How do you think attachment parenting makes kids different (from other kids) as they get older? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 47 Old 03-22-2012, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
parsley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: in between
Posts: 773
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I was just reading a series of developmental milestone charts with both my 2 month old babe and my four month old kid in mind.  We have always used attachment parenting with both kids and I can recall that for DD1 this meant that she was a little slower to meet some milestones (never crawled, doesn't sleep through the night) and faster to meet others.  So today I found myself thinking (once again) how these milestones seem to be so culturally specific... and therefore created by the normative parenting behaviors.

 

I was curious if others who consciously practice attachment parenting have noticed specific patterns of how their kids seem to be different from other kids.   What do you think, are kids who are attachment parented different from other kids?  How?  At what ages did you notice the differences?

 

For me, both kids had (and have) awesome neck control at a very early age, make eye contact super early, and are quick to follow mom around with their eyes.  DD1 is amazingly empathetic and in tune with others but also alarmed by the idea of kids not be actively cared for (will get upset if a kid is crying in public and the parent doesn't respond, for example).  I've also noticed that my DD is more content with DH and I and less interested in other kids compared to others her age. 

 

Anyone else?


Partner to DH and mom to DD1 (3/2008) and DD2 (born 1/2012).
parsley is offline  
#2 of 47 Old 03-22-2012, 12:16 PM
 
cat13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,766
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm very curious to read the replies other parents with older children. DH and I are pretty AP, but DS is our first and is only 7 months old, so I can't really draw too many conclusions so far. Although I can say that he learned to crawl at 6 months, wasn't big on extended eye contact until a few months ago, and LOVES watching big kids. So, in that aspect, maybe it's just personality?

 

I also wonder about this question, because I feel like as parents (whether AP or not) we are often put in positions to have to defend our parenting choices, but I don't want DS to have the pressure of being the perfect kid just to prove that it was "right" for me to choose AP.

 

notes.gif

CI Mama likes this.

Mama Bear toddler.gif, Papa Bear treehugger.gif and Baby Bear (8/11) coolshine.gif

cat13 is offline  
#3 of 47 Old 03-22-2012, 12:29 PM
 
mamazee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: US midwest
Posts: 7,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
All kids are different and it's hard to know what's due to personality and what would be due to AP. There's nothing about my 10-year-old that I can point to and notice is different from most 10-year-olds due to AP. Same for my 3-year-old. And they both are so different and hit milestones differently - my older one was slow on physical things like crawling and sleeping through the night as well, but was very early as far as speech and some other things go. But then my 3-year-old has all those milestones reversed - early for physical stuff, slower for speech.
mamazee is offline  
#4 of 47 Old 03-22-2012, 01:03 PM
 
nextcommercial's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Mine is 19, and there really has never been much of a difference between her and other kids.

 

SHe was less socially mature than other kids her age, so I kept her out of school for an extra year...but, that probably is just her... she also grew later and slower than other kids.   (plus she was extremely late to get teeth)

 

Her milestones as a baby and toddler were right on track for normal at that time. 

 

I did daycare her entire life, so she always had someone here to play with...so, I can't say that she never socialized, but she preferred kids a little younger than herself.  If she was with kids a year older or even closer to her age, she was the follower in the group.

 

She's always been more capable than other kids her age.  She can handle problems and emergencies better than young people her age....But, I have always expected that of her.  I don't solve problems for children.. I might discuss how it could be solved, but i don't solve it.  

 

She's not brave or experimental... she watches others first, then maaaybe she'll join.  She didn't make new friends easily.  Her cousin could go into McDonalds and come out five minutes later with three new friends....my daughter would just watch, and never try to make friends... in fact if someone tried to be her friend, she would shy away from them until they just left.

 

 

nextcommercial is offline  
#5 of 47 Old 03-22-2012, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
parsley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: in between
Posts: 773
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I totally agree that a lot is left to individual personality and other factors.  But, I'm convinced that HOW I parent matters and my kids would turn out differently if I parented differently.  I think we would all agree with that. 

 

One of the specific things I see AP advocates point out is that AP promotes intense empathy.  So I'm wondering... are your kids intensely empathetic?  AP promotes bed sharing and some people suggest that bed sharing leads to increased night waking.  Were your kids late to sleep through the night?  I could keep going (but am typing with one hand while nursing and its hard...)

