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MY parents hate AP - Page 2

post #21 of 55
Another point I didn't see mentioned (although I did skim, might have missed it) is that because it was your mom, she probably said it in a way that hit all your buttons. I know that when I am around my mom I seem to lose a few decades under stress at times....nobody else in the world can make me feel like a kid as quickly and completely. A parental voice criticising us, at any age, is going to make us question ourselves. The same thing said by anybody else would probably just tick you off instead of question yourself.
post #22 of 55
Originally Posted by geekgolightly
IMO, you're AP if you respond to your daughter's cues. That's all it takes. The rest of the stuff is if it fits with your life.

Thank you! I do try to sneak a nap in with dd, I'ts better than nothing and ds wants me to cuddle sometimes with him at night.
post #23 of 55
post #24 of 55
When I remember some of the advice I've been given by non-APer's I feel assured that I am doing the right thing.

For example, here's some quotes from my in laws(sil's and mil)

"Put that baby down and walk away" ds was 5 weeks old

"I used to crank the stereo so the baby would get used to sleeping with loud noises" ds at 2 weeks

"Can't you just TRY some cereal in a bottle - it will help you get a night's rest?!?" ds at 1 week

"I'm not leaving until I see that baby in the swing" ds at 5 days!!

"Nobody gets to hold him when you have that sling on all the time"

"Why don't you leave him here for the weekend so you can go to your dh's reunion?" ds at 7 weeks

Yes, non-supportive people can make life very difficult for an APer and make them start to doubt themselves. The whole thing about ap is respect for the needs of the baby. Most mainstreamers focus on the needs of the parents and justify it as being the best for baby because it makes them "independent" which of course is a crock! It just makes them give up, not care, or increase thier neediness in order to get what they need. How can a baby be independent - THEY ARE TOTALLY DEPENDANT ON YOU TO LIVE!!!! They won't be independent until they are, what, 17 or 18, right? You have plenty of time for them to go to other people!!! It will happen. Keep respecting your child's personaltiy.

You are giving your babe what she needs. It's hard for someone who didn't use that type of parenting to feel that what she did was wrong. It's much easier to feel that what you're doing is wrong, kwim?

And also, I found that my in laws had a lot of NEEDS themselves that they tried to quell with baby love and cuddles. They wanted to hold the baby because THEY needed to, not because they wanted to do anything FOR the baby. Does this make sense?

As the mom to a high need 2 yo ds, who still nurses all the time, co-sleeps, likes a LOT of body contact, and doesn't go to people well I can now say that AP is DEFINITELY the right thing for us, no matter what anybody says. I doubted myself in the beginning because I was being so bombarded - but once I got myself some support, LLL, a sister and a few others, things got much easier. When you are confident about your decision it will show.

Good luck in your situation.
post #25 of 55
So, abandoning a child who wants your presence is somehow going to teach him to be more independent?


if it makes you feel any better, my spanking, time-outing, yelling friend's kids bug her just as much on the phone, if not more.
post #26 of 55
My ds went through a VERY clingy period shortly after his 2nd birthday to just recently. Almost a year of not letting me out of his sight. This only applied when someone other than me or dh was in the house or car or we were out. The way he reacted you would think he had been abandoned before! I started to get really overwhelmed by his behavior. But as quickly as it happened it went away. Now he is happy go lucky and waving and interacting with people again. It was so bad if a stranger said hello to him in the store he would BURST out crying...Saturday he went in childcare while I work out at the gym This might seem like nothing to most parents but to us it's a HUGE stepping stone. Where we live we have NO family. Ds has never been babysat for. He is not in pre-school or any other function that would involve him and not one of us. Regardless of any and all advice given me by many well meaning *idiots* I never wavered in my AP style. As much as it sometimes exhausted me I continued to listen to my ds cues. And my reward is SWEET! Now it is my ds who is being patient with me while I adjust to his new found independence. I must have checked on him 10 times in 30 minutes Sat. at the gym. Cut my work out short and ran to be with him only to find out he didn't want to leave Go with your gut mama. Your mother had her time to chose her own parenting style...now it is yours
post #27 of 55
My first born wasn't "ap"ed, and she was the exact same way. that's normal behavior for that age, ap or not, imo.
post #28 of 55
My daugher was a lot like this in her first few years. My one sister was very hurt that despite wanting to love and cuddle her, my daughter only wanted 'mama.' Now my daughter is 6 and she loves being with her aunt. I believe the clingy phase passes faster if you (and others) don't force it. How about initiating some outings with your mom and child where you are all together away from home territory. This is what I did with my sister and daughter. Lots of trips to the zoo and the park where my sister gradually doing more one on one with me in the background and my daughter learned to associate being with her with being fun. AND my SISTER got to observe the empathic AP style of parenting and see how effective it was instead of criticizing it. After a few weeks she commented that I seemed better able to calm my daughter than a lot of her friends. Also she and I were able to get closer too than if I had just left my daughter with her. Those outings are good memories now. And my daughter loves overnights with her aunt.
post #29 of 55
Thread Starter 

