Dr. Sears’ Philosophy On Sharing Will Offend Any Non-Attachment Parent
I’ve poked fun at Dr. Sears in the past for being Dr. Judgy McJudgerson, but in reality, I have no problem with the guy. I actually appreciate many of his resources for sick kids. His information is informative and calming for a stressed-out parent. Mostly, I try to give him the benefit of the doubt, until I catch some ridiculous subtext woven into one of his articles.
I’m talking about Dr. Sears’ attachment parenting agenda. I have nothing against attachment parenting, and I know it works for many women. What I do have a problem with is any person who ascribes to one parenting style 100% and passes judgment on all the others.
My husband was checking out some of Dr. Sears’ information about sharing because our two-year-old is a devil child who refuses to share with his brother. Playtime is full of screaming “MINE MINE MINE” with lots of tears. This personally doesn’t bug me too much because I believe he will grow out of it. I also think it is fairly normal two-year-old behavior.
The Dr. Sears article on sharing that my husband read to me started out fine. It talked about the natural possessiveness of young children and why they may have a difficult time sharing. I was totally on board, until he said:
Attachment-parented kids may be more sensitive to others’ needs and thus more willing to share, or they may be more aware of their own need to preserve their sense of self by not sharing.
We have observed that children who received attachment parenting during the first two years are more likely to become sharing children in the years to come, for two reasons. Children who have been on the receiving end of generosity follow the model they’ve been given and become generous persons themselves. Also, a child who feels right is more likely to share. An attachment-parented child is more likely to have a secure self-image. He needs fewer things to validate his self-worth. In taking a poll of attachment- parented children in our practice, we found they needed fewer attachment objects. They are more likely to reach for mother’s hand than cling to a blanket.
I’m going to be honest. Although I don’t perceive Dr. Sears to be malicious, his hard-core pushing of the AP agenda in this article made me feel like a shitty parent. It was in this moment when my outrage flared up that I suddenly understood the hundreds of angry comments on mom blogs across the Internet. If someone tells you you’re doing it wrong and their way is better, you’re immediately on the offense.
When I read this article, I was sincerely looking for help for the sharing problem in our house. Although Dr. Sears’ benefits of attachment parenting may comfort AP parents, he leaves all the other parents in the lurch. If you are a non-AP parent reading his article and looking for help, it’s already too late—you can’t go back in time and attachment parent your kid. I guess I’ll have to figure out how to deal with my selfish spawn on my own.