 

Maybe we can't capture this kind of thing on a thread on a message board but I feel sure that there are differences between AP kids and non-AP kids because those two sets of parents focus on different things and respond in different ways. 


Partner to DH and mom to DD1 (3/2008) and DD2 (born 1/2012).
parsley is offline  
#6 of 47 Old 03-22-2012, 02:19 PM
 
APToddlerMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,173
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by parsley View Post

I totally agree that a lot is left to individual personality and other factors.  But, I'm convinced that HOW I parent matters and my kids would turn out differently if I parented differently.  I think we would all agree with that. 

 

One of the specific things I see AP advocates point out is that AP promotes intense empathy.  So I'm wondering... are your kids intensely empathetic?  AP promotes bed sharing and some people suggest that bed sharing leads to increased night waking.  Were your kids late to sleep through the night?  I could keep going (but am typing with one hand while nursing and its hard...)

 

Maybe we can't capture this kind of thing on a thread on a message board but I feel sure that there are differences between AP kids and non-AP kids because those two sets of parents focus on different things and respond in different ways. 


I do agree that my kids would be different if they were parented differently but I do think their own personalities and temperaments play a huge role. We are pretty much doing everything exactly the same with #2 that we did with #1 yet my four month old sleeps better at night and for longer stretches than my almost four year old. Go figure. I also don't see the empathy from my oldest that I guess I expected to see with AP. but I realize he has a lot of growing to do still.
APToddlerMama is offline  
#7 of 47 Old 03-22-2012, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
parsley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: in between
Posts: 773
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Ah!  Good point.  They (and we all!) are still works in progress.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post


I do agree that my kids would be different if they were parented differently but I do think their own personalities and temperaments play a huge role. We are pretty much doing everything exactly the same with #2 that we did with #1 yet my four month old sleeps better at night and for longer stretches than my almost four year old. Go figure. I also don't see the empathy from my oldest that I guess I expected to see with AP. but I realize he has a lot of growing to do still.


 

 


Partner to DH and mom to DD1 (3/2008) and DD2 (born 1/2012).
parsley is offline  
#8 of 47 Old 03-22-2012, 02:46 PM
 
CI Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hmmm...this is a good question. I am not sure at all about this question. There are so many factors that contribute to how a kid develops, and then even attachment parenting itself is a very broad label, not interpreted by everyone in the same way or necessarily leading to the same parenting behaviors (as I understand it, AP is all about NOT having a formulaic approach to parenting).

 

So I would say that perhaps you could distinguish an AP-parented baby from a non-AP-parented baby...but even then I think temperament plays a big part. And past the age of about 6 months...I'm not sure if you put me in a room full of kids, I would be able to pick out the AP-parented ones from the ones parented in another style.

 

My DD is 3 has been early to develop in almost every way. Hit all her physical milestones early, is tall for her age, is socially mature, is extremely verbal. She has been very slow to sleep through the night (it didn't happen at all until she was 27 months old, and didn't happen regularly until she was 30 months). She weaned at 33 months, quite a bit later than I wanted, perhaps a little earlier than she wanted (it was mostly a mutual decision, but I was pushing a bit). Is she more or less empathetic than other kids her age? I have no idea.

 

I personally think that a lot of parenting styles can be successful, it's more about the fit for the family.


Living in Wisconsin with my partner of 20+ years and our DDenergy.gif(Born 10/09/08 ribboncesarean.gif). Why CI Mama? Because I love contact improvisation!

CI Mama is offline  
#9 of 47 Old 03-22-2012, 03:06 PM
 
nextcommercial's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by parsley View Post

 

 

One of the specific things I see AP advocates point out is that AP promotes intense empathy.  So I'm wondering... are your kids intensely empathetic?  AP promotes bed sharing and some people suggest that bed sharing leads to increased night waking. 

 

Were your kids late to sleep through the night?  I could keep going (but am typing with one hand while nursing and its hard...)

 


My daughter did not sleep as well when she slept in bed with me.  So, we didn't do much bed sharing.  It wasn't going to work out for us.  She was sick often, so she slept with me while she was sick, but has always slept in her own bed otherwise.  She slept through the night from birth.  (She sleeps a LOT now as a teenager)  As an infant, she'd rather sleep than eat.  She was just born to sleep a lot for some reason.

 

She is very empathetic, but she absolutely went through her selfish phase.  I think she learned empathy by having problems with other kids, and having her feelings hurt a few times, because the true empathy didn't come until 5th-6th grade.  

