A Quick Response To, “Why I Mock “Attachment Parenting” and the Kids It Produces”

Today Reason Magazine (Who in general I respect) posted an article by Kennedy that I disagree with on many levels, but agree with on one.  Here is the link to the original: http://reason.com/archives/2012/04/29/why-i-mock-attachment-parenting-and-the

First of all, Kennedy, does not have a real grasp on Attachment Parenting or its roots. The term “Attachment Parenting” was coined by Dr. William Sears and he most often defines it at the “7 B’s.” Birth bonding, breastfeeding, babywearing, bedding close to baby, belief in the value of your baby’s cry, beware of baby trainers, and balance. He goes on to say how its an approach to parenting and not strict rules.

This means you can attachment parent without co-sleeping, I have many friends that do. Also it means you can attachment parent with out breastfeeding. This article seems to think that attachment parents a simply defined by co-sleeping (that and being assholes) this is just not true. Period. Besides that, co-sleeping is a wonderful option for many families, and when done following a few simple guidelines has been proven to have lower rates of SIDS than following all the rules for crib sleeping.

Next, what the heck is wrong with feeding your child what you choose!? My child is one of those poor “imaginary invalids.” Last time he drank straight milk he vomited for hours. It was one of the worst days of my life and surly the worst of his. But here’s where somehow I can manage to do the impossible, be an attachment parent (what food allergies have to do with attachment parenting, I have NO IDEA) and a libertarian all at once! I don’t “take the rest of the class or school hostage” I don’t force other groups to eat wheat and dairy free like my son. I let people know his dietary restrictions so they aren’t offended when I take away cheesy potatoes from him (they aren’t the ones who will be up with a gassy toddler all night), but I never ever make or suggest that events he is a part of be entirely made of foods he can eat. That’s crazy. I just BE A PARENT. I watch what he eats, and don’t let him eat the stuff he shouldn’t! WHOA! I know, crazy right?

Next, continuing on the subject of food. I avoid (and also help my family avoid) eating crap. How is taking responsibility for my health and my families heathy by avoiding things like high fructose corn syrup and GMO’s and food that is generally terrible for you a problem? I also see this as incredibly libertarian. One, I’m taking responsibility for myself, not eating myself to death then whining when I’m sick and dying. Two, I’m voting with my dollar. I’m choosing to buy local and organic and healthy, because that’s what I support. Three, I’m costing the tax payers less money by being a healthy able-bodied person who doesn’t need welfare, workmen’s comp, or any government money to help pay for my diabetes supplies!

I understand why someone would be upset if someone was a jerk about their decisions about what to  put in their body. Its not anyone’s job to tell anyone else what to eat. Period. Seeing that the author lives in L.A. I can see why they think this is a huge issue let me just say, the whole country isn’t like that. Pretty much just L.A. Also, being a jerk doesn’t render your entire parenting and political philosophy stupid. Some people are just jerks.

The sharing thing… I 100% agree with that a person has personal and property rights and if a child doesn’t want to share they shouldn’t be forced to. Why this idea is incompatible with attachement parenting (the idea that you should listen and respond to your child’s needs) is beyond me. I have no idea what the issue is here. I attachment parent and enforce this rule everyday. I still teach my son and nephew (or at least try) that its kind and loving to share, and that the older kids should do their best to respect and care for the younger kids. But if one has a toy that is THIER TOY, and another kid tries to take it by force I don’t allow it. That’s generally where I step in in the affairs of young children when one uses force on another. Besides that I back off and let them be kids (another idea that’s totally in line with attachment parenting).

The last issue in the article is a rant about those who want to get rid of awards in sport and for other achievements. I’ve personally never even seen this as an attachement parenting issue, but I can see how it could be. What I say is, be a libertarian and don’t put your child in a program where that is happening if you don’t like it.  Personally I have no problem with awards for sports and things, I teach kids to kick other kids to win gold medals and big trophies. In the world of sports only rarely does this system backfire. As I’m doing more research into education I’m finding that traditional grading is total garbage and means little to nothing anyway, so I say do away with it. But if you don’t like that send your kid to a different school, or better yet, really stick it to the government and be a true libertarian, homeschool.

I do agree with the LAST point made in the blog,

“In the future, when the parenting collective insists on nut free zones, scoreless athletics, and holiday-free childhoods, do the one thing that might run counter to your lone wolf individualism: Start a coalition! Beneath sensible button-ups and shift dresses you might be surprised to find an analytical army of rugged individuals ready to wage war against groupthinking nut haters everywhere.”

This is libertaian, if you have a problem DO SOMETHING. But if doing something means writing an “article” bashing something that you know nothing about maybe you should try something else.

Finally I want to comment on “Free-Range Parenting” as it was discussed at length in the comments of the article. Free Range parenting is not letting your kids run around doing whatever they want. It’s actually one of the most libertarian parenting philosophies ever, its also totally compatible with attachment parenting. I think they  go hand in hand very well. The idea of free range is that your child is a responsible human being who is capable of doing things on their own. They don’t need constant supervision to do something they know how to do and is relatively safe! It’s part letting kids be kids and part reality check. Its realizing there is not a kidnapper around every corner and its actually safe to let your kid explore the neighborhood! Check out the blog, freerangekids.com for tons of info on free-range parenting.

Finally I  want to say, that doing research and taking responsibility as a parent is libertarian no matter how that manifests itself in your parenting style. Most often I’ve found that attachement parents are some of the few parents I meet who are actually educated about children and parenting. If I ask a non-attachment parent a “Why?” about parenting, rarely can they give me an answer they thought up themselves. Most often its “My Dr. told me to.” That’s a cop-out. It is. Doctors aren’t parenting experts, some aren’t even health experts! Doing your own research, thinking for yourself, and being responsible for your decisions (including bringing a child into the world) is libertarian, and that’s what attachment parents are doing.

Sorry I don’t have time to edit this. I have to pack for the Libertarian National Convention, I leave in just over 24 hours. I will be busy attachment parenting and being a libertarian at the national convention. Kennedy, if you go, be sure to find me and say “Hi”.

Babywearing, one of the "7 Bs" of attachment parenting.

Our house is SOLD! NOT!

This happened a while ago, but I’m a pretty mediocre blogger, I apologize.

After we got a contract on our home we rushed to get plane tickets to Portland to look at a house we loved and wanted to buy. After we bought the tickets, we got a call that the house had been sold to someone else. It was disappointing, but since we had already bought non-refundable tickets we decided we needed to go look at other possibilities.

We flew to Portland on a Tuesday, with Wednesday and Thursday to look at houses. We were going to fly back Friday. We spend Wednesday driving from house to house (8 in total) getting more and more disappointed as none of them were quite what we wanted. That night in the hotel we broadened our search on-line and found a house that was a great deal and looked like a good fit for us! The next day we went to see it and found out there were already 9 offers on it! We decided to put in a nice high offer (I think it was about 5 grand over asking price) in hopes we could snag it. We signed the offer and walked out to the car, where I checked my e-mail. There was a message from our lawyer that said, in thick legalese, that the buyers backed out of the contract. No explanation why. Here we are in Portland, just signed an offer on a great house, and now we have no buyer on our house. I was ready to cry.

We quickly called our Relator and found out some more details. They didn’t like the location of the house. Seriously? They couldn’t figure that out BEFORE signing a contract? I was so angry. I was just done. We went to the city to drown our sorrows in drinks and sushi. Luckily stumbling on a great sushi restaurant cheered us up a bit, but we were still in a funk.

We went home and had a break for a weekend. No showings, no nothing. We just needed to relax and regroup. Monday we signed the paperwork to relist the house. After shifting into packing mode and packing most of my office, I had to shift back to organizing and purging more. Thinking about this house in the long term again.

After all was said and done we could see a lot of good in this. One, we didn’t have to rush to pack. These buyers wanted in the house in four weeks! Thats fast! We were very overwhelmed with the idea of having to be out in four weeks. If the deal had gone though we’d be packing the moving truck this weekend! Now we can slow back down and focus mostly on training the dogs again.

Second, we can get a better house. We were surprised to find that we didn’t qualify for a very good mortgage and that my credit had dropped. The mortgage banker is helping us to raise our credit score as quickly as possible so that when our house sells we can get a better mortgage. Also, we hope our moving date will be more flexible this time allowing us longer to find a house and put in an offer (or more than one if needed). This trip there were no houses, we really loved. We are hoping when we actually need to buy there will be one.

Finally, this may allow us to move closer to our goal move date (not months before). We are hoping to move near the end of July, around the same time as my sister, so that the boys can play together as much as possible.

All in all, we did learn a lot from this experience, and we hope it will help us down the road. Can’t wait to sell our house!

Things Mark Loves

My son Mark is almost 19 months. This is a very fun age! He has many interests and things he loves right now.

He loves music and dancing.

He loves Art.

He loves Dogs.

He loves Cats.

He loves BUGS!

He loves running and trying to jump.

He loves exploring.

He loves playing.

He loves Shawn the Sheep.

He loves riding his train.

He loves food.

He loves getting dressed.

He loves swimming.

He loves sidewalk chalk.

He loves Daddy!

But most of all, he loves Mommy!

And I’ll take that! 🙂

 

 

[There is supposed to be a picture here, but every picture I try to upload ends up sideways! If you know why this is happening let me know PLEASE! I’m on a mac using Chrome.]