Don't want to force independence too soon

I read one of the posts, sorry, don't have time to go back and quote it, about one of the mommas on this thread who sent her little one to montessori a couple of times a week and said it really helped give her hubby (sahd) a break and helped her DD. I am planning on sending DS (he will be almost two and a half) to preschool in the Fall. I am hoping to be pregnant by then and just desperately will need a break after this summer of chaos I know. It will only be for three hours two days a week. He loves kids and used to go into the nursery all the time at church and then just started not liking it one day. I don't want to rush him into being independent, but want to offer him the chance to be with other kids and accept that other adults can take care of him. For those of you who have had to make this tough decision, what were your guidelines? Wait outside the preschool and if he hasn't stopped crying in ten minutes, go in?? Give it a couple to tries and if he/she cries every time you drop off, then just give up and try again next year? We waited a whole year to get into this preschool (just have to get on a list WAY early) and it is so highly recommended. I think he would really enjoy it because he LOVES other kids. Any advice out there for AP mommas who want a break, but aren't sure about the preschool thing yet??
post #30 of 55
That was me. We tried one preschool, and dd never seemed to "fit in" there, and was upset every time we left her. Plus, 2 days a week at such a young age wasn't consistent enough for her. from Tuesday until Thursday was not so long of a gap, but then until the next tuesday and she had almost forgotten about preschool. She would cry and say, "no preschool, I don't like it," so she was out of there after only about a month.

Then we found the Montessori, and they let us come in and stay with her for the first week, and stay in the morning for a while if she needed it. She would cry when we dropped her off, but we'd always call on the cel phone and check, and they would let us know that she had settled down and was okay. If she didn't, we'd go back after waiting for about 10-15 minutes to see if she would calm down.

As I said, the first month was rough, and she did cry when we dropped her off, nearly every time. it was heartbreaking for us, and we were doubting ourselves and if we were doing the right thing. But when we'd go to pick her up she'd be running and playing outside, laughing with the other kids. And we'd ask if she had a good time, she'd always say yes. After the first 4-6 weeks, she started to look forward to it in the morning, and talk about the teacher there that she really bonded with, and the other kids she likes. Now she talks about it and how much fun she has. I'm glad it worked out for her, but if it hadn't, we would have taken her out, even though we had a waiting list too.

Part of it was so dad could have a break, but part of it was so that she could meet and interact with other kids, and have fun. So that was a big consideration for us.

I do think it takes a few weeks at least to make any major change to a toddler's lifestyle. most of them don't handle change well and will need a lot of support throughout the transition. It helped our daughter to know that they would call us on the phone if she needed us.
post #31 of 55
DD was pretty attached to me and DH for a long time. In the past few months, she has really blossomed and is growing more independent and willing to go to people she knows more than she used to. Now when we visit friends or family that she knows well, it is like, "forget you Mama and Daddy, I off to play with these folks!" I just started taking her to a drop off playgroup and was recently told by her when I didn't leave fast enough, "Go away, Mama." I am so happy that we waited as long as we did to leave her, until we feel that she is ready. We have let her with a babysitter here and there when it was necessary and she didn't always like it, but now she really digs hanging with other people. Point of my story: be there for your babe when he shows signs of needing you. He will not always be clingy and soley attached to you. I would not unnecessarily push him into situations where he needs to be away from you to teach him how to be less dependent on you. It could well backfire. DD was over 2 when she started needing us a bit less. Could be right around the corner for your son.

And just remember, this too shall pass. Sounds like you are dealing with less than supportive people around you. Anyway you can hang with more like-minded folks so that you get some support for you and don't feel so isolated with your parenting choices?
post #32 of 55

Phone Tag and AP & Real Boys

Ok, I am a WAHM. I run an insurance business (Aflac) out of my basement and have had to deal with the phone issue a lot. Here's my solution: LET HIM TALK ON THE PHONE!! Really, it's a like a 3 second conversation, you promt him to say hello, my name is XYZ and bye bye.