 

I had to teach her (and the daycare kids) to fix what they did wrong.  She wasn't made to say "sorry" but, she HAD to find a way to fix it.  No excuses allowed, just fix it.  

 

She's always had a great love of animals, and I indulged that a lot.  She had every kind of pet that would fit in our house and yard.  So, she learned a lot of empathy that way.

 

One of my daycare boys was raised the complete opposite of my daughter. (He's the same age as my daughter)   He was spoiled and ignored at home.  He could have whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted as long as he'd go away and leave his parents alone.  He was (sadly) left in his crib for a full 8 hours to cry...because it was bed time, and it didn't matter if he wanted to sleep or was sick or anything... bed time was bedtime.  Too bad, so sad. .....

 

Anyway, He's very much like my daughter.  He's still a little spoiled and doesn't work for what he wants, they just buy it...but, otherwise, he's very sweet, thoughtful, empathetic, and wonderful with kids...he's much better with little kids than my daughter..she has no patience for kids.  (I still do daycare...so, that apple fell far from the tree)  He's a young man that I would be very proud to call my own son.

 

nextcommercial is offline  
#10 of 47 Old 03-22-2012, 03:19 PM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You know, I wish I could say that how my kids are turning out can be directly related to my parenting. Alas, it's not that clear. Raising children is such a complex mix of how you parent, your personality, your child's personality and the overall environment that you live in. You can control how you parent and you have some influence over the environment (but that lessens as they get older). I work hard to have a good relationship with my kids and treat them with respect, but of course I fail more than I'd like (we had a bad evening last night, for example).

 

My fondest wish is for us to have a good relationship with our kids when they're adults. I think we're doing all the right things, but only time will tell. And then again, my parents weren't very AP in some ways (CIO and spanking are the two biggies), and yet they managed to create a positive, respectful relationship with all of us. It's not a perfect relationship, but it's good. They raised 5 kids who are still talking to them and who like to spend time with them.

 

I guess I see the value that has carried through from generation to generation that is consistent with AP is the respect for children as people. I know it sounds odd to say that given that my parents did CIO and spanked, but those were the tools they had at the time (I'm "old" -- my sibs are all baby boomers, and I'm just shy). They did the best they could with the tools they had. They treated us like individuals, we were incorporated as contributing members of the household, and they talked to us and included us in their conversations and interests (I learned to play bridge at 12 because that was a big thing with my parents, for example). If that's what I achieve, I'll be happy. 

 

So, while I think my kids are pretty awesome, I can't say it's because we practice AP. I think instead it's more that they're pretty awesome kids and we haven't done too much to screw them up!

CI Mama likes this.

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
#11 of 47 Old 03-22-2012, 03:55 PM
 
cat13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,766
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I actually just came across this article about a study that found "toddlers with loving mothers had more growth in key brain area." The title uses the term "Loving mothers" and I definitely don't think that AP mothers are more "loving" than non-AP, but the way that the article reads it actually seems like they are talking about using gentle discipline, not just "loving" your kid more.

 

And the science is clear at the effects of breastfeeding on children's development. Again, you breastfeeding does not = AP necessarily, but it is a piece of the AP puzzle.


Mama Bear toddler.gif, Papa Bear treehugger.gif and Baby Bear (8/11) coolshine.gif

cat13 is offline  
#12 of 47 Old 03-22-2012, 05:58 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)

as pp pointed out - i really think its not so much parenting style but more about respecting your child for who they are.

 

i interact with dd's 4th grade class mates a lot. i have been with them a lot since first grade.

 

i cant tell you which child was APed and which wasnt.

 

but i can definitely tell you which ones were not 'respected' or given the time the child needed. 

 

some of the 'problem' kids have special needs - but the others who are problem kids and DONT have special needs - its because they have a v. unhappy family life or their parents have not connected with them. there are 'happy' kids who are being raised by gparents or have been homeless the past few months. for the homeless apart from late homeworks there has been no separate issues. 

 

with the empathy - i think a lot of parents are forced to be AP coz they have such sensitive kids. at least that's what a lot of parents have told me. 

 

for me i think what matters is 'sustained' parenting. if today i suddenly become the opposite of AP - i think i will have undone all the AP of 9 years that i have done by the time teenage comes along. 

 

my xBIL raised his son AP (the best way a man can be AP) and till he was 14 son and dad were one. his mother was no where on the scene. things changed. in his tweens son went to live with his mother. today as a young adult he hardly has any relationship with his dad. its all very awkward. he is super close with his mom. 

