Thursday, September 8, 2011

Attachment Parent the Parents, Please

The following guest post is contributed by Dr. Linda Folden Palmer, author of The Baby Bond and HMN Advisory Board Member.

I occasionally come across highly judgmental sometimes even cruel comments toward one parenting choice of some “otherwise” wonderful mom.

I deeply believe that all of us mothers, trying to do our best with what needs, customs, and resources we have behind us, need to lovingly attachment parent each other too, and we can learn valuable things from every other mom on the planet. Many aspects of holistic parenting are controversial, but just as we need to put ourselves in another frame of mind when our little one does something rather evil-looking, we need to put ourselves into the frame that conventional parenting practices come from, rather than focusing so much on opposition. For example, the breast/bottle issue can become such a flammable, violent war at times but that polar attitude helps no one. We get so caught-up in promoting a cause today, that we totally forget our shared humanity.

Whatever your particular passion or cause as a holistic parent, I think it will take decades of gentle, loving tolerance and education to gradually create change in our country and the world. I believe that modeling is often the most powerful action we can engage. For example, after finding solace in an attachment parenting playgroup when my boy was little, I continued participating in the mainstream playgroup I was already involved in. I encountered many questions, looks, and comments there about my breastfeeding and non-vaxing, among other things. I would try to insert a very occasional educational response while mostly just smiling and going on with my own ways. I was pleasantly surprised to see maybe a 50% increase overall in the group breastfeeding as second babies came around. I didn't know much about the rest of their practices but I learned how effective teaching through gentle example could be. I also learned so much from all of those moms.

We know that any harsh negative attitudes toward us as children left lasting lessons that produced very different results from what was likely desired. Let’s remember this same thing as we co-parent the world’s children. Let’s attachment parent all other parents — give other parents a break, a thumbs-up, and warm acceptance for their efforts while we teach quietly through gentle example what we feel will work best for our children.

Linda Folden Palmer is a doctor of chiropractic, a consultant and speaker on pediatric nutrition and natural parenting challenges, a science writer, and a mother. She’s the author of Baby Matters, and the updated and embellished version, The Baby Bond, The New Science Behind What’s Really Important When Caring for Your Baby. She left her chiropractic practice shortly after the birth of her son, when she was confronted with his serious health challenges. For her son’s sake, she delved deeply into the scientific and medical literature to find answers – which led to further questions and some astonishing realizations and finally to her book. With 1,200 science journal references, The Baby Bond brings the solid evidence that supports natural parenting practices. Learn more at her website at for more natural parenting information.

1 comment:

  1. YES! Thank you so much Dr. Palmer for saying it so clearly!

    A peaceful approach from a place of respect can do wonders in helping others see alternate ideas in a different light.


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