If the person is a social aquaintence, they just love talking to my daughter and are used to the drill. The business side knows I have a 3 1/2 yr old and I know the ones who don't think it's unprofessional (I've even brought her with me on some slaes calls - everyone knows I do this to go with her schedule, so it's like Bring Your Daughter to Work Day). But if the business line rings I do try to hide when I answer it just in case.

He sees you excited about being on the phone and wants to model what you do, there is NOTHING clingy about that. Your mom on the other hand is acting like she is two and frankly, I would have yelled back "Mom, you're having a fit go have a time out, in this house we don't slam doors" She wants to act like a child, then treat her like a child.

BTW, I live in Berks County PA, a conservative spare the rod spoil the child who needs to be trained community. I was the only one who breastfead past 1 year (and still do). My daughter has NEVER been outside my presence or my aunt's presence (who lives with us as "nana"). Does this make her cautious around other adults she dosn't know well ... YES ... do I mind? ... NO Because this makes her less likely to be stolen by some stranger, I know she will scream like she's on fire for mommy.

My mother lives in Maine, like 10 hours away and sees my daughter almost never but they have built a relationship. If your mother would spend more time with your son doing things that he likes, like building trains (my mom is an electrical engineer and my daughter loves Thomas) they could build common ground. My daughter sings "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "ABC" to my mom on the phone and "talks" to her ans has done this since she was two.

She is 3 1/2 and she knows my mom drives a Yellow car and that she makes trains for her. I know that she misses my mom when she tells me "Grandma comming in the yellow car to make trains for Alexa, Yes?" AP has done this, not "independence", my daughter knows that it's important to connect with other people.

Is your son around other kids his age? If he is not clingy when he's with them then I really woudn't worry about it. Mine is an only child and I took her to Gymboree for about a year and at first she was shy with other kids. Now she's in ballerina classes and pushes me out the door so class can start. But she still dosn't like adults, particularly men.

But your son may just be shy and that's OK! Read William Pollack's Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood {www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0805061835/} and you will know you are doing the right thing. (check it out from the library or buy it, it's work the money) Make your hubby, mother, father, FIL & MIL read it too, they may realize why you are doing what you do and that's it's actually right.

Based on Pollack's groundbreaking research at Harvard over two decades, Real Boys explores why many boys are sad, lonely, and confused although they may appear tough, cheerful, and confident. Pollack challenges conventional expectations about manhood and masculinity that encourage parents to treat boys as little men, raising them through a toughening process that drives their true emotions underground. Only when we understand what boys are really like, says Pollack, can we help them develop more self-confidence and the emotional savvy they need to deal with issues such as depression, love and sexuality, drugs and alcohol, divorce, and violence. Here's blurb on it:
Listening to the author William Pollack read Real Boys, it doesn't take long to find out that being a boy these days isn't all fun and games. As codirector of the Center for Men at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical Center, Pollack has seen behind the stoic masks of troubled, modern boys as they struggle to cope with the mixed messages, conflicting expectations, and increasingly complex demands they receive from our evolving society. "New research shows that boys are faring less well ... that many boys have remarkably fragile self-esteem, and that the rates of both depression and suicide in boys are frighteningly on the rise."

What are parents to do? They could start by listening to the author's thoughts on contemporary child-rearing techniques, analysis of the root causes of many male behavior problems, and recommendations for avoiding all-too-common pitfalls. In Real Boys, Pollack draws upon nearly two decades of research to support his theories and makes an impressive assault on the popular myths surrounding the conventional definition of masculinity.

While listening to Real Boys, it is important to remember that Pollack is a psychologist, not a professional narrator. His enunciation is less than perfect and his reading sometimes strikes a clinical tone, but his intelligent writing and the obvious concern he holds for this important subject help carry a passionate message and compensate for any vocal shortcomings. --George Laney
You may also want to pick up the Real Boys Workbook: The Definitive Guide to Understanding and Interacting With Boys of All Ages: www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0375755268/

Pollack continues his fight against dangerous gender stereotypes with this essential, satisfyingly hefty volume for parents, teachers, and coaches of boys. He aims to crack the "boy code" (basically, society's unfair assumption that boys are testosterone-driven animals who must convey machismo at all costs) by getting readers to reflect on their own thoughts, feelings, and habitual responses. Designed to stand on its own, Real Boys Workbook revisits material covered in Pollack's other books: spot-on anecdotes about boys and their parents, boys suppressing emotions, boys and sports, plus a humbling dose of smart suggestions for using empathy, shared activities, and respect to nurture their loving qualities. In addition, it provides a broad range of open-ended questions to lead well-intentioned readers toward a path of more constructive behavior.