Linda on the move likes this.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
#13 of 47 Old 03-23-2012, 12:54 AM
 
DariusMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: I've been in the lowlands too long
Posts: 2,417
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

You know, I wish I could say that how my kids are turning out can be directly related to my parenting. Alas, it's not that clear. Raising children is such a complex mix of how you parent, your personality, your child's personality and the overall environment that you live in. You can control how you parent and you have some influence over the environment (but that lessens as they get older). I work hard to have a good relationship with my kids and treat them with respect, but of course I fail more than I'd like

[snipped]

 

So, while I think my kids are pretty awesome, I can't say it's because we practice AP. I think instead it's more that they're pretty awesome kids and we haven't done too much to screw them up!

I absolutely agree with Lynn on this.

 

I get compliments on DS (9) all the time -- on what a nice, well-behaved, gentle kid he is. I'd love to take credit for that, but I think a lot of it is just who he is as a person.

 

Of course, I think that how you parent does have an influence! For example, a very good friend of mine is an amazingly mother and also very similar to me in background, parenting approach, and personality. Her boys are "difficult" at best and, in fact, have been known to bully. She's devastated and actively working with them. Did I do something she didn't do to get the "good outcome"? I don't really think so. But, FWIW, I'm sure her boys will turn out ok in the end because she is such a great mom, does work with them and the school, and is setting a good example.

 

Likewise, my DS is and always was extremely sensitive, highly empathetic, very clumsy and uncoordinated, and is cautious. Had he been born into a family of obsessive athletes who pushed him into sports or had had a super macho dad who wouldn't have been ok with him wanting a wall in his room to be pink when he was 4 or didn't like the fact that he loves knitting (DS goes to a Waldorf school, so this is taught at school) and belittled him for this, he might have ended up much less self-confident and happy than he is now. But he was born who he was and, as Lynn says, I think what we can take credit for is not having screwed him up!


 

 

CI Mama likes this.
DariusMom is offline  
#14 of 47 Old 03-24-2012, 08:32 AM
 
transylvania_mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: abroad
Posts: 1,084
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

I can't really compare, as we live in a pretty crunchy community. Kids are breastfed for 2 years or more, co-sleeping is normal, NIP, GD, and you see slings everywhere. I've even met a couple of homeschooled children on our street. 

 

I think AP makes self-confident, emotionally intelligent children. Regardless of their physical abilities (crawling, walking) or mental abilities, I see them as being more confident, social and better able to deal with unpleasant situations, like stress. And by social I don't mean having lots of friends, but being comfortable in social situations (even if it means observing for a while before joining in).


caffix.gif

transylvania_mom is offline  
#15 of 47 Old 03-24-2012, 09:44 AM
 
Tigerchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Seattle Eastside
Posts: 5,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Sorry, I don't think it makes a difference as far as producing a superior product.

 

I do think that it can make a difference to YOU, to make you a better parent (some of us definitely are intuitively impaired in how to do that, such as myself, so AP was very helpful to ME).  I am at my kids' school almost every school day, due to the nature of their program I've known a majority of their classmates since they were in 1st grade (my kids are in 3rd and 4th now).  I know these families fall all over the spectrum of parenting styles (from authoritarian, to non GD, to whatever goes, to AP, to TCS, ect).  The common denominator though is that they all are very involved parents.  (It may be hard to believe, but it is possible for non-AP people to be compassionate, involved parents, and for AP checklisters to miss the point.)  The kids are who they are largely because of personality, not parenting style.  I've seen that in my own three kids, as well as in families with multiple children who parent differently.  Even my MZ twins behave and look at the world very differently from each other.

 

There are many reasons to justify AP to yourself, but not the 'it produces better children' line.  Because, in my observation, it doesn't.  If that's all that's keeping you going, that's where burnout happens and where the danger is of resenting your kid or being embarassed by them from normal behavior because they're not the product you sacrificed and hoped for.  Seen that happen with AP parents too.

 

Enjoy things with your young kids.  If AP keeps YOU sane, that's the important thing.  Try not to look down your nose at people who are parenting their baby differently though, because chances are it will come to bite you in the ass when they are older, and you realize that many other paths turned out kids just as good as yours, or you still have to deal with some poor behavior/choices.

