What are the possible cons of AP - for the child? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 03-29-2012, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you think - might be - the dis-advantages of parenting AP-style for a child?

 

Not a scientific survey - anything less-than-ideal that you suspect might be due to AP, please do share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 of 15 Old 03-29-2012, 12:57 PM
 
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I don't think there are any cons for the child. It's the best, most loving way to parent. AP just means giving children what they need.

I think there are sometimes cons for the parents, especially in a culture that is not supportive or friendly to mothers and children. We end up doing it all alone which is not natural for humans, and parents end up feeling isolated and exhausted.
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#3 of 15 Old 03-29-2012, 05:07 PM
 
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Depends on the specific practice of AP you're talking about. But in general I'd say the main negative is simply being "different." Our kids will not relate to some of the childhood experiences their peers will have and may feel a bit like outsiders.
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#4 of 15 Old 03-29-2012, 05:09 PM
 
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I think an attempt to reach perfection of any ideal can have cons, including trying to be perfectly AP. But I don't think that's specifically about AP, and it doesn't apply to relaxing and taking life as it comes while embracing AP.
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#5 of 15 Old 03-29-2012, 08:38 PM
 
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I don't think there is anything negative about APing for a child, but I think that some parenting trends can follow from AP that aren't altogether positive.

 

I think it can lead to over parenting -- to feeling like the parent is responsible for the child's emotions. Some APs get stuck and continue to treat their children like babies past the point when it is really healthy. Finding the balance between being sensitive to a child's feelings and yet maintaining appropriate expectations for their age and maturity was more difficult than I thought it would be.

 

I think that some of us tend to be the parents who do too much for our children and expect too little back out of them.

 

It's not that APing implies we should do that, but that it just flows that way for some of us.

 

I also think that it can lead to unrealistic expectations -- that we are supposed to be perfect, or that our children are supposed to be perfect. It doesn't work that way. We are still human, and it turns out that our children are too. Raising children is not like following a recipe, and sometimes APing can come across like it is.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 15 Old 03-30-2012, 07:37 AM
 
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None. What are the cons  of doing right by others? By fostering a healthy connection between parent and child?

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#7 of 15 Old 03-30-2012, 09:38 PM
 
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there can be cons... but based on philosophy.

 

you can smother the child in teh name of GD. helicopter moms. dont let kids out of your sight.

 

or you have your own agenda and force it on the kid. so lets say kid refuses to cosleep and you insist upon it.

 

another con - you become so egotistical about what is AP that you become biased against others who dont parent like you. 

 

all these things do happen.

 

it isnt really about AP. more about the person. but one can 'dress' it as AP. 

 

however there is no 'one' formula for AP. there are many facets. 

 

of course i come from the premise that there is pro and con to everything. well almost everything. 


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#8 of 15 Old 03-30-2012, 09:57 PM
 
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I think that generally the basic principles of AP are sufficiently high level and not focused on implementation that they are not controversial with regard to the child, except for co-sleeping which has its own field of critics of course.  The only other thing that people come up with sometimes is that it doesn't foster enough independence, it doesn't toughen kids up and prepare them for life's realities, that it gives too much power to the child.  I think a good parent will find a balance with this, and AP doesn't mean sheltering your kid.  The application of AP can be just as messed up as any other kind of parenting - I've seen people who had very dictatorial, strict styles of parenting whose kids were thriving in that environment and clearly felt loved and valued;  I've seen people who for all intents and purposes were AP moms but I would consider their family out of control and in trouble. 

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#9 of 15 Old 03-31-2012, 05:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I don't think there is anything negative about APing for a child, but I think that some parenting trends can follow from AP that aren't altogether positive.

 

I think it can lead to over parenting -- to feeling like the parent is responsible for the child's emotions. Some APs get stuck and continue to treat their children like babies past the point when it is really healthy. Finding the balance between being sensitive to a child's feelings and yet maintaining appropriate expectations for their age and maturity was more difficult than I thought it would be.

 

I think that some of us tend to be the parents who do too much for our children and expect too little back out of them.

 

It's not that APing implies we should do that, but that it just flows that way for some of us.

 

I also think that it can lead to unrealistic expectations -- that we are supposed to be perfect, or that our children are supposed to be perfect. It doesn't work that way. We are still human, and it turns out that our children are too. Raising children is not like following a recipe, and sometimes APing can come across like it is.



Definitely!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen Muise View Post

 The application of AP can be just as messed up as any other kind of parenting - I've seen people who had very dictatorial, strict styles of parenting whose kids were thriving in that environment and clearly felt loved and valued;  I've seen people who for all intents and purposes were AP moms but I would consider their family out of control and in trouble. 