Readers can easily zero in on chapters that will address their immediate concerns (including aggression, loss, competitiveness, and adolescence). And each chapter is accompanied by a thoughtfully composed set of questions. Some draw vivid scenarios for adults to ponder that are analogous to common boyhood experiences (like being dropped off at daycare), in which the boy is expected to keep a stiff upper lip. Others ask readers to critically examine their beliefs, observations, and typical responses to situations arising at school, at home, and on the ball field. Much of the broad self-awareness generated through Pollack's exercises will benefit folks who interact with children of either gender (a broad audience indeed). The trick will be getting this self-awareness into the hands of thosewho need it most. --Liane Thomas
post #33 of 55
Each child is different, and AP style of parenting isn't to blame. We adopted AP style with no. 2 b/c he was needy, it just came naturally to use. Our 1st was not needy and our 3rd is somewhere inbetween closer to not needy and we haven't stopped our AP style with the 3rd.
My mother gets on me for not having a play pen. I told her to go out an find one and I'd use it, she hasn't found on yet!
You've ruined her grandson is an appauling statement! Time to have an adult chat with mom about where her parental rights are and the reality that not all children go to other people even those in their family. (My sister for one and we were not raised in an AP home, if anything it was detacted parenting!)
Feeling for peace within your home go out to you
post #34 of 55
My son was soooo clingy for a long time. It's like he was attached to me. Sometimes I tried to gently get him away from me, but I found that if I embraced it and let him do what he needed he was better off. Now, he's almost 8yo and says "Bye Mom!" as he's on the way out the door to play with his friends. He's still a bit shy with people when he first meets them (as I am, so I totally understand that) and there are some people he's just not comfortable being around. I just don't push him. He's come a long way from the clingy days.
Hang in there. It's really all worth it.
post #35 of 55

Confessions of a Proud Mom

AP can LOOK like spoiling in the early years, but it is actually the best foundation for all the years that follow. If your mom is a gardener, does she "spoil" her plants by meeting all their needs in the early stages?

Here is the article I've written to help reassure AP moms. Your son needs you as much as he needs you. Trying to change that by ignoring his needs will only make him clingier. Keep up the good work!

Confessions of a Proud Mom

By Jan Hunt, M.Sc.

My son is 15 and has brought me nothing but...


I thought you'd say that! No, my son is 15 and has brought me nothing but joy.

"You're kidding! How did you do that?"

I am proud of my son but, unfortunately, I cannot take personal credit. His father and I were simply fortunate enough, after a some missteps at the start, to read insightful parenting books and magazines, and to explore parenting issues with knowledgeable and compassionate friends. Today he is the most caring, thoughtful, and generous person I know.

"Tell me, please! What did you do?"

Well, we did everything we were told by society not to do. He slept next to us, breastfed for several years, was never punished, threatened, bullied, or teased, and was allowed to express anger as well as happiness...

"Oh, you spoiled him?"

Well, let's examine that word. The dictionary defines "spoil" as "to cause to demand or expect too much by overindulgence." In my dictionary, this is the third definition. It mirrors the common usage of this word in our society. This definition denotes a cause and effect: overindulgence, it says, causes spoiling. But is this belief true? Or does this definition merely represent a widespread misunderstanding of the true nature of children's behavior? A definition that would be accurate in terms of the way children actually learn and react is the first one listed: "to damage or injure, to destroy."

What actually spoils a child, what actually damages, injures, and destroys vital qualities in the child are the other choices of parental behavior: punishment, separation, and rejection. These experiences spoil a child's inborn sense of trust, capacity to love, creativity, and potential for joy. Robbing a child of these treasures is surely one of the most harmful acts a human can perform.

"So the proof is in the pudding?"

Exactly. Adolf Hitler was frequently and severely abused in childhood. As an adult, he expressed the anguish and pain of those years in ways that brought about misery and suffering for millions. By comparison, Albert Einstein was cherished by his parents. His mother was accused of "spoiling" him. Yet Einstein became not only one of the world's greatest scientists, but a most gentle, caring man, deeply concerned about social issues.

