Attachment parenting controversy surfaces due to Time Magazine cover

Posted on 25 May 2012

Over the years, certain parenting techniques have caused national debate. But perhaps, the most controversial parenting method to date is "attachment parenting." Time Magazine recently published an article that detailed the intricacies of this form of child rearing that launched a worldwide controversy, especially when it came to the cover of the publication, which featured Jamie Lynne Grumet, a young, attractive mother breastfeeding her three-year-old son.

Critics of the cover called it inappropriate and even disgusting. But despite the contentious photo, the article inside the magazine was quite informative and showed that this technique is becoming more common than ever before.

Attachment parenting was created by pediatrician Dr. William Sears and is said to help create very strong, lifelong bonds between the caregivers and the child. According to Dr. Sears, there are eight principles that parents should adhere to: preparation for pregnancy, birth and parenting, feed with love and respect, respond with sensitivity, use nurturing touch, ensure safe sleep, provide constant loving care, practice positive discipline and strive for balance in personal and family life.

And although these pillars seem to be what every parent strives for when raising a baby, attachment parenting's followers take it one step further - and here is where the controversy comes in: this method of child rearing encourages breastfeeding into toddlerhood, advocates children sleeping in the same bed as parents and says little ones should never be left to cry.

Critics of attachment parenting say this method puts the needs of the baby before the parents and fails to teach the children independence. Furthermore, no conclusive research has been discovered which says children whose parents practiced attachment parenting were any better off in the long run, both physically and emotionally.

Whether mothers choose to breastfeed their child until their son or daughter is three or prefer to bottle feed their little ones, it's important that couples do research into the pros and cons of each style of parenting. For questions on what suits their lifestyle best, parents should talk to a pediatrician, as these doctors can help provide valuable insight into what is best for each individual baby.

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