Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why Attachment Parenting Is Disastrous For Children

By Michael Grose

Attachment parenting is a new parenting fad and its number of devotees are growing. This style of parenting places children at the centre of the mother-child relationship and flies in the face of how we have raised kids for thousands of years.

Attachment parenting means kids are breastfed until they choose to stop - four, five, six years of age. It doesn't matter. They stopped when they want - no weaning please.

Attachment parenting means kids are not nappy or potty-trained. Mothers do the toiletting not the kids. They poo and pee when and where they want.

Attachment parenting means that the child sleeps with his mother, while their father is relegated to another room. Those who practise attachment parenting put their lives on hold.

For thousands of years we have raised kids to fit in with family or group norms. Healthy child-rearing is about children fitting in, rather than the other way around.

Developmentally, kids are required to grow away from the parents. Attachment parenting stops them from separating and makes children helpless and dependent on parents for longer than necessary.

Healthy families know a child's place in the person, partner and parenting triangle. When we put the person first (yes, you do have a life) and the partner second (if you have a partner you nurture this relationship) we have the ideal conditions to be an effective parent. Attachment parenting denies the person a life of their own and places the mother-father relationship at the periphery rather than the centre of the family.

Attachment parenting reminds me of another child-centred fad - permissive parenting - that was similarly misguided and had disastrous results.

It is negligent to practise such unresearched fads on children.

Author: Michael Grose is a popular parenting educator and parent coach. He is the director of Parentingideas, the author of seven books for parents and a popular presenter who speaks to audiences in Australia, Singapore and the USA. For free courses and resources to help you raise happy kids and resilient teenagers visit

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