"Where do I find the kind of information which helped you?"

Read Compleat Mother, Empathic Parenting, or Mothering magazines. Talk with midwives. Meet with caring mothers in La Leche League and other breastfeeding support groups. Read books by Alice Miller, Joseph Chilton Pearce, Tine Thevenin, and John Holt. Meditate and listen to what your heart tells you. Truly believe that your baby will let you know what is right... and what is wrong.

"How can a baby tell me this?"

Babies come into the world with perfect love and trust. They do not suspect, mistrust, play mind games, doubt motives, or in any way cloud communication unless and until this trust is betrayed by such painful experiences as punishment, rejection, and separation. A baby's smiles and tears are the most potent form of communication on this planet.

"What about the mistakes I've already made?"

There are no perfect parents. While we have all made mistakes, punishing ourselves is no more effective or reasonable than punishing our children. Loving ourselves and understanding that we have done as well as we could have with the information and inner strength we had at that moment, is as important as loving and understanding our children. All we can do is put forth the love that we feel, recognize the critical importance of parenting, and continue to discover compassionate ways of relating to the children we are blessed with.

"What are the most important things a parent should know?"

Two things: First, in our society, it is assumed that children and adults, for some unexplained reason, operate on two separate and distinct principles of behavior. We adults know that we behave at our best toward those who treat us with kindness, patience, and understanding. Yet children are presumed to behave in the opposite way; that is, behave best toward those who threaten, punish, and humiliate them. If we try to pinpoint the age at which this mysterious transformation from "children's principles of behavior" to "adult principles of behavior" occurs, we are at a loss, because there is no such transformation. There is no difference between the "operating principles" of children and adults: we all behave as well as we are treated.

The second important consideration is that so-called "bad behavior" is really a blessing in disguise, as it affords the best opportunity for learning about life. If punishment is introduced at that point, this golden opportunity is lost, because the child's attention is taken away from the matter at hand, and drawn into feelings of humiliation, anger and revenge. Further, superficial "good behavior" obtained through threats and punishment can only take place until the child is old enough to fight back; angry teenagers do not fall from the sky. But trust, kindness and empathy, kept intact within the child from birth, and strengthened by parental examples of those qualities, will last a lifetime.

"I see. It's all a matter of trusting children, of recognizing that children may be less experienced and smaller than we are, but that they are equally deserving of being treated with dignity and respect. From newborns to centenarians, all human beings behave as well as they are treated.

Precisely. In parenting, as in all human relationships, let us give only love and love is all we will receive.

Jan Hunt, M.Sc.
Director of The Natural Child Project
post #36 of 55
my 2 cents- HE'S 2!
ot- kristen, our children share a birthday!
post #37 of 55
Jan it's so nice to see you here!

If this doesn't sum it all up I don't know what does:

Adolf Hitler was frequently and severely abused in childhood. As an adult, he expressed the anguish and pain of those years in ways that brought about misery and suffering for millions. By comparison, Albert Einstein was cherished by his parents. His mother was accused of "spoiling" him. Yet Einstein became not only one of the world's greatest scientists, but a most gentle, caring man, deeply concerned about social issues.
post #38 of 55

re: ap dilemma

hang in there! we ap our high needs 15 mo old. and yes, it can be challenging at times. you are responding to his needs. and thats a good thing! it will help develop a strong sense of security and confidence in the long run. but hey, they aren't this needy for too long and i will bet you will truly miss it when they are grown up and not so "clingy"! you need to do what feels right in your heart. i look at other children in my family that weren't ap (like nieces and nephews) and see how independent they are, but as i take a closer look, most of those children are living in survival mode. how sad is that. they are so needy for love and attention from others, i just don't want to think about what will happen when they become teenagers. i know that is extreme but i am just speaking from my heart and ap is the way to go!!!!!!

happy to be home!!!!
post #39 of 55

I agree with what Leatherette said.

My answer for a lot of my daughters actions and reactions is "Get off it. She's 3 and she's Lyndsey." Some days she's a social butterfly and some days she is velcroed to my leg. My daugher will find her way and so will your son and all the other ap'd babies. We just need to remember to give them roots so they can find their wings.

Lyndsey's mom
post #40 of 55
Originally Posted by geekgolightly
IMO, you're AP if you respond to your daughter's cues. That's all it takes. The rest of the stuff is if it fits with your life.
That's it exactly. There is no check list.
Lyndsey's mom
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