The concept of attachment parenting is not something new. It was first introduced by William Sears who was a U.S based pediatrician. The concept of attachment parentings revolves around newborns and their parents developing a healthy bond. This type or style of parenting is used to develop a sense of security and attachment in not only newborns but parents as well. The process of attachment parenting involves several steps. It begins with the parents preparing themselves mentally before giving birth. Then, it continues with the parents understanding the growing process of their newborn and setting realistic expectations along with remaining flexible.
The second step involves breastfeeding, which is necessary to further strengthen the bond and fulfill the nutritional requirements of the baby. It is a complicated process that features both advantages and disadvantages. Since it is practiced in many parts of the world, it is only right that we dig deep into it. Let’s begin.
Pros of Attachment Parenting
Exchange of Mutual Giving
Practicing attachment parenting stimulates the exchange of mutual giving. From a parenting viewpoint, the more you give to your newborn, the baby in return will give back even more. As a result, even though parenting is a stressful process but this reason alone could make it enjoyable. Furthermore, attachment parenting has something more to offer in terms of physical benefits as well. For instance, when mothers suckle their baby, their body, as a result, produces prolactin. This enzyme helps both the mother and baby with a good night’s sleep.
Helps with developing a positive personality
Attachment parenting is a two-way process. Not only do the parents help their newborns develop a positive personality but the baby in return helps their parents with the same as well. Every parent wants to give their child the best life. For this, they would do almost everything humanely possible. Furthermore, newborns tend to copy their parents. In other words, the parents are role models from the very first day. Therefore, parents act, talk, and think in ways that would bring positive changes in their child. As a result, thinking, talking, acting, eating and many other habits are improved and groomed during the process.
Encourages higher level of intelligence
From a scientific viewpoint, the human brain tends to grow at a faster rate during the initial years of life. With that said, the brain of an infant will grow twice its size in the first 12 months. What this means is that this is the right time to encourage infants to learn efficiently and faster. This allows the child to retain and recall information readily at later stages. However, if a child was not exposed to attachment parenting, chances are that he/she will miss out on a golden opportunity to learn and experience the most important lessons in life.
Helps understand non-verbal communication
Since newborns are not able to talk, they communicate with their parents using hand gestures i.e. non-verbal communication. Furthermore, they will cry if hungry and display other communication features when something is needed. However, this does not only apply to newborns but adults as well. In our everyday conversations, we tend to make use of more than 70% non-verbal cues and actions. While we communicate using words, we also include non-verbal actions that help us give meaning and shape the message. Attachment parenting in that respect helps both the parents and newborns understand each other. This way the desires of one another are always known.
Cons of Attachment Parenting
Limits Exploration Freedom
Attachment parenting requires children to be with their parents most of the time, especially during the initial weeks and months after being born. As a result, parents tend to, unknowingly, become obsessed with their newborns. In order to ensure that they are safe all the time and their needs are fulfilled; they are always around. However, every child needs space for exploration. Children will let themselves free when they are not being watched. However, this also goes for the parents. Parents need a little time off as well. But this doesn’t mean that the child is left unobserved. He/she should be given a bit of space, which attachment parenting doesn’t. As a result, the child is limited in terms of freedom and exploration.
Could cause disciplinary issues
It has been observed that children who undergo attachment parenting tend to develop disciplinary issues. This is not done voluntarily on the parent’s part but they become so focused on the process that they will give up disciplinary issues just for attachment. As a result, children take advantage of the situation, since they know that their parents will not discipline them. The problem gets worse as the child grows older. Ultimately, the child indulges in acts that are inappropriate and believes that nothing wrong is being done.
One of the biggest drawbacks of attachment parenting is dependence. Since children become used to parents helping them out each time, it creates a sense of dependence amongst them. As a result, children ignore certain situations and the consequences as well just because they think their parents will take care of it. This snatches the ability of children to complete tasks on their own. They will need help each time. Even making the simplest of decisions such as what to have in breakfast might seem complicated. Therefore, it is necessary that children develop a sense of independence. They should possess their ways of thinking, acting, and dealing with situations. Otherwise, self-worth will get lost even before it starts to develop.
Compromise on other relationships
Human beings require social interaction and relationships for growth and development. Parents who practice attachment parenting tend to place their relationship with children above other relationships. This could cause other important and meaningful relationships to break. Attachment parenting should always involve both parents. If only one is practicing it, the other will feel abandoned and neglected. Ultimately, all other relationships will vanish except the one with the child. Therefore, while attachment parenting may seem promising, it threatens important relationships.
Concluding, attachment parenting has its share of pros and cons. But the key lies in finding the right balance. If you overdo it, the consequences are bound to be severe but if you keep a fine line in between, chances are that your child will reap the most benefits. Parents are always suggested to practice attachment parenting the right way. This will develop a healthy bond and a positive personality of the child. At the same time, parents should make sure that everything is not followed blindly. Instead, the process should be understood, and carefully implemented.