Need some advice! SO and attachment parenting! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-18-2010, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I'm a bit new-ish to this whole step-parenting/blended family thing. SO and I have been together about 7 months now and have a baby due in June. He also has a 2 year old son whose mother is a heroin addict and isn't in the picture. I've taken over the "mommy" role as SO has been a solo parent for a long time now. I also have a two year old DD and an almost 4 yo DS.
Obviously, I'm very big on AP, CD'ing, EBF, cosleeping (SO is with me on this one), anti-circ, no-vax, UC, etc.
The biggest problem SO and I are having is AP. He doesn't understand the concept at all. He is convinced my children will grow up to be co-dependent, insecure adults because we're so attached.
This morning he gave me an odd look as I was cuddling on the couch with my soon to be 4yo and told me that when he's 20 he won't be able to do anything independently of me.
I try my best to gently explain what AP entails but he tells me that I think I'm always right no matter what when it comes to parenting (it took me a lot of trial and error to get to where I'm at and I'm still learning!!).
I don't agree with his plan to actively "seperate" himself from his son (who has a lot of security issues which is understandable due to his upbringing...his mother really) in order to make him more independent.
He thinks I have to cut down on the attention I give my kids and his son (who I'm starting to consider my own) when the new baby comes and I told him that's not the case.
I just don't know what to do. Obviously I can't force my beliefs on him but I'd at least like him to have some understanding of where I'm coming from and not shake his head or roll his eyes when I try to explain AP and how it has done tremendous amounts of good for my kids and I. Help!

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#2 of 8 Old 01-18-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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Is he open to research at all? Another option might be an ap friendly counselor. His attitude and beliefs on parenting would be a bigger problem for me than someone who was procirc. Withholding affection can cause huge problems for already delicate children. If he is going to be that way then it will be even more important for you to be very affectionate and attached to the children. It has been shown that kids who have one adult like that in their life seem to fare ok even with other stressors in their life.
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#3 of 8 Old 01-18-2010, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is he open to research at all? Another option might be an ap friendly counselor. His attitude and beliefs on parenting would be a bigger problem for me than someone who was procirc. Withholding affection can cause huge problems for already delicate children. If he is going to be that way then it will be even more important for you to be very affectionate and attached to the children. It has been shown that kids who have one adult like that in their life seem to fare ok even with other stressors in their life.
He is open to research. I often leave articles or blog pages up on the computer for him to read but once he's read them he's not too open to discussion on them. It's pretty much, "Babe, did you read that article I left up for you?" "Yep" "What did you think?" "It was interesting". And then he generally leaves it at that.
We can't afford counselling. He's not a bad guy and he's a great father really. He just never ran into this parenting style until he met me and it probably does seem strange and foreign to him. I just wish he were more open (although he is excited about our upcoming UC but he's a little weird about BF'ing past six months).

Mama to DS (3/7/06)om.gif, DSD  hearts.gif(11/17/02), DD (1/16/08 )energy.gif ,  DS2 (5/30/10) sleepytime.gif and Baby Quinn angel.gif (R.I.P 3/22/13)

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#4 of 8 Old 01-18-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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do you know any AP families who have older children? i think it has been a tremendous relief to my dh who can see how successful AP has been now that the kids are all older. when we first met he was pretty weirded out by the whole thing (i was still nursing my then 2 year old son) and was pretty opposed to it.

i think seeing real life examples of independent, healthy, AP kids would be the best.

