon, psychiatry professors at the University of California, San Francisco.

Available from FlipKart, in India

or from Amazon (and there is an audio version)



Note from Sandra... I am not recommending or promoting this organization; just passing on the link someone sent.
Attachment Parenting International

The group has been known to advocate against modern culture, television, and technology in ways with which I'm not comfortable.

A pro-TV article on the Attachment Parenting site:
Letter to the Editor: The Truth about TV
(at the Wayback Machine, now)