Dealing with Non Attachment parents

Brenda - posted on 01/16/2009 ( 23 moms have responded )

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So sometimes I have to take a huge breath when dealing with non AP parents. Those that try their best to convince me that I'm wrong and my child is going to be a danger to society because he's "coddled". My biggest issue is with cry it out. And I have a very difficult time with parents that pull facts out of the air about when babies manipulate. One lady said three months, and I've run into people who did cry it out at 1 month of age. So I thought I would start a thread on here about how we deal with them. Thoughts? Ideas?

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You know what kills me is that we have become so self centered as a society that we'd rather let our children "cry-it-out" etc just so WE can return to our pre-baby life faster. What's funny is that we have so many cases of depression and other psychological problems in our children these days but no ones wantes to consider that maybe we are pushing them to be so "independant" that they feel lonely and disconnected. It's sad and what's worse are the so called profesionals who write books and encourage well meaning parents to do this garbage. I read Dr. Sears and do whatever my mommy instinct tells me and guess what my 2.5yr old decided for herself to sleep on her own several months ago and is happy knowing that when she feels bad or needs a cuddle she can still come over to mommy and daddy's bed and push her sister over LOL She also reads and does some math and is in general a very polite and happy little girl. I generally just keep to myself with mostof my opinions unless directly asked. When asked I tell most people that they should read ACTUAL studies done that show how distressing it is for babies to cry it out and then talk to me about it.

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Geralyn - posted on 11/24/2012

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Deaf babies don't cry? I never heard that. They actually have devices or baby monitors that help deaf parents identify when a baby is crying in another room. Like the usual ones, but a light may flash, Hmmm...

Alicia - posted on 08/10/2012

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Ok, I know this was three years ago, so maybe you're not on here anymore, lol - but, do you have any information on what you mentioned about babies not crying n orphanages? A friend of mine was trying to justify CIO/babies being manipulative by pointing out that deaf babies usually don't cry. I'm thinking it's a similar situation as with orphans, but I'd love to have more info about it for her. She's TTC, and CIO makes me so sad.

Amie - posted on 02/23/2009

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I'm lucky enough to have a very supportive mother. My father, on the other hand, is supportive of what we want to do, but unable to do it himself (no patience).

I would say to your mother that all kids eventually become manipulative. Its just part of growing up and learning how the world works. Your daughter, at least, will never have to try and manipulate her way into your affections because she will already be secure in the fact that she is loved. Attachment Parenting can be A LOT more work in the beginning than other forms of parenting, but the reward comes later in life, when our children feel more loved, more secure, more understood and have a greater desire to please us. I can see some of these results in my 3 year old when I watch her interact with other children her age. She is less demanding, more willing to follow along, has a secure sense of what the "rules" are, and knows that if there is an issue she can come to me. Even my one year old is more willing to explore her environment, secure in the knowledge that when the world around her becomes overwhelming, mommy will always be there.

My parents watch our girls on Friday nights so that I can have some time off. During that time, I know that they are loved and well taken care of, but I don't believe that they are cared for the way * I * would care for them. This is part of their learning experience: love is demonstrated differently by different people. "Mommy does this, Daddy does that, Kamma does this and Kampa that." I think that's healthy. It also demonstrates to them that everyone is different and that, too, is okay. Its just how the world works: "Kampa's not as patient, Kamma likes to play, Mommy gives good cuddles, and Daddy is fun to wrestle with" or whatever. My point is, that different people have different personalities, different values, different ways of seeing the same situation and that is a GOOD thing for them to learn in a safe, loving environment.

If your Mom really wants to understand, you could direct her to some websites that discuss what AP is and what the benefits are. You could try to explain to her why its so important to you: (these are some of my reasons) I want my children to feel loved and secure, to be well adjusted adolescents and adults, and I want them to know that I will listen to them and respond to their needs. Substitute your own reasons; it might help if you write them down.

As for her issues with your daughter now, try explaining that part of the point of AP is to develop a HEALTHY attachment and some of what she is experiencing may be because you (an attached parent) aren't there, BUT she could develop a similar attachment and experience the same benefits. AP babies tend to need lots of holding - show her how to use a sling. AP babies tend to be more sensitive to noises and emotions; if she remains calm while baby is fussing she may calm more quickly. IMHO, babies can *not* be manipulative; they just don't have the emotional development to understand everything that is involved in trying to manipulate people. There is a lot of research to support this point of view.

And, last of all, try not to view it as an attack. From your mother's POV she raised you and you're ok, right? She's probably trying to be helpful. In addition, no one wants to hear that the way they were told to raise their children is now thought to be harmful to a child's development so she may be a bit defensive too. Just saying. :) Hang in there, understanding takes time.