DariusMom and CI Mama like this.
Tigerchild is offline  
#16 of 47 Old 03-24-2012, 12:16 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 27,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have four children. They've all been parented by AP principles (even though I'd never heard the term until my oldest two were 12 and 2 years old). I actually don't think any of them are really highly empathetic, except maybe dd1. DS1 is a very kind young man, and he does go out of his way not to hurt people (physically or emotionally or any other way), but he's not always very aware of the possiblity of hurting people's feelings. DS2 may be on the autism spectrum (no diagnosis, but I've suspected it for a long time now), and he doesn't seem to have any empathy at all...but he's very generous, in many ways.

 

Milestones? I don't really remember the details. I do know that ds1, dd1 and dd2 were all very early talkers, and quite early walkers (they were all walking before a year). DS2 was a late talker (very occasional single words at about 18 months, but didn't expand his vocabulary beyond about five words until 27 months) and a relatively late walker - first steps at about 15 months. They're all gifted (in terms of intelligence, ie. the "formal" use of "gifted children"), but dh and I are also both gifted, so I'd tend to expect that. All four of them could support their own necks from birth (all my children were c/s)...so could most of my nieces and nephews, so it seems to be a genetic trait.

 

I don't know. My kids all have wildly different personalities, and I don't really see any less variation in them than I do in a random sampling of other kids. None of them are mellow, but that's about the only trait they have in common. (My ex was pretty laidback, but dh and I are both quite intense, in different ways, and a mellow child would honestly surprise me. DS1 is laidback in some ways, but he's very energetic and highly extraverted, so he's on the go a lot...not the type to curl up with a book for a quiet evening very often, yk?)

 

I'm rambling - there's a lot of background chaos around here right now (we're getting ready to go out). Basically, I don't think AP makes any measurable difference. I parent the way I do, because it's what feels right to me. I think there are parenting styles that are out-and-out damaging, but I also think parenting styles that aren't "true" AP can have very similar results. And, short of serious abuse and neglect, I also think a child's innate temperament, personality and genes are going to have a stronger impact on how they end up than whether they coslept or were in a nursery, or whether they were in a stroller or a sling (and dd2 HATES being worn), or whether they were breastfed or formula fed (I'm strongly pro-breastfeeding, but I also suspect there's less difference, in most ways, between a breastfed baby and one who is held and cuddled for formula feedings, than between the latter and a baby who is routinely fed from a propped bottle).

CI Mama likes this.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
#17 of 47 Old 03-24-2012, 02:09 PM
 
Jen Muise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 233
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think AP allows for a better relationship for you and your child generally, and reduces anxiety and gives a good foundation for problem solving later on.  I don't think that it affects children in any measureable way either, with milestones and development especially.  But, the trust and faith that it builds early on is a stepping stone to dealing with other issues later & I think that's great.  I don't think that not doing AP parenting means you won't have that trust, but it's one way to get there. 

Jen Muise is offline  
#18 of 47 Old 03-24-2012, 02:18 PM
 
contactmaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,073
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)

My boys were are good sleepers, we always co slept and breastfed on demand, and ec'd. Maybe its just genetic, im a good sleeper too.  They are both somewhat fearless and independent, which i attribute to ap, but then again, maybe its temperament. The show signs of empathy, but then again sometimes not. 

 

I think if you could generalize, an AP'd child feels better about themselves and has more confidence. Dont expect that to always look good, or to even be apparent at all.

contactmaya is online now  
#19 of 47 Old 03-24-2012, 02:20 PM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,676
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

You know, I wish I could say that how my kids are turning out can be directly related to my parenting. Alas, it's not that clear. Raising children is such a complex mix of how you parent, your personality, your child's personality and the overall environment that you live in. You can control how you parent and you have some influence over the environment (but that lessens as they get older)


 

And the choices they make.  Our children ultimately have free will.

 

My kids are 13 and 15 and very different from each other. They are both amazing in their own ways. I think at this stage, one can usually tell which kids feel loved and supported, but that doesn't always equal APing.

 

I don't think that a superior product is a reason to parent a specific way, because no matter what you are aiming for, there will be moments when your child acts the exact opposite of that. The reason to treat your child how you treat your child is because that is what feels right to you.

 

For example, I believe in only GD because I believe it is wrong to use physical pain to force another person to do anything. If someone came up with a study showing some advantage for children who are occasionally spanked, it wouldn't change my view that for me smacking a small child is just wrong. For me, it's wrong.

