Question about "natural parenting" and natural step-parenting - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-06-2010, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Decided my question was a bit stupid. I originally was wondering what the difference was between natural parenting of birth children and natural parenting of step-childred if you don't have any birth children. I then realized that "natural parenting" does not mean you necessarily subscribe to things such as attachment parenting.
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#2 of 6 Old 10-06-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mizliz72 View Post
Decided my question was a bit stupid. I originally was wondering what the difference was between natural parenting of birth children and natural parenting of step-childred if you don't have any birth children. I then realized that "natural parenting" does not mean you necessarily subscribe to things such as attachment parenting.
Did you mean the difference between attachment parenting of birth children and attachment parenting of stepchildren?
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#3 of 6 Old 10-07-2010, 08:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PoetryLover View Post
Did you mean the difference between attachment parenting of birth children and attachment parenting of stepchildren?
Well, I'll bite. I don't think this line of question is stupid, Mizliz. When I first joined MDC, I noticed that a lot of the posts in Blended Families were about conflicts or challenges with exes or step-kids, yet the disclaimer is that this is not meant to be a place to bash your ex, but to discuss how natural parenting pertains to blended families. Well, if I buy organic food and Tom's of Maine toothpaste for my bio kids, my step-kids are welcome to the same, of course... what needs to be discussed about that? But actually, I've read many posts where women are frustrated because there's a vast difference in lifestyle and parenting style between their own home and that of the children's other parent. (Johnny's wondering why he can't have McDonald's every day and ignore vegetables and play violent video games at his Mom's, like he does at his Dad's.) Or, a single mom decided to raise her kids a certain way, then married someone who turns out not to be that supportive of it, or not to understand it, or who thinks it's just not working. There are a lot of complexities to discuss, in situations like that. Of course, that's not all we discuss here...

Or, if you really were talking about Attachment Parenting, as PoetryLover suggests, I'm curious about that, too. I've heard the term - and I assumed I was engaging in it, when I followed my instincts, by breastfeeding my baby; taking him everywhere with me; carrying him or using a sling, instead of a bulky, plastic carrier; and responding to him when he communicated, instead of letting him cry in his crib until some "schedule" said he should be hungry.

But what exactly does A.P. mean, with regard to older children? Is it something that could - or should - be done differently, with kids whom you parent, but you aren't their mother?

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
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#4 of 6 Old 10-07-2010, 09:17 AM
 
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Attachment parenting means "sensitive and emotionally available parenting" that "helps the child to form a secure attachment style, which fosters a child's socio-emotional development and well being." I don't think there is anything there that ties specifically to biology or a certain age. Attachment parenting looks different for an infant than for a toddler and different for a preschooler than a school-ager. But I parent my step-daughter in a way that is sensitive and emotionally available, and we certainly have a secure attachment.

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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#5 of 6 Old 10-07-2010, 10:10 AM
 
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Attachment parenting means "sensitive and emotionally available parenting" that "helps the child to form a secure attachment style, which fosters a child's socio-emotional development and well being." I don't think there is anything there that ties specifically to biology or a certain age. Attachment parenting looks different for an infant than for a toddler and different for a preschooler than a school-ager. But I parent my step-daughter in a way that is sensitive and emotionally available, and we certainly have a secure attachment.
I really want to thank you for posting this, as it makes so much sense to me. I have 2 long distance DSDs (11 & 13), and the 11 year old is soon to move in with us full time (in large part because her emotional needs are not being met currently). I really hope DH and I can help her to feel secure and to grow in this way. We're on the right track. It's especially wonderful to see an example of a secure emotional attachment between step-parent and stepchild. I want so badly to meet her needs in this way and to create an environment in which she thrives. I've worried about her for some time now, and consider her choice to come live with us a true blessing.
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#6 of 6 Old 10-07-2010, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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NO, I simply was wondering what the term "natural parenting" meant and how that differs between raising birth or step-children, but then I read more articles on the Mothering site itself and realized (silly me) that "natural" didn't refer just to things such as baby-wearing, family bed, breast-feeding etc. (things you would do with a birth child but not a step), so I sort of retracted part of my question. However, I guess I only know a bit about what "attachment parenting" is for babies and not much about how it relates to other ages and stages. I realize that "natural" parenting is a very broad term and that whether, like me, you have a step child who lives with you and does not have a bio mom (so no conflicts there, but there are occasionally some with regard to my parenting style and SO's), or you only have your step-kids on weekends, it differs from person to person and family to family. I think I'm a bit lucky (?) that I don't have a birth mom to butt heads with (I don't do enough parenting of SO's older kids to even worry about it), and it seems, from what SO says, that I actually would have had a lot in common with her and have many of the same ideas about how to raise a daughter, so that makes things a bit easier. The conflict with my SO seems to come from my lack of patience sometimes and his natural reaction to want to stick up for/protect her, even from me.
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