Samantha - posted on 02/23/2009

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I agree with this view and normally have no trouble telling strangers how it is...but how do you handle loved ones who dont support your ideas.  My own mother is constantly saying my daughter is going to be a manipulative child and already is....I tell her that she barely ever cries unless wet or teething and she says that my daughter is very clingy and whiney with her...again I tell not me so how is manipulating me (sounds like she's doing only to my mom so its not the way Im parenting it's her grandparenting)...I just get so insulted and defensive when the ones I love are the ones attacking.  I dont know how to deal with them.

Brenda - posted on 02/14/2009

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Isn't it the truth!  :)  Personally, I and my husband are both video gamers (gamers in general) and we both believe in the benefit of appropriate video games for an age group.  Its all a matter of maturity of he user, and some games are good and some games are not.  My son is a little computer wiz, and has learned vast amounts of stuff from website games like starfall.com and pbskids.org, so much so that at 3 1/2 he already reads by sounding out words.  Games have a place, like everything in life, and must be used with discretion of the parent and moderation.  Games can enhance a child's life, but like tv, the parent has to be in control.



People are so often well meaning, but can get hung up in their own ideals.  I think the smile and nod approach is the best, because to be honest, we're not going to change anyone's mind.  Even we can become defensive of our parenting style if we allow ourselves, and we've got to be careful of that.  Good parents are good parents, and the same goes for bad ones.  We do what we feel is right, and you know, I bet half the people that give advice like letting babies cry it out, didn't even do it themselves, they just tell you what they were told.  Who knows what they really did...they could have co slept but are so embarressed because it is "taboo" by most that they won't talk about it...

Maria - posted on 02/14/2009

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you know what... some people made me feel like I was a bad mother because my daughter co-sleep with us ..at one point i did let this affect me , how ever, when they told me to do a” baby boot camp “, and put her in a dark room , close the door and let her cry... they totally lost their credibility  ! my husband and i loves that we are all together at night, we work a lot, so every little time we have with her counts, even when she is sleeping.... i can't just let her cry to sleep. so in the end i just smile and let them say whatever they want . it is not going to change the way I feel

Aveline - posted on 02/14/2009

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That's so so cruel.
Personally I would never ever let my baby just cry, I always cuddle him and rock him to sleep like a mother should, no matter how long it takes. I want him to feel loved and know I'm always there for him.

Christina - posted on 02/05/2009

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on the other hand, it is nice to actually have a place to come to and talk about the things that you can't talk about with other people b/c they just dont' understand. but i won't be coming back here b/c all i wanna do is vent lol

Amie - posted on 02/05/2009

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On a side note, my husband, 42, still plays video games as well. I think its a guy thing...a way for them to escape for a bit. He never plays while the girls are awake though. Its his version of the bubble bath :) and who doesn't like a good long soak every once in awhile?

Amie - posted on 02/05/2009

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Hey ladies! While I understand your dissapointment and frustration, I would like to keep this board positive and supportive.

IMHO there are plenty of well-adjusted, wonderful parents who do not AP (usually because they don't know enough about it, don't have enough support, or don't know any different).

We are all just trying to do the best we can, and raise the best children that we can. This forum is meant as a place for parents choosing AP to get support. I recognized that most of the forums were not geared toward this type of parenting and wanted to create a place where we could talk about co-sleeping and AP without being accused of being permissive or neglectful parents.

Please lets keep this a place where we can receive support for the parenting decisions we make, and not turn it into a place to judge parents who choose differently.

Christina - posted on 02/05/2009

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video games.



BAH.  my fiance is still addicted and he's 26. well i wouldn't say addicted but he'd definitely prefer that over intelligent conversation. that's gonna be a toughie in the child and pre teen years. there's just gonna have to be an outright ban.

Cassaundra - posted on 02/05/2009

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yup. well adjusted children pay off in the long run. It's just a shame to put in all the work, and still get a badly adjusted child because people disagreed with you and insisted on inflicting their wrong ideas against your will! I'm still trying to clean up the mess my Ex made with my middle two as well. I'm constantly on remedial parenting! It's way more work, and way more exhausting having to justify yourself to people. God, how many Moms (and Dads) out there load their kids up with junk food, video games and over-priced crap toys, just so they can sit around smoking cigarettes and drinking beer. then they attack us for trying to do better!

Christina - posted on 02/05/2009

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which is ironic, because it's actually less effort we use in the long run. less hassle, and if there is routine and structure - everything is much easier.

Cassaundra - posted on 02/05/2009

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I do! I have one friend with a new baby who agrees with me too. I have other friends with new babies too, they're doing things different, but they are all really cool and respectful.  If only everyone was the same. Okay, so you don't want to put in the same amount of effort as we do, that's cool. But why put so much effort into fighting us!

