Mayim Bialik, who used to be Blossom, and now has a PhD in Neuroscience and two young boys is now a blogger. And in this post, she describes what being an attachment parent means to her.
Needless to say it has caused somewhat of a stir. I get it. It sounds somewhat defensive and somewhat smug all at the same time. I don’t think she meant it that way, but when I read it that’s what I got from it. Saying things like (in reference to not forcing manners and not chasing her boys around saying – say please – say thank you) ‘those words have never passed my lips’ is a pretty strong absolute. I try not to force manners.
Big tangent: Actually, this was one of the real sticking points with people who commented which I can understand. On the face of it why wouldn’t you want to enforce manners in children. Poorly mannered children are EVERYWHERE. And I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me I prefer not to ask Riley to say please, thank you, bless you, excuse me, your welcome, pardon. Why? Not because I don’t want her to learn it or say it. But because I want her to learn it in a way that she understands why she says it. Not just that it’s an automatic thing that is said in conversation. I don’t want her to speak politely. I want her to be polite. That’s my reason. I don’t really know if it will be more effective than anyone else’s way – but it’s the way I’m most comfortable with and makes the most sense to me.
But never? Well that makes her a more confident woman than me. Every now and then I get into a situation where Riley is given something by a relative stranger and my social face gets the best of me and I ask her to say please or thank you.
So what I’m saying is I can see why her post rubbed people up the wrong way. Although she was very clear that it was just what worked for her family. It was also pretty black and white in terms of her parenting philosophy.
But still, as I read through the comments . . .
Sidenote: Why do I read the comments? Why?! I just know that they’re going to get me really, really annoyed. Annoyed like I’m watching Sarah Palin annoyed. Oh right, I’m nosy.
As I read through, a few things struck me. Some of the comments were plain insulting ‘if you want your baby to live, stop co-sleeping!’, some were a little weird, ‘if you are so busy breastfeeding and co-sleeping how do you even have time to live?’, to the downright mind boggling, ‘wait until your kids are grown then you’ll be sorry! Why do you have to be attached to them all the time anyway?!’
One thing is you can’t put all attachment parents in one basket. It’s like saying that all women are essentially the same. For myself, I’m too attachmenty for some people and not attachmenty enough for others. I will always be a very passionate advocate of co-sleeping, for example, but I’ll never be a full-time co-sleeper (other than with a baby). I loved breastfeeding, but for me the limit was around the 1 year mark.
Another thing. Why does one parent’s choice say anything about anyone else’s. It doesn’t to my mind. So I struggle to understand why a presentation of one persons parenting philosophy is so deeply offensive to others.
And you know what drives me nuts about the comments on these sorts of things? They way they don’t talk to the actual issue. The vast majority did not discuss the benefits or disadvantages of breastfeeding, co-sleeping, natural birth or gentle discipline. All they said was – this person can’t have this opinion because her children are too young, or she doesn’t have enough of them, or she hasn’t been to my house and dealt with my children.
And that’s about it. Rant over. I have no filter today.
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