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#5 of 8 Old 01-18-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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I'm sure he is a nice guy and well meaning dad, I justwant to point out that his views on separation aren't the "other" kind of parenting that's not ap. I can deal with mainstream but his views are extreme and the GREAT divide in your beliefs WILL cause problems that you both will have to deal with. It might work to find a parenting class that isn't quite ap that you can live with and take it together. Find the money this is your life and your childrens lives
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#6 of 8 Old 01-18-2010, 07:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aaronsmom View Post
So, I'm a bit new-ish to this whole step-parenting/blended family thing. SO and I have been together about 7 months now and have a baby due in June. He also has a 2 year old son whose mother is a heroin addict and isn't in the picture. I've taken over the "mommy" role as SO has been a solo parent for a long time now. I also have a two year old DD and an almost 4 yo DS.
Obviously, I'm very big on AP, CD'ing, EBF, cosleeping (SO is with me on this one), anti-circ, no-vax, UC, etc.
The biggest problem SO and I are having is AP. He doesn't understand the concept at all. He is convinced my children will grow up to be co-dependent, insecure adults because we're so attached.
This morning he gave me an odd look as I was cuddling on the couch with my soon to be 4yo and told me that when he's 20 he won't be able to do anything independently of me.
I try my best to gently explain what AP entails but he tells me that I think I'm always right no matter what when it comes to parenting (it took me a lot of trial and error to get to where I'm at and I'm still learning!!).
I don't agree with his plan to actively "seperate" himself from his son (who has a lot of security issues which is understandable due to his upbringing...his mother really) in order to make him more independent.
He thinks I have to cut down on the attention I give my kids and his son (who I'm starting to consider my own) when the new baby comes and I told him that's not the case.
I just don't know what to do. Obviously I can't force my beliefs on him but I'd at least like him to have some understanding of where I'm coming from and not shake his head or roll his eyes when I try to explain AP and how it has done tremendous amounts of good for my kids and I. Help!
I think it sounds like he feels threatened or inadequate as a parent, and perhaps his vocal opposition of this is a reflection of those feelings but not necessarily what he truly believes. Sometimes when people don't understand things, they become defensive and angry and say things they don't mean - but that doesn't mean he doesn't have the capacity to grow and evolve as a parent. How was he as a parent before you became serious? Did you feel that, even if he wasn't AP, he was a warm and compassionate and loving parent? Did you like the way he interacted with his child and your children? I think that's a more accurate way to determine what kind of parent he'll be to the child you're expecting together.

Leeann, mama to 3*magic*kids: DD 1/03 DD 9/04 DS 8/06
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#7 of 8 Old 01-18-2010, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it sounds like he feels threatened or inadequate as a parent, and perhaps his vocal opposition of this is a reflection of those feelings but not necessarily what he truly believes. Sometimes when people don't understand things, they become defensive and angry and say things they don't mean - but that doesn't mean he doesn't have the capacity to grow and evolve as a parent. How was he as a parent before you became serious? Did you feel that, even if he wasn't AP, he was a warm and compassionate and loving parent? Did you like the way he interacted with his child and your children? I think that's a more accurate way to determine what kind of parent he'll be to the child you're expecting together.
I really think you hit the nail on the head here. Before we became serious he and his son were EXTREMELY attached. It was just him and his son for an entire year with no outside help. I can only imagine how tough it was for him before we met.
I've also considered the possibility of him feeling inadequate as a parent but there's no way I could ever bring that up to him without making him feel even more threatened or like I put myself on some sort of parental pedestal.

ETA: I only know one other local AP momma and her kids are the the same age as mine.

Mama to DS (3/7/06)om.gif, DSD  hearts.gif(11/17/02), DD (1/16/08 )energy.gif ,  DS2 (5/30/10) sleepytime.gif and Baby Quinn angel.gif (R.I.P 3/22/13)

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#8 of 8 Old 01-19-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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I've always thought Dr. Sears has a pretty good way of explaining attachment in a way that is accessible to a wider audience. Maybe his baby book as something you both could read in preparation for the new baby?

If he feels at all insecure about his parenting (and who wouldn't in his situation, where he might have been pretty much making it up as he went along... I know I would have been if I'd found myself unexpectedly single-parenting my first child!), I can imagine that faced with your confidence and well-defined philsophy it can feel an awful lot like every difference is a comparison... and if what you are saying is "right" then anything he has done differently must be "wrong." It might be a good starting place to acknowledge that different styles and choices are right for different parents, different children, and different situations, and that his situation was very different than your situation, and what was right for you and your children very well may not have been right for him and his son. You can both have been "right" without the other being "wrong." The point now is to find a way to raise these children in this new situation in a way that is equally "right" for everyone.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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