My local newspaper ran a concerning column by John Rosemond on Monday in which he makes some false claims. I'm guessing a lot of you also have his column in your local paper, or have it forwarded to you by mother-in-laws, etc. I've written a letter to the editor about this column and I wanted to share my thoughts with folks on this forum because I would hate for people to be mislead. The headline was "No evidence to support attachment parenting claims." In this column Rosemond makes a snarky, unprofessional attack on William Sears. He refers to Sears as a "high priest," says (sarcastically) that "he and his mother must not have properly bonded" and accuses Sears of "making stuff up." He says that Sears has no "unbiased" scientific research "with control groups" to support his assertion that healthy attachment between mother and child produces emotionally heathy adults, and dismisses the attachment parenting approach as "destructive propaganda." Rosemond is, of course, dead wrong about the lack of valid scientific research on attachment. There is in fact, a great deal of multidisciplinary research on the topic of attachment available and all it takes is a little googling to find it. It seems Rosemond has not actually read any of this research, however, because he goes on to cite James J. McKenna of Notre Dame as a leading expert on infant sleep issues (true) who "says he has yet to find any benefit to parents and children sleeping together." Had Rosemond actually read any of the research on attachment he would have known that McKenna's research has actually found MANY benefits to co-sleeping and that McKenna is actually a leading proponent of co-sleeping!!!!! On his website, McKenna lists several studies (unbiased and with control groups) that say as much. You can check this for yourself:
I believe Mothering has published articles by McKenna too.
It's very strange that Rosemond would cite James J. McKenna as an expert who supports his opinion when, in fact, McKenna's research actually disproves Rosemond's opinion!!! I think it's just evidence that didn't bother to look for the research that he is claiming doesn't exist. I did e-mail McKenna about the article and he said that he plans to respond to this misrepresentation of his research. I sure hope Dr. Sears responds as well. My local paper, by the way, is The Santa Fe New Mexican, so I also hope Mothering responds too!!!
I just wanted to share this information with all of you and encourage you not to take Rosemond's assertions at face value. He is a widely read columnist and so has a responsibility to fact check before he starts making claims and accusations. My newspaper runs his column on the Education page, which makes it seem like factual expert advice rather than the opinion piece it actually is. So, I think it would be easy for parents to be mislead. If you read Rosemond's column or have it forwarded to you---be skeptical and get the facts yourself!! And, if you are as outraged as me, please write a letter to the editor!!
Thanks for allowing the rant.
I am so happy to see someone else caught the clear lack of research by Rosemond on this. More people need to know he's made some bold assertions that are dead wrong. Especially considering the size of his parenting audience.
McKenna has posted a response on his website!!!!:
If your local paper ran the Rosemond article, please e-mail them the link to this response and ask them to make a retraction.