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
#20 of 47 Old 03-24-2012, 03:00 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cover letter he!!
Posts: 6,548
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by parsley View Post

I totally agree that a lot is left to individual personality and other factors.  But, I'm convinced that HOW I parent matters and my kids would turn out differently if I parented differently.  I think we would all agree with that.


I disagree actually. I "AP" because I think it will benefit my relationship with my ds, but not because I think he will turn out 'better'. I think it might help during the teen years if/when he makes mistakes or needs help navigating a particular situation (by way of us having a strong trusting relationship). Not even that is a guarantee though.
Super~Single~Mama is offline  
#21 of 47 Old 03-24-2012, 07:46 PM
 
MamaMunchkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 356
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

OP, it sounds like you're doing great with attachment parenting, it sounds like your kids are doing great - no need to compare yours with others. 

 

Developmentally, sometimes they'll be ahead, sometimes they'll be behind.  It's true when they're younger, and will be true when they're older. 

 

Focus on your own relationships, enjoy the moments you spend with them. Teach your kids how to appreciate how precious these moments are - love them so they learn how to love.  This will probably matter more than whether or not you're doing AP, or whatever else parenting style.


Pro rights (vaxes).
MamaMunchkin is offline  
#22 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 05:42 AM
 
Snydley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

 

 

Quote:
I disagree actually. I "AP" because I think it will benefit my relationship with my ds, but not because I think he will turn out 'better'

 

I absolutely 100% believe that AP-type practices DO make kids "better" in relation to their long term mental health.  I am convinced that the epidemic of mental health issues in the US is directly linked to parenting practices.  For example, it is not normal to stop parenting at 8pm.  It doesn't mean co-sleeping is best for all kids, because of course some children sleep better alone, but not comforting a crying child for extended periods of time, not respecting them as an important member of the family, etc.  all increase the likelhood for mental health issues down the road.  

 

As some of the OP's mentioned AP-raised children are more likely to acquire the emotional tools needed to cope with what life is going to throw at them.  Depression/panic disorders/bipolar illness most commonly appear in the late teens-early 20s and typically after a particularly stressful event (going to/graduating from college, for example). 

 

-Jen

 

Snydley is offline  
#23 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 06:23 AM
 
ameliabedelia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: where I am
Posts: 2,267
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think there are so many factors that affect an older child's behavior and personality, that it is really hard to tell what is personality, what is parenting, etc.  Plus, there are many different parenting practices that affect a child..and not just AP.  

 

I've found that a baby/toddler that is breastfed and spends almost all his/her time with his mom and dad is going to have more stranger anxiety than a child that has multiple caregivers or babysitters, irregardless of AP or not.

 

Other things like diet and educational choice also play a factor.  For example. I feel that my kids are less hyper than other kids but their could be many reasons for that..besides parenting...personality and diet.  I've taught kids before that were absolutely bouncing off the walls, and when you ask them what they ate for breakfast, they say something like "toast and fruit loops."    My kids eat very little sugar on a daily basis and artifical food colors are pretty rare...usually only on a holiday or party..and when they do have it, I definitely notice a behavior difference.

 

In general, I've noticed that some homeschooling children tend to grow up a little "slower" compared to children that go to school.  Not they are less mature, but they spend more time in childhood activities longer than other children.  It's not true for everyone across the board, of course, just a general trend.

 

My kids aren't really old enough to tell if they will have greater emotional health than their peers as they aren't at an age were mental health illnesses typical manifest.

 

 


Homeschooling mom to 4 joy.gif

 

My Home Remedies Website treehugger.gif

ameliabedelia is offline  
#24 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 02:22 PM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I've been thinking about this thread and I hope that we haven't completely discouraged the OP.

 

One of the reasons that I worry about this line of thinking is that I don't like the other side of the coin that this kind of reasoning brings: If the good things (early milestones, greater empathy, early talking) that your child has are due to the fact that you AP, then the bad things must also be due to your parenting. I've seen a lot of parents on MDC over the years beat themselves up because they did all the "right" things and their kids still have problems. Their 2 year olds still hit. Their 4 year olds are still mouthy. Some kids still have motor delays or speech delays or autism or mental health issues. My kids have a tendency toward anxiety. I hope that when they're 25 or 30 they won't go through the same debilitating periods of anxiety that I've experienced. But if they do, is it because I didn't AP "right"? I don't think so. Mental health issues go back generations in my family.