I completely agree.

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#10 of 15 Old 03-31-2012, 07:59 AM
 
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Forced co sleeping isnt        AP,     helicopter parenting isnt AP, judging others on their parenting isnt AP.

 

Nope, still cant see any disadvantages to AP

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#11 of 15 Old 03-31-2012, 10:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

Forced co sleeping isnt        AP,     helicopter parenting isnt AP, judging others on their parenting isnt AP.

 


 

On one hand, I agree with you. APing perfectly understood and implemented doesn't have a down side.

 

On the other hand, reality is the few people perfectly understand APing when they start out and none of us is perfect. Most of us are reacting in some way to the way we were parented -- if that's unconsciously responding the way our parents did or quite consciously doing the opposite. (I've tried to do things the opposite of my parents, only as times to later realize that there was a 3rd path, not what they did and not the opposite of what they did, but some other paradigm that involved truly letting  go and moving forward). 

 

Some people are more given to black and white thinking than others, and therefore more likely to get hung up on the attachment parenting checklist.

 

Many of us are pouring out heart and soul into what we consider the most important work we will ever do, and between that drive and our pregnancy/breastfeeding hormones, can end up appalled at parents who have a lackadaisical approach to parenting. If you actually believe this stuff, then it's hard to listen to someone talk about leaving their baby to cry and propping them up with a bottle without feeling a bit of judgment. shrug.gif

 

(my personal biggest hang up was getting caught up in what was appropriate parenting of a baby and toddler and having trouble transitioning to childhood and the teen years Sheepish.gif)

 

I think it's most likely more helpful to new parents to hear where people often misunderstand APing that to get hung up on the "if you do it right, it's all fine" thing (even though that's true).

 

Take gentle discipline for example. I'm a huge fan of GD. I think it's morally wrong to hit or humiliate a child. None the less, I've seen people go wrong with GD because they couldn't figure out how to discipline their child at all. So rather than hitting them, they did nothing. That has a real down side for both parent and child.

 

Many of us have at time felt very defensive about our parenting because we've been given a hard time by friends and family, and even strangers. None the less, defending 'the cause' isn't terribly helpful to people trying to figure this stuff out.

 

 

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 15 Old 04-01-2012, 07:22 AM
 
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You express my thoughts well!

 

I will add in the not-always-subtle competition in which "AP" parents sometimes engage, which I have seen devolve into relational aggression. Not good for anyone!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 


 

On one hand, I agree with you. APing perfectly understood and implemented doesn't have a down side.

 

On the other hand, reality is the few people perfectly understand APing when they start out and none of us is perfect. Most of us are reacting in some way to the way we were parented -- if that's unconsciously responding the way our parents did or quite consciously doing the opposite. (I've tried to do things the opposite of my parents, only as times to later realize that there was a 3rd path, not what they did and not the opposite of what they did, but some other paradigm that involved truly letting  go and moving forward). 

 

Some people are more given to black and white thinking than others, and therefore more likely to get hung up on the attachment parenting checklist.

 

Many of us are pouring out heart and soul into what we consider the most important work we will ever do, and between that drive and our pregnancy/breastfeeding hormones, can end up appalled at parents who have a lackadaisical approach to parenting. If you actually believe this stuff, then it's hard to listen to someone talk about leaving their baby to cry and propping them up with a bottle without feeling a bit of judgment. shrug.gif

 

(my personal biggest hang up was getting caught up in what was appropriate parenting of a baby and toddler and having trouble transitioning to childhood and the teen years Sheepish.gif)

 

I think it's most likely more helpful to new parents to hear where people often misunderstand APing that to get hung up on the "if you do it right, it's all fine" thing (even though that's true).

 

Take gentle discipline for example. I'm a huge fan of GD. I think it's morally wrong to hit or humiliate a child. None the less, I've seen people go wrong with GD because they couldn't figure out how to discipline their child at all. So rather than hitting them, they did nothing. That has a real down side for both parent and child.

 

Many of us have at time felt very defensive about our parenting because we've been given a hard time by friends and family, and even strangers. None the less, defending 'the cause' isn't terribly helpful to people trying to figure this stuff out.

