No, I’m not.
I probably got your attention, though.
I’m not better than anyone, & I know this very well.
Yet there seems to be an issue with parents in claiming superiority over other parents because of parenting choices, & it’s on both sides of the fence. I find it annoying. Sometimes, it’s downright dangerous.
Because I attachment parent & try to keep things natural & organic (read “I turned out to be crunchier than I or anyone else expected”), which involves following my instincts to encourage a safe, secure, confident relationship between my children & me while constantly researching & learning about everything, I’ve come under fire many times from all different directions, including family, friends, the medical industry, & more. I’ve gained support from other parents who also follow attachment parenting guidelines through friends, blogs, Facebook, & various online sites. I’m confident that the decisions I’m making for my children are the best ones…for MY children.
I’m not going to tell you that you’re making the wrong decisions for yours. I’m not going to accost you with studies & evidence & whatever else, then beat you over the head with it. I believe you love your children, as I love mine, & you will make decisions based on what you know & believe is best. If I disagree with you, I’ll usually keep my mouth shut & try to continue to offer my support. If I disagree strongly, I might respectfully offer my own view on things. But I’m not going to try to make you feel bad. I’m not going to try to change you or convince you that I know better. Because I don’t.
You know your children best, while I know mine best. You love your children more than anyone else does, just like I love my children more than anyone else does. You worry about your decisions regarding your children, & I worry about mine.
Whether it’s to vaccinate or not vaccinate, to spank or not to spank, to breastfeed or formula feed…the decisions are endless. The information available, overwhelming.
Time Magazine made Attachment Parenting its cover topic this month, & while I found some of the articles to be rather positive, on the whole, I was disappointed to see the inflammatory approach straight from the cover.
First, there’s the picture, which is completely unnatural & which I think is intentionally sensualized. From the discussion I’ve seen in the AP community, moms are torn. Some of them love it, others hate it, & some are trying to see it positively. I’m just not impressed.
Then there’s the caption: “Are you mom enough?” Ummmm…so when did AP become a the scales by which we rate motherhood? And when did AP become a solely mother-based parenting style? And how is a non-AP mother supposed to not feel judged? This just fuels the disconnect between parents who go AP & everyone else. And it makes me mad. Or disappointed. Or both.
It’s things like this, the misrepresentation of AP, the encouragement to judge & deem lacking, that continues to divide us as parents & erode our support systems.
I’ve left AP boards because they attacked anyone who dared spank their child. Even though they had some good, evidence-based arguments to back them up, their volatile response to those who spanked was not only completely inappropriate, but it alienated a parent who might have been interested in the studies against corporal punishment otherwise.
I guess what I’m getting at is that we should all be working together, not being divided by our differences in style. We should be sharing information, educating each other, defending each other, praying for each other.
The fact is, for every study you find supporting something, you can usually find another opposing it. The fact is, many happy, productive adults with good family relations were spanked as children. The fact is, we are all doing the best we know how, & we all love our children.
There is so much information out there, so many things to consider, that no one can be expected to get it all right. We don’t have to expect it of ourselves, & we don’t have to expect it of others either.
Let’s just all play nice.
That’s all I’m saying.