Given some of the behaviors or attitides u described in your children, mumm, I would begin to ask myself about the quality of my Attachment. We hear and read a lot about APing, and it's become a broadly used term. But there are degrees to Attachment, as illustrated by the Emotional Availability Scales innovated by Dr. Zeynep Biringen (sp?) in her book Raising a Secure Child: Creating an Emotional Connection Between You and Your Child
I took this great course on Attachment Parenting and Gentle Discipline when dd was about 9 months old. We used that book as the text, and it really shifted my paradigm. She reveals degrees of attachment and how we can affect the bond we share with our child from baby-hood into adolescence and beyond. Discussing points like: A parent and child can be very attached, but that attachment might be an insecure one, due to unconscious behaviors from the parent reflecting their own child-parent relationship memories, or the parent and/or the child experience of everyday stressors; as well as how we need to provide a source of emotional and psychological rejuvenation, (refueling) throughout those years and that if we're doing 'self-checks' and maintaining an awareness of that emotional connection, we are providing a stable foundation for that child's relationships now and in the future <- which I believe is at the heart of APing.
I heartily recommend this book all the time.
eta: link to book...
Often when I read about "high needs" kids here on MDC and the description of how they are high needs, my mind always gravitates to attachment issues. Personally, I know I would be very concerned if I had a "velcro" baby and would try and really find out why. I have also recently read of the phenomena of "over attachment" being more recognized.
As with all things, I think some will always view AP practices as a strict set of guidelines that must be adhered too and others will see them as a guiding set of principals to use the best way they know how.
As far as it being "natural", I don't see that it matters if its natural or not. I believe that the concepts and practices that go along with AP are beneficial and loving and that to me is reason enough to learn and espouse them.