Monday, July 20, 2009

Attachment Parenting: Permissive Parenting?

I'm curious to know what people who aren't attachment parents think about the practice. Is it child-led parenting? Permissive parenting? No-holds-barred parenting? Mom-as-doormat parenting? Unparenting?

Do you think that attachment parenting can work for older kids? Does it extend beyond breastfeeding, cosleeping, and babywearing?

I'm curious what you think, and I'll explain why in an upcoming post.

What are your thoughts?

Give me your feedback! Leave a comment here or email me at

Don't know what attachment parenting is all about? Look at Attachment Parenting International's website, where they talk about the "8 Principles."

If you liked this post, you might enjoy The 8 Principles with Older Kids ... Still Valid?

Photo from here


  1. Oh wow, I was wondering about this very thing. A still enjoys sleeping in our bed, and during a recent vacation, we heard plenty of negative comments about it. i was pretty confident about what I thought, and did not waver, but wished I had better vocabulary ready to respond to them. I think it's child-led parenting. Not forcing an agenda or schedule. I find your thoughts on how it translates to parenting older kids, very useful and interesting...particularly bcuz one does have to think a lot more about independence with an older child. I do see that we have raised a very independent thinker, a very compassionate independent thinker. He also loves doing things away from us - has never been afraid to try new things, away from us. That tells me we're doing something right. He seems fortified by the attachment, more secure to venture out, rather than clingy. But then, I only have one kid. I can't tell if it's his nature, or if it's the type of parenting. Thanks for your blog, I am pretty addicted to it!

  2. I wanted to add, it is NOT permissive. Not forcing an agenda, also means taking on the responsibility to create an environment where the child seeks out POSITIVE ways to do things. FOr example (and this's just how we chose to do it, within our constraints and abilities) we don't have a TV at all. We occasionally rent videos. THis for us has meant our kid spends hours a day reading, and LOVES reading. I really see a direct correlation between these 2 facts. Yet, we've NEVER given him rewards to read, as I see many aprents do. We just created an environment based on what we thot would work for him, have plenty of books around in his areas of interest. And then, he takes it from there. Because it's the right match for HIM, for this to be done. I don't force things he feels not so interested in, even when I really feel he needs to learn those things...this's been a harder thing to achieve, but is satisfying. I've only had to work on my own ideas on what needs to be learnt when. ANd respect his ideas, which've always been super-mature and very reasonable.

  3. I'm a new AP mom, but many of my mom friends would not describe themselves as AP. I think many see AP as child-in-charge or no discipline. I see it as more of a family philosophy, empathy and respect for all. For our family, this extends to our "village" of friends and extended family as well. I try to teach APness by example. I just share what we do in our family and why it works for us. And how it might help them. It's amazing how AP some of my mom friends have become without ever even discussing the term AP. I think the key is that so much of the AP philiosophy reinforces our mama instincts while so much of the parenting literature goes against them.

  4. AP is definitely the normal way of parenting in many Eastern cultures, like India. Many Indians who move to America are a bit confused/uncomfortable about it, but tend to follow it. I think, by default, one tends to parent the way one was parented.