Christina - posted on 02/05/2009

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i know .. it's like people think that doing the right thing for your child is wrong. BAH!! SO frustrating!!!  "I want my children to grow up in a peaceful, non-violent, non-competitive, ecologicallly friendly, culturally and religiously and sexually orientated tolerant home. A home that is free of video games, eats a balanced diet, gets exercise and teaches and practices self-control, discipline and respect." .. that is exactly the way i think and there's not a single person that agrees with me!!

Cassaundra - posted on 02/05/2009

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When people give opinions, that's one thing, smile and nod "we like doing it our way, it's our choice". Easy. What really drives me nuts is when people specifically sabotage your efforts. ON PURPOSE! My eldest was raised to have strict limits on the toys and media that she was exposed to. For instance, absolutely no Barbies, ever (they didn't have Bratz then) She has told me now, (she's 16) thather Father's family went out of their way to get her Barbies, and to break every other rule I had, right from the start. She was INSTRUCTED TO LIE to me about these practices. She looks back now and wishes she'd never had Barbies (or any of the other things) and tells me how she learned to hate herself because of the way they portrayed femininty. I'm trying to clean up the mess made by other people, but it's such hard work. She started smoking to copy her Aunt, and stole her cigarettes, it goes on and on. Now I've become even more extreme with my 3 younger children. I don't even like the idea of letting them visit the homes of people who disagree with me, for fear of having the work I'm doing sabotaged. I want my children to grow up in a peaceful, non-violent, non-competitive, ecologicallly friendly, culturally and religiously and sexually orientated tolerant home. A home that is free of video games, eats a balanced diet, gets exercise and teaches and practices self-control, discipline and respect. You'd think that would be recognised as an admirable goal, instead people try to sabotage!

Christina - posted on 01/29/2009

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i find it very hard to keep my mouth shut when ppl say stuff about the way i choose to sleep with my baby. I get everything from "you're gonna suffocate her" to "you're gonna spoil her and she's not gonna wanna sleep on her own". It's funny because most people that say stuff are people who are just giving their opinions, none have actually done any research. The classic smile and nod is probably what should work best, but if you feel like telling people they're wrong, go ahead. It's not gonna put you in any worse of a situation if people were already judging you. As for CIO - crying is a babies way of comforting themselves, and there's a big difference. Whimpers and whining is one thing, but when you see actual tears, and the baby is screaming for more than a couple of minutes, and this is happening constantly, then there might be reason for concern. But the occasional CIO is not going to cause psychological damage.

Amie - posted on 01/23/2009

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Well, I don't like people poking their noses into the way I parent so I tend not to say much about the way other people parent. That said, I usually just say "ok" or "I'm not comfortable with doing that" or something similar and then walk away feeling sorry for them and their kids. Opinions are like a**holes, everyone's got one :)

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I think you have to let it go most of the time.  Most of the parents that say things like that to you won't change their opinion no matter what you say in response.  My mother-in-law will say something and I will correct her and tell her that  our doctor recommends what we are doing (which is true -- had to change doctors but found a good one when we did).  It can be very frustraing though.

Zee - posted on 01/18/2009

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I truly despise the Babywise book. There is actually an article that linked failure to thrive and dehydration to the Babywise methods. VERY scary stuff.
I'm pretty much at ease with telling people that I intend to breastfeed my son until he weans himself (just like my daughter did), co-sleep, nuture, and love on my son all I want because it's what works for us. When moms try to guilt me into being a hand-off parent I take a look at my independent, well adjusted, and spirited 4 year old and I know I'm doing the right thing with my son. :-) In the long run I do what's best for my family and at this point. Crying it out teaches a child to give up and essentially gives the message that their parent is not going to meet his/her needs. That is so sad to think about.

Brenda - posted on 01/17/2009

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You are so right.  I just posted a note on facebook the other day.  I myself am a graduate student with a B.S. in pychology and I'm going to become a school counselor, so I've had a few classes and a little experience with it, and I used the example of third world orphanages where the babies don't cry.  They don't cry because there's no one there to take care of them, except when the staff is scheduled to feed/change/clothe them.  Its the same effect as CIO.  My latest annoyance is with the parenting book "babywise", complete rubbish that it is.  Any book that advocates starving your child during the night so you can get a good night's sleep is nothing but trash to me.

Teresa - posted on 01/17/2009

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Once my urge to vomit and cry passes for the sake of their innocent babies, I either express to them that there is proof that CIO causes psychological harm and that the only reason the baby finally "gives up" and goes to sleep is because they feel completely abandoned and alone. However, if someone is truly adamant and thinks they're going to convince me otherwise, I give them my most sympathetic look and tell them I am deeply sorry that their child will have to go through that. And it's true. No child should have to, but, sadly, many, many do :( It breaks my heart. What a selfish society we live in!!

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