Families & the Community

Does ‘Attachment Parenting’ Lead to More Self-Confidence?

By Lesli A. Maxwell — May 10, 2012 1 min read
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This was just too irresistible to ignore. The new Time magazine cover features a (quite glamorous-looking) 26-year-old stay-at-home mother and blogger breastfeeding her nearly four-year-old son.

It’s a deliberately provocative photo (with an equally provocative headline that asks “Are You Mom Enough?”) that accompanies a cover story on Dr. William Sears, the pediatrician whose theory of “attachment parenting” is based on the idea that strong bonds created between children and their parents during childhood have lifelong benefits. That parenting approach was popularized by Dr. Sears in his 1992 book The Baby Book.

The breastfeeding mother on the cover, Jamie Lynne Grumet, talks in a Q and A with Time about how her own mother breastfed her until the age of six, when she weaned herself. That experience, she explains, gave her “so much self-confidence as a child, and I know it’s from that. I never felt like she would ever leave me. I felt that security.”

Extended breast-feeding is one of the three pillars of “attachment parenting,” which also includes co-sleeping and “baby wearing,” in which infants are carried in slings by their parents.

I’m going to stop here and leave it to readers to hash out the pros and cons of this parenting style (the first to come to my mind is how it doesn’t account at all for the relative privilege of families who can afford to have mom at home full time with young children) and discuss their thoughts on the long-term benefits and/or drawbacks.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.


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