I agree, nurtureyourbabies, but those of us who had a less than ap upbringing and a really rocky childhood sometimes don't have those natural ap instincts, or at least they can be hard to hear.
I guess I should just speak for myself, but I read lots of books b/c I am trying to break some unhealthy patterns in my family and it can be a real challenge. I guess the books help me keep it at the forefront of my mind and remind me why I'm doing what I do. And I really have no real life ap friends...I didn't even know what ap was until I stumbled here.
In fact, I'm embarressed to say that before I had dd, I didn't see anything wrong with spanking.
Now, of course, I do. I would never spank. But, the books I read help me feel confident and stand up for my beliefs when no one around me is doing what I am. For instance, people are always questioning me about vaxing and when I just give them my opinions, they argue and act like I'm crazy. But when I am armed with statistics, etc. that I get from the books I read, they listen more.
The same goes for AP parenting techniques. Since the books explain things in a really clear way, it is easier for me to explain things to my friends, and I am more likely to make a difference in their parenting styles, too. Does that make sense?
Also, ITA about trying to make kids grow up too fast. Have you read L&L? I think some things have been taken way out of context, at least the way I read it they have. It doesn't suggest teaching kids the cost of paint at an early age, or punishing, withholding love, etc. Honestly, I read Unconditional Parenting right before reading this book and I don't see conflicts between to two. I think it just depends on how you read it, I guess. Anyway, that's just my opinion, but I wonder if you might see more of what I mean if you read the book. Then again, you may have already read it and just read it differently than me.