Saturday, December 20, 2008

If you could see me now...

You would see steam pouring from my ears!

I'm so angry! I have a friend and she linked up a cute idea from a friend so I followed the link and thought the idea was cute. In this girls header though the words "attached parenting" caught my attention. In the words off of a attachment parenting blog this is what they believe in "extended breast feeding, co-sleeping, non-violence towards children, and carrying or otherwise being with babies (especially newborns) every hour of the day." And I'm generalizing here but a lot of parents who believe in this model don't believe in circumcision or immunizations either.

Is this what I agree with, No, but to each his own right. I don't care what they believe in or how they want to raise their kids that's not what I'm fuming about. I think its fun to read some of the justifications that they have for things since I hold a very opposite opinion. For example John and I don't believe in co sleeping because we feel it interferes with the relationship of husband and wife. But I wanted to read her opinion and so in the co-sleeping section of this particular blog I read this....

Do you remember in the mid 1990s when everyone was talking about the babies in orphanages in Romania? That was the first time I became aware of some of the horrors going on around the world. These babies were going colorblind because they had no colors in their cribs to stimulate them. Infants, toddlers, and even older children sat in cribs (sometimes tied to them) all day and all night... there were not enough adults to care for them, so they were not cared for. Most of these children cried day and night when first placed in the orphanages. It broke the hearts of reporters and television viewers alike to see these children cry and cry and cry...

Eventually, the children would give up and stop crying.

That broke our hearts even more.

And yet, somehow, we don't accept that we are doing the same thing to our children. How many times have you heard that you need to let your baby 'cry it out' or 'learn to self-soothe'? Have you heard of the 'Ferber baby'? The baby that doesn't need adult attention, it just shuts up and goes to sleep by itself. That is SO SAD!!! The Ferber baby is a baby who has given up!!!

I'm sorry but I'm going to have to throw the I MAJORED in child development and I HAVE worked in a Romanian orphanage and I HAVE been a mother card on the table...

Are you kidding me? You want to compare the practice of having a child learn to sleep by themselves to children who get no physical touch for about 23.5 hours a day, who never get picked up, never get their diaper changed, are fed three times a day with a propped bottle, who do eventually not cry because of such severe attachment disorders that they learn to rely on no one but themselves! Now just to be sure I'm not misunderstood I'm not mad that shes comparing my children to that of Romania orphans. Its that she exploiting the orphans and comparing their struggles to that of my children.
Those children live in real life HELL!

Their eyes are empty and they live in circumstances that I'm sure brings our Heavenly Father to tears to see the suffering of such innocent ones. How can anyone with any real sense of reality think that this is a equal comparison. Kids who are allowed to cry it out don't usually stop crying altogether, they are asleep! Not sitting in their cribs staring into space with a blank look in their eyes. To actually believe that the two can be related makes me so mad I cant stand it!

That's what erks me the most is these people believe in "attachment parenting" have no clue what it means to have a securely attached child! Here is what a securely attached child is suppose to look like:

Children who are securely attached do not experience significant distress when separated from caregivers. When frightened, these children will seek comfort from the parent or caregiver. Contact initiated by a parent is readily accepted by securely attached children and they greet the return of a parent with positive behavior. While these children do not become exceptionally distressed by a parent's absence, they clearly prefer parents to strangers.

I remember learning about this is school and being surprised when they said the kids with the best attachments were the ones who didn't cry when they left their parents and they didn't cry when they returned. For example a child who is happy to be dropped of at nursery but is excited to see his parents come back.

Somehow I don't see kids who never sleep alone, are breastfed until they go to preschool, and are parented by people who believe they should be with them virtually all of the time are raising kids that are ready and willing to leave their side.

I guess the question is who is the "attachment parenting" for....I think its for the parents, not the kids. I want my kids to be independent from me. I want them to love me and want to be with me but I want them to be able to do things like go away for a month if the situation is needed and be able to be happy in another environment. I don't think its healthy to have your kids so attached to you that they cant be without you. That's why I think its really for the parents trying to establish a connection that the parents themselves need to feel good. I believe the parents are insecurely attached to their children and the parents need to be with them 100% of the time for their own needs, not the needs of the child. As a disclaimer I know there are differences in personalities and I do not believe that any child who cries when his parents leave is insecurely attached. My point is that attachment parenting is practically to never give the kids an opportunity to learn to be away from them. The difference is in the attitude of the parents not wanting their kids to be able to be without them.

Okay, so I am going off on it a little bit, or a lot, but the reality still is that the things they use to justify their parenting style really make me mad. REAL research debunks a lot of their theories and to see my poor helpless kids in Romania have their struggle reduced to what it must be like for my kids to cry for 10 minutes before they go to sleep is just the stupidest thing Ive ever heard of!

Basically what I'm saying is BACK off the orphans! They live a life than NONE of us over here could ever imagine and minimizing their real life struggle for personal preference is reprehensible!


jakenapril said...

I agree with you and I am thoroughly amazed that the comparison could be made in the first place! I remember when you went to Romania (with Rachel) and the pictures and stories you came home with. The comparison between children here and there is unfathomable! Makes me grateful and heartbroken at the same time. Thank you, Lis, thank you.

Mae said...

Lisa, thank you for posting some of my feelings on your private blog. I take great issue with the way this "attached parenting" is justified. If you read another of her posts (which I'm guessing you're not going to want to do) she actually did let her toddler cry it out for a bit and behold! It worked!

Since we're on a private blog, how do you include someone (a good friend) in your blog life but let your other blog friends/family know that you don't really agree with most of the things that some of the person says...without offending that friend? For example, I liked her idea of cloth gift bags. But I don't like her ideas on a lot of other things.

So family, do you get the wrong impression of my beliefs based on who I link to? Perhaps I shouldn't link to some of her posts? (I don't link to our family's blogs posting because I know you'll all see them so there's no need to double post)

Sara said...

Ditto. Ditto. And Ditto. I'm probably the complete opposite of "attached parenting" and I am totally fine with it. As far as I can tell, my kids are happy and thriving. I'm happy and thriving too. Those two things are all that matter. I usually stay away from info like that because I either leave feeling mad or like I'm somehow a bad mom.

And I'm sorry to hear about the orphan comparison. That is totally unfounded. And it sounds like you saw some horrific things there. I think you every right to be upset.

Lisa said...

Mae what you posted was fine. I didnt really think you agreed with her opinions I just wanted to be sure that you didnt think I was going after your friend and just decided to give you a heads up just in case.

Lisa said...

Oh and to answer your question more directly: linking to someones specific post doesnt make me think you love everything about her blog, unless you say I love this blog...or something to that effect.

Grandma Caroline said...

Well, as a grandmother I have a right to give my own oppinion.

My philosophy is this: "Children are spirits of Heavenly father, on loan to me, He wants me to help them become the best person in every way, and as independent as possible, so they can stand on their own two feet and NOT follow the crowd".

I don't know if I reached that goal, but I tried and only my children can say if they are better adjusted for it or not. BUT, NEVER, EVER have I even thought one time that 'attached parenting" was even a viable idea! I started parenting when 'Spock' published his book about NO DISCIPLINE- Ask my children if I believed in that!