 

 



 

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#13 of 15 Old 04-01-2012, 06:15 PM
 
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I don't think there are disadvantages specific to AP so much as disadvantages that can come when people put themselves in a "camp" or group rather than looking at things for their individual merit.  For example, there's nothing that says that someone who is AP has to home school, or go to a Waldorf school, or has to use a naturopath rather than an MD, but some people find that being part of an AP group of parents also means that they are part of a homeschooling group (this is just an example), etc.  There starts to be a kind of peer pressure to fit in with the AP crowd (for your location) ideals and those values are (often accidentally) also passed on to the kids.  The values, indirectly or directly related to AP (like, breastfeeding is AP, but sometimes doesn't work out for medical reasons), may work for your family and be great.  But if they don't work it can be hard to do something that isn't part of the group that you belong to, and it may be hard for older kids to stand up to this as well.  I've seen parents who are ashamed to tell their friends that they had the baby in hospital because it was cheaper, or that they decided that homeschooling wasn't working.  One of my friend's kids had a hard time speaking up for wanting to leave the very holistic alternative school he was in so that he could enjoy public school with the neighbourhood kids he played hockey with.  None of the family friends had kids in public school or in hockey for that matter.

 

Anyway, I get none of this is specifically about AP, but some people confuse AP with belonging to a group, and some of the values of the group may go beyond AP and may not work with their family.  I personally followed attachment parenting because it made sense to me and it was practical for my family, but I've seen some families take it to the point of being religion, and in a rather creepy, superior way.  When that happens, it can't possibly be good for kids.

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#14 of 15 Old 04-02-2012, 04:22 AM
 
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Wow, this is a very interesting topic!

My first reaction was: there is no disadvantage for the child. But I see now after reading the replies that it's not so cut-and-dried.

 

My son is almost 2 years old and on the cusp of leaving babyhood altogether. My only complaint with the whole AP thing right now is that the vast majority of literature and the common conception out there is that AP = baby bonding (cosleeping, breastfeeding, babywearing, et al), and many people really believe it ends right there. I am just now discovering Gordon Neufeld's work (Hold On To Your Kids), Dr. Laura Markham and Scott Noelle, and I feel that AP becomes "Connection Parenting" once the baby reaches childhood. I feel so grateful that I discovered that there's more support and that AP doesn't have to end. I know that sounds funny, but I really think a lot of parents who practice AP don't come across such support and then fall back into the old conditioned style of more authoritarian-leaning style discipline and parenting. It's really sad. I am so excited that AP is becoming more and more mainstream and widespread, however the next step really is for more support and widespread understanding that it doesn't end once your child can walk!


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#15 of 15 Old 04-02-2012, 08:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P.J. View Post

lurk.gif

Wow, this is a very interesting topic!

My first reaction was: there is no disadvantage for the child. But I see now after reading the replies that it's not so cut-and-dried.

 

My son is almost 2 years old and on the cusp of leaving babyhood altogether. My only complaint with the whole AP thing right now is that the vast majority of literature and the common conception out there is that AP = baby bonding (cosleeping, breastfeeding, babywearing, et al), and many people really believe it ends right there. I am just now discovering Gordon Neufeld's work (Hold On To Your Kids), Dr. Laura Markham and Scott Noelle, and I feel that AP becomes "Connection Parenting" once the baby reaches childhood. I feel so grateful that I discovered that there's more support and that AP doesn't have to end. I know that sounds funny, but I really think a lot of parents who practice AP don't come across such support and then fall back into the old conditioned style of more authoritarian-leaning style discipline and parenting. It's really sad. I am so excited that AP is becoming more and more mainstream and widespread, however the next step really is for more support and widespread understanding that it doesn't end once your child can walk!



Yeah P.J. this is how I feel also.  I feel like I am still doing AP with my twelve-year-old dd.  Of course we are not doing babywearing cosleeping or nursing lol but we have a very attached relationship.  I do feel that the AP things we did when she was young have helped us form a close bond today.  Am I saying that parents who dont AP will not?  No.  But for us., it has worked out.  We still do gentle discipline.  My feeling is that it doesn't end because I know there are kids and teens who will get called names; hit; shamed; etc.  I am not a permissive parent but I save the big rules for things like safety and respect.

 

The checklist annoys me when people use it against other parents....that really really makes me mad.  In fact, it is actually harmful to the children of that parent.  Here is why I think so...say for instance a mom cant nurse but she really loves AP but then she meets an AP mom who follows the whole checklist and looks down on her.  Then the mom feels inadequate and that she can't do AP so gives it all up because she thinks she can't do it the right way.  That is sad for both the mom and the child.  As I have said many times on here, even Dr. Sears says it's not a checkist.  Mayim Bialik's new book Beyond The Sling is good for learning about AP without judgment.

 

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