 

As others have said, I AP and practice GD because it feels right in the moment. I hope that it will pay off in the end, but that's all I can do. I can predict. I don't want to take credit for my children's own development, nor the blame for all their faults. That's putting too much of a burden on me, as a parent.

 

That being said, I think AP allows you, as a parent, to savor your child's development a little more. But that's a benefit to the parent, not the child.


Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
#25 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 02:34 PM
 
CatsCradle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York City
Posts: 2,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think we need to be careful how we frame "mental health issues" because many mental illnesses are related to chemical imbalances in the brain and other physiological events, and while environmental factors may ease certain mental illnesses, they do not prevent them, especially certain depressions, bipolar disorders and schizophrenia.  I agree that certain anxiety disorders may have a direct link with environment, but I think the problem we have in our society with the acceptance of mental illness as a serious issue is because we (general we) believe that the person has the power to cure themselves through positive attitude or that their illness is preventable through positive reinforcement, "correct" parenting, etc.  

 

I don't know if AP makes kids different or better.  I agree with Lynn above that it feels/felt right when doing it.  It made our lives as a family a whole lot happier and more rested (co-sleeping being the biggy for us).  DD cousins, however, are just as empathetic and secure as DD, and their parents didn't practice AP.  I just think it makes parenting (when children are babies and toddlers) so much easier.  Plus it felt right to meet certain needs when they needed to be met.  

CI Mama likes this.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
CatsCradle is offline  
#26 of 47 Old 03-25-2012, 08:13 PM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,676
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snydley View Post

 

I am convinced that the epidemic of mental health issues in the US is directly linked to parenting practices. 


 

On of my children has special needs. It is quite common for children with her basic dx to experience extreme anxiety and depression during adolescence. AP didn't spare her from that. At 12, she was diagnosed with clinical depression, and at 13, with a social anxiety disorder.  She was carried in a sling. BF. She only had GD. She homeschooled in a relaxed way when she was little. And she still became extremely depressed at 12. My DD has a lot of labels, but that one was the hardest for me, because I bought into the idea that if I did my job right, but child would at least be happy.

 

If you notice, it's generally moms of younger children who think that APing makes all the difference, and moms of older kids who are less sure.

 

Some of us have watched our kids have extreme problems, or we've known other children who've been well parented who had problems, or we see kids who've had very mainstream upbringings do great.

 

APing is wonderful in many ways. It does not come with a money back guarantee. Part of how children turn out is just genetics, or random. Or the impact of events beyond your control.

 

When you start looking at how children are doing and evaluating it against what you know about the parents, you are just judging. And it's hurtful. It's still hurtful to moms like me, even if you add in a cavet that my DD is doing better than she would have with mainstream parenting. But you are still judging me and my child, and you have no right.

 

And when you make generalizations, you are judging lots of mothers and their children, and you have no right to do that either.

 

 

 

DariusMom likes this.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
#27 of 47 Old 03-26-2012, 05:11 AM
 
Snydley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I'm so sorry for the confusion, I should clarify.  

 

My statement that "mental health issues and parenting practices are linked" does NOT mean that the way you parent can prevent all forms of mental illness, AT ALL.   When I say linked, I mean that in some circumstances, I believe that some forms of mental issues manifest because of early childhood experiences.  I have a brother with schizoaffective disorder.  He is currently refusing meds and living on the streets while my parents and I try (with no success) to gain guardianship over him.  He was always a high needs, sensitive kid who is clearly genetically linked to his disease.  No question.  However, I can't help but wonder if there is a small chance his disease would not have arisen (or arisen in such severe form) if my parents did not hit him every time he bit another child when he was 1 or keep guard outside his bedroom when he was 2 because he kept "trying to escape".  This form of parenting practices continued throughout his childhood, when he desperately needed someone to understand and he sensitive to who he was and as a result he spent most of his time alone reading in his room.  His disease didn't manifest until graduating from college, when he was so utterly panicked over what to do next he attempted suicide.  Then and only then did the other symptoms of his disease emerge. 

 

I never had any mental health problems growing up, and my 2nd year of college (biology major) I was having trouble keeping up with my work and completely panicked.  I wound up with many severe panic attacks every day and had to take a semester off of college.  I was told that I had a "chemical imbalance" (and mentioned by previous OP) and spend most of my 20s on prozac and other meds.  I used to tell people I was 'sick'.   I don't believe that I'm sick anymore.  I had two strange parents who I couldn't really talk to about anything, including an overprotective mother who never ever let my brother and I out of her sight until we were dropped at college.  I may have a genetic propensity toward panic disorder, but maybe if I didn't have an obsessive need to achieve (from trying to impress my parents) my attitude toward my studied would have been better and I wouldn't have felt so stressed in the first place.  

 

Stress causes chemical changes in the brain.  Stress responses/negative patterns of thinking, if they become habitual, are going to alter brain chemistry.  I believe this is far more likely to happen with more severity and frequency in non-AP environments.

 

I have a nearly 5 year old and I don't like the history of mental disease I'm up against when considering her future.  Maybe I've adapted some Freudian beliefs (that the personality is formed primarily in response to early childhood experiences) because it helps me feel like I'm doing everything I can to prevent her from following the same road as my brother.  So, I may be biased due to my grief.

 

Also, one more point; this book also affirmed my current thinking on this topic.  http://www.amazon.com/The-Price-Privilege-Generation-Disconnected/dp/0060595841  "Numerous studies show that privileged adolescents are experiencing epidemic rates of depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse -- rates that are higher than those of any other socioeconomic group of young people in this country."

 

Again, I'm sorry if I offended anyone.  I think AP parenting is our best defense against mental disease, and if my DD or future DC wind up with some issues at least I can feel I did everything I could to prevent it.

 

-Jen

 

 

 

Snydley is offline  
#28 of 47 Old 03-26-2012, 05:37 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cover letter he!!
Posts: 6,548
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Snydley View Post

 

Again, I'm sorry if I offended anyone.  I think AP parenting is our best defense against mental disease, and if my DD or future DC wind up with some issues at least I can feel I did everything I could to prevent it.

 

 


I'm still not buying it. Is the complete control that your parents attempted to exercise over you and your brother healthy? Of course not.

 

However, when I see people as parents, I think most of us fall along a spectrum of mainstream to AP. Most "mainstream" parents that I know are good loving parents - they may use different discipline tactics than I do (most do NOT spank - neither do I), but they lovingly take care of their children. Did they babywear? Maybe or maybe not. Did they do BLW? Who knows, but probably not. Do they Gd? mostly. Even though we parent differently (and who parents exactly the same as I do? No one - we're all different and we all do things slightly differently. We all have very unique relationships with our children), mostly we are all loving parents who are attentive to our child's needs. There are definitely extremes on both ends, but thats not the majority. The majority fall on a spectrum.

 

I'm not the "perfect" AP parent, and I'm willing to bet that most people here aren't either. We're human, and we all make mistakes. I don't think its a good idea to go through your parenting journey thinking that you're going to do things just right so that your children don't end up like you and your brother - they might anyway! And then you'll have to come to terms with it, which will be easier if you don't put all your eggs in the AP basket thinking that they will turn out perfectly.

 

thegoodearth likes this.
Super~Single~Mama is offline  
#29 of 47 Old 03-26-2012, 05:46 AM
 
Snydley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

 

Quote:
When you start looking at how children are doing and evaluating it against what you know about the parents, you are just judging. And it's hurtful. It's still hurtful to moms like me, even if you add in a cavet that my DD is doing better than she would have with mainstream parenting. But you are still judging me and my child, and you have no right.

I'll admit, I judge parents.  Most believe too strongly in genetics and don't think about what the heck they are doing.   Parenting is 1000x harder than I ever thought it would be and there is a HUGE lack of effort by many parents.  Include the breakdown of the community in this country (not living near relatives, don't know your neighbors) kids are going to have more problems than ever IMO.  I  do understand your perspective though.

 

-Jen

 

Snydley is offline  
#30 of 47 Old 03-26-2012, 05:52 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cover letter he!!
Posts: 6,548
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Snydley View Post

 

I'll admit, I judge parents.  Most believe too strongly in genetics and don't think about what the heck they are doing.   Parenting is 1000x harder than I ever thought it would be and there is a HUGE lack of effort by many parents.  Include the breakdown of the community in this country (not living near relatives, don't know your neighbors) kids are going to have more problems than ever IMO.  I  do understand your perspective though.

 

-Jen

 



Thats fine, but when your kids have any issues whatsoever, I hope you blame it on yourself. Since, you know, you're blaming parents for all their kids issues.

Super~Single~Mama is offline  
Reply

Tags
Parenting

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off