I’m not a big fan of many terms for parenting styles and Attachment Parenting is one of the big ones. Attachment parenting is more often than not unnaturally child centered and it’s a term that is definitely being adopted by many mainstream parents. Like you attachment parent if you breastfeed, use cloth diapers sometimes and don’t spank or any other combination of attachment parenting principles. I think at one point it might have meant that you were working on maintaining a strong attachment with your child. Now it’s a catchall phrase for many people with different ideals.

Gentle Discipline is an oxymoronic idea I can’t wrap my head around. As long as you don’t spank you can use all kinds of shaming, guilt trip ridden, mentally violent tactics you want to make children do what you want them to and it’s still “gentle”. I want to strive to parent better than merely not spanking my child. Discipline with any “nice” adjective in front of it is still discipline and doesn’t work, at least not in the way you think it will.

Regardless, for the sake of ease I’ll use these terms. I’ve heard so many people say that you can’t use attachment parenting after your child is three. I feel sorry for the children that have thus far been treated with some degree of care of attachment only to be relegated to the status of too difficult to parent once they hit a certain age and not worth the minimal extra short term effort.

Parenting isn’t easy and I’m not sure it ever gets to be. There are always new challenges especially once you have something figured out. Nevertheless you can and in my not so humble opinion- should endeavour to parent with maximum respect in mind no matter what our child’s age. Parenting after all is about helping our children mature into adults with quality of character and the best way for our children to learn to be people with strong character is to treat them with dignity and respect.

It’s always worth “working with” our children. It’s worth to help them become better people and it’s worth it because it makes parenting easier in the long run and it’s worth it because they are worth it.

2 Responses to AP Past Three

  1. Lindsay says:

    Good post. I don’t like the term “Gentle Discipline” either, and Kris and I have had conversations about how much of a fad “Attachment Parenting” has become to some people. I think often parents lose sight of the important aspects, the children, and are too caught up with what others think or what the minimum they can do to still be considered attachment parents is. I don’t parent the way I do because my aunt’s best friend’s sister or a book told me it’s the right way, I do it this way because it feels right for all of us. I love how you ended this post.

  2. Annie says:

    I’m just nodding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *