child development

Dr. Sears’ Philosophy On Sharing Will Offend Any Non-Attachment Parent

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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.

(Image: 2xSamara.com/Shutterstock)

89 Comments

  1. jane

    April 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    “In our completely biased and not at all scientifically valid poll…” Ugh. If you can _prove_ that AP actually leads to better outcomes for kids, I might listen to you (probably still wouldn’t do it, but I’d have been more open). Until then STFU -we’re all doing our best.

  2. Kelly

    April 3, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    So if an AP raised toddler is good at sharing it’s because he’s superior due to AP. AND if an AP raised toddler is bad at sharing it’s because he’s superior due to AP.

    Yeah, this is the exact thing that pisses people off. Not the parenting style but the sanctimonious elitist drivel that accompanies it. I’m glad you get it now.

  3. pixie

    April 3, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    I’m an only child and am not a product of attachment parenting. Same goes for my boyfriend. Stereotypically, we should be horrid at sharing. Realistically, neither of us have any problems now and never had any problems with sharing growing up (except sharing some things with each other 😉 ). Anecdotal, sure, but I feel that has the same amount of merit as his poll.

    Also, in my mind, while sure, an AP child might be more likely to go for their mother’s hand than a blankie (except, most kids I’ve met will reach for their parents hand, or both their parent and their favourite toy because they’re kids and want both), I see as it not solving the sharing problem, but transferring the object to be shared onto something else. So instead of not wanting to share their hot wheels, the kid might feel jealous if their parent pays attention to another child, like a friend, instead of them.

    • Bethany Ramos

      April 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      I will take your biased opinion, thanks! 🙂

    • pixie

      April 3, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      Yay biased opinions! 🙂

    • Robotic Socks

      April 3, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      so… your BF doesn’t mind sharing huh?

      http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/ccky.gif

    • Valerie

      April 3, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      I own an authentic Bayside a Tigers off the shoulder sweatshirt like Kelly word at Zack and Kelly’s prom. Just sayin.

    • Bethany Ramos

      April 3, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Noooooooo I love you even more now!

    • Valerie

      April 3, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      Oh so much yes. I was drunk at midnight home alone on a Friday and completely out of the blue I felt compelled to own it. Hit up the Google and $39 later, it was mine.

    • pixie

      April 3, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      Being drunk and alone and having access to the internet is usually the best time to spontaneously decide you MUST buy some clothing online. 😉

    • Valerie

      April 3, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      Hey! Are you and Jensen cheating on me?!

    • MellyG

      April 3, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      hey – another only child here! With an only child boyfriend!

      I’m sick of the only child stereotypes and like you said, both of us should be horrible at sharing, or socializing, or not getting our way, i guess. But it doesn’t seem that way, and i don’t THINK i’m an awful selfish person – i’m pretty good my friends think i’m good at sharing since i’m usually the first closet to be raided, or the first movies to be loaned out!

    • pixie

      April 3, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      I know. I’ll gladly offer a book or a movie to a friend I think will appreciate it or let my friends borrow clothes.
      And it’s always the “Oh you must have been so spoiled!” or “Weren’t you lonely without a sibling?” That I get. No I wasn’t spoiled; my parents didn’t have a whole lot of money when I was a kid. I got things that my parents thought I needed (a bike, books, my flute when I started lessons because I decided I wanted to go to uni for music) or the occasional treat (my few Barbies, a stuffed toy). Didn’t matter how many times I asked of that gameboy or pony, I never got them. And no, I wasn’t lonely; I learned how to entertain myself by reading or drawing. I also had friends, so I wasn’t exactly a loner! lol

    • MellyG

      April 3, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      I was pretty much the same – i hate the spoiled thing, my parents did ok, we weren’t starving, but there wasn’t a lot of extra. I was the only kid, and for 6 years the only grandkid, and i had a LOT of grandparents (parents having step parents and great grandparents) so i was spoiled at certain times or holidays, and sometimes spoiled with attention.

      However, my mom did make sure i could entertain myself, so i think that makes me less of a needy friend. I don’t panic when i’m alone on a friday night, lol.

      I also have a theory that people with siblings are FORCED to share and socialize a lot. Even when they don’t want to, so that sometimes (not always) makes them not want to share later in life. We only children never HAD to share so it’s not viewed as this “bad” thing that mom is making us do, if that makes sense?

    • pixie

      April 3, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      Makes sense to me. 😉
      I was the only grandkid for 17 years on my dad’s side (only one living grand parent that was completely there, though) and only one cousin on the other side who buggered off when I was 12, then my not related cousin came along (still mom’s side), but with only two of us and more adults, I was a bit spoiled on holidays, but I definitely wasn’t given everything I wished for, not even by my grandma who doted on first me and then my cousin for the first 4.5 years of his life.

    • Bic

      April 4, 2014 at 6:59 am

      I’m an only child, but to some extent I do fit the stereotypes. I’m not into sharing…anymore. I did used to lend things out quite happily, but I never got them back or didn’t get them back in good condition so I stopped. Although I am a more of a loner so I was never lonely either.

    • pixie

      April 4, 2014 at 8:05 am

      Yeah, I get that. There’s some people I won’t share my stuff with if they haven’t returned things in the past or returned them in poor condition, but I tend to give people at least one chance and if they return things the way they were I’ll happily lend them something else.

      I’m also a fairly independent person and am fine by myself. What I meant by that was, I do have friends so if the odd chance I do get tired of being by myself, which happens on occasion, I can call up one of my friends and see what they’re doing. I don’t need to be constantly around people to be entertained or not lonely, but sometimes it’s nice to be with friends. And if all my friends and my boyfriend are busy, I go hang out with the horses. 🙂

    • Williwaw

      April 4, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Good point. I was third of five, and while I would like to think I am a nice person who shares as much as anyone else, having to share a bedroom for many years with my sister (while my brothers, incidentally, always got their own rooms) has made me really greedy with my personal space.

    • practicallyperfectineveryway

      April 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      I learned how to entertain myself but I did find being an only child was lonely a lot of the time. Family vacations especially where I was the only kid doing “kid stuff”. Also whenever my parents were stressed it would be only me that got picked on, and I didn’t have a sibling to share the experience and talk about it with. But I definitely didn’t grow up spoiled, and I have friends in big families that were.

    • pixie

      April 4, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      I also have a lot of friends in big families that were spoiled. One friend explained it to me by saying that with one child, there’s only one voice asking for something, but when there’s siblings, you have a bunch of kids asking for the same thing and it’s a lot more annoying lol.
      And I was lucky that my parents didn’t really pick on me when they were stressed and when we did go on vacation (which wasn’t often) we visited places like museums, art galleries, and wildlife reserves so they were more educational than “kid stuff”. But to each their own, everyone is different and has different experiences growing up in similar situations. 🙂

    • itpainsme2say

      April 3, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      Random fact one of my best friends was an only child with only child parents and she dates an only child (well a late baby) and only one or two of our other friends have siblings. So you can’t all be bad because the ones with close together siblings are more drama filled in my opinion.

    • MellyG

      April 3, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      Yay!!!

    • airbones

      April 4, 2014 at 7:44 am

      My husband is an only child and shares like a champ. I’m a middle child and share NOTHING EVER. So there’s that.

  4. Katherine Handcock

    April 3, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    I have a problem with any parenting technique/advice/etc. that is sort of all-or-nothing. Kids are too variable for that. So while I lean attachment-parenting-ish, that doesn’t mean that I buy into everything AP, or that I think it’s right for everyone.

    My two kids are a good demonstration of the kid-variability thing. When my son was an infant, napping next to him was the key to both of us having a great, restful sleep. With my daughter, TRYING to nap next to her was a guaranteed way to make sure that nap never happened. My son tries everything he sees Mom and Dad eat, and then decides if he likes it; my daughter does not let fruits or vegetables pass her lips except in smoothie form.

    And yes, the science wonk in me got a touch ragey at the self-justifying, “AP kids are better or worse at sharing” thing.

    • Bethany Ramos

      April 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      I still need sharing answers!! 🙂

    • Véronique Houde

      April 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      Check out RIE for that – RIE has a few crazy ideas too, but has good stuff for sharing.

    • Bethany Ramos

      April 3, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      Thanks!

    • Katherine Handcock

      April 3, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      The best tip I heard was to distinguish “sharing” from “taking turns” – after all, if we all “share” the cookies, the cookies are all gone, so then imagine how a kid feels when you say they have to “share” their favourite toy! Sometimes we as adults forget how confusing these concepts are – I know that really struck me when I read it. So if there’s wrestling over a toy, you declare that it’s so-and-so’s turn for now and then it’s your turn (some parents and teachers will even use a timer – my son’s preschool has an hourglass for taking turns).

      The other thing I think is important is to allow kids to pick some things that they just don’t have to share. My son knows that he can decide that he’s not sharing particular toys that are specifically his (birthday gifts, etc.) with my daughter. However, he has to keep those in his room; if they’re out in the common space, they’re fair game. I think the fact that he knows there are some things that are HIS makes him more willing to share the stuff he doesn’t care as much about. After all, I wasn’t all that eager to share my iPod with my husband when I first got it 😉

    • Bethany Ramos

      April 3, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      Good stuff, thank you!

    • Psych Student

      April 4, 2014 at 3:18 am

      Brilliant!

    • Katherine Handcock

      April 3, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      The best tip I heard was to distinguish “sharing” from “taking turns” – after all, if we all “share” the cookies, the cookies are all gone, so then imagine how a kid feels when you say they have to “share” their favourite toy! Sometimes we as adults forget how confusing these concepts are – I know that really struck me when I read it. So if there’s wrestling over a toy, you declare that it’s so-and-so’s turn for now and then it’s your turn (some parents and teachers will even use a timer – my son’s preschool has an hourglass for taking turns).

      The other thing I think is important is to allow kids to pick some things that they just don’t have to share. My son knows that he can decide that he’s not sharing particular toys that are specifically his (birthday gifts, etc.) with my daughter. However, he has to keep those in his room; if they’re out in the common space, they’re fair game. I think the fact that he knows there are some things that are HIS makes him more willing to share the stuff he doesn’t care as much about. After all, I wasn’t all that eager to share my iPod with my husband when I first got it 😉

    • Jen

      April 3, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      2 year old boys are bat shit crazy. They are possessive and don’t share. They are neanderthals. At 3, you can begin to bribe them. And at 4, you can REALLY bribe them. But 4 year old boys are bat shit crazy too. Hopefully they figure it all out by 18!

    • Bethany Ramos

      April 3, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      AGREE!

    • Angela

      April 3, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      Honestly I think that no matter what you do 2 year olds are going to have a hard time sharing but here’s how we handle it at our house. The kids each have a small bin called their “No Sharing Bin” where the kids can put their favorite toys they want to keep to themselves. If it’s in the bin then no one else is allowed to touch it BUT they’re also not allowed to get the things out and play with them in front of other kids without sharing. Also, if they forget to put the toy back into the bin when they’re done then it’s fair game. If they leave it out and their brother gets to it then they can’t just take it away. They have to wait until he’s done playing with it before it can go back into the bin. I do this so that they can feel that they can have special things that are theirs without having to keep track of who every little toy belongs to.

      All the other toys are dealt with on a first come first serve basis. If someone else is playing with something then it’s theirs until they put it down. They can try to negotiate a trade but the other kid has the right to refuse. If one child’s having a hard time respecting that then I usually intervene by redirecting them to another activity or removing them from the situation if they’re having a meltdown. My two year old is just starting to catch onto this concept but my five year old gets it pretty well.

    • Bethany Ramos

      April 3, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you!!

    • BethAZ1987

      April 4, 2014 at 10:40 am

      All this. Teaching kids to ASK another kid to share or take turns, and making it an optional thing is key. I know some kids who have been taught to “ask”, but it really is screeching “I SAID SHARE!!” as they snatch the toy out of their sibling’s hand. They have interpreted it as “if I ask to share, that means I automatically get whatever you have”.
      When my husband was little, some kid came up to him and just yanked whatever toy he was playing with out of his hands. My husband promptly tackled the kid and bit him on the cheek hard enough to draw blood. My husband’s take away? That kid should’ve asked. Little boys are no joke. Lol.

    • K.

      April 3, 2014 at 11:35 pm

      Our daycare implemented “trade” I guess as a precursor to sharing. So if a kid wants to play with a toy another kid has, s/he has to offer a trade (usually giving up whatever s/he has).

      This generally results in our child waltzing over to another kid, throwing a toy into that kid’s face, and then yanking away the kid’s toy while the kid’s still in a daze.

      Yeah, they’re neanderthals. Oh well.

    • pixie

      April 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Yes, this. Kids are very much all different, even siblings. There’s nothing wrong with leaning one way, like you do; I just can’t imagine completely subscribing strictly to one parenting philosophy with no bend room with two completely different kids, like Dr. Sears expects. I think life would be a living hell for someone with a child like your daughter but wanted to follow AP 100%.

      Of course, I’m not a parent yet, but imagining trying to sleep next to a baby who wants none of that is not a pleasant thought.

    • Katherine Handcock

      April 3, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      Even if your kid wants to sleep next to you, it can be no fun for the parents! My son still LOVES to sleep next to me if he can get away with it – we restrict it to when he’s sick or occasionally as a treat if my husband has to be away – but he just wraps his arms and legs around me like a possessed octopus. I end up hot, cramped, and generally grouchy. A parent’s needs are also a perfectly valid reason to choose (or reject) a parenting technique!

      And yes, little Miss Independent would be awful to follow AP 100%. I tried a wrap with her once as a little baby – didn’t go so well. She loves to sit on her own and do her own thing. As long as she knows she can have my attention when she wants it, she’s happy. Even now, her favourite thing in the world to do is sit downstairs in the playroom and sing to herself while she looks at books or builds with blocks 🙂

    • pixie

      April 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      Oh, I can imagine that! I get grumpy sometimes if my boyfriend decides he really wants to cuddle when I’m already really hot and sweaty and it’s all I can do not to shove him out of bed. 😉
      Though it sucks, because normally he’s not super into cuddling because he moves around a lot while he sleeps and while he’s trying to sleep so he usually picks the worst times to decide he wants to cuddle. lol

    • Katherine Handcock

      April 3, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      When we moved to our current house, I was thrilled that the master bedroom was JUST big enough for a king sized bed because both my husband and I like to sprawl when we sleep 🙂

  5. K.

    April 3, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Just the term “parenting style” should tell you all you need to know–it’s something for YOU, not the kid. It’s YOUR style, based on YOUR psychological afflictions.

    Kids grow up in all kinds of households under all kinds of different rules and philosophies, and most of us know from our own group of friends, who presumably grew up in different sorts of households, that the kids will be alright. Unless you slap your kid around or leaving them to wallow in urine while playing with knives and Clorox bleach or something, your kid will probably grow up to be an ordinary old tax-paying citizen.

    If you find yourself getting defensive whenever some parent is smug about their “style” and how much better their kid will be from yours, just realize that they’re not talking about a parenting style at all; they’re pretty much revealing all of their neuroses.

  6. cabinfever

    April 3, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    “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.”

    Am I reading this correctly? AP may lead to sharing, or to not sharing?

    • pixie

      April 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      Pretty much. Just so they can say “I told ya so!” When either outcome occurs, I guess?

    • girlindisguise

      April 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      “AP is the best parenting style. We are NEVER wrong.”

  7. L

    April 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Ummm, I’m a pre-k teacher and have only had one kid come through my class whose parent was an AP parent, and not only did she not share at first, she literally choked any child who tried to get her to share.
    Obviously this isn’t the norm, but…

  8. Robotic Socks

    April 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm

  9. Robotic Socks

    April 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    • Valerie

      April 3, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Bwahahahaha

  10. jendra_berri

    April 3, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    He doesn’t make me feel like a bad parent. And that’s because I think he’s an asshole 😀

  11. Paul White

    April 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    “Kids raised this way may be A. Or they may be B. BUt either way it’s good because they were raised this way.”

  12. Lauren

    April 3, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    The thing is, it’s possible to raise a child with a healthy attachment relationship without practicing attachment parenting. I think it would be more accurate to say that children with a healthy attachment relationship are better at sharing. Yes, AP does tend to produce children with health attachments, but it is by no means the ONLY method of doing so.

    • cabinfever

      April 3, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      How long has AP been a thing? Do we know yet how “healthy attachments” translate into a child’s ability to go out on their own as an adult?
      (I know Dr. Sears’ own children are all highly accomplished super-geniuses, but that’s a small and fairly biased sample).

    • rrlo

      April 4, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      From what I have read, secured attachment to a parent is a really good thing – which makes total sense.

      Attachment Parenting as described by Sears is, I suppose, one way of going about it (especially if you ignore his judgmental tone).

      But really, what evidence supports is pretty obvious stuff: that in order to have a securely attached child you need to provide “sensitive, responsive parenting by understanding the needs of the child and responding to them.”

      And one certainly does not need to do the 7 Bs of Attachment Parenting to fit above description.

    • Lauren

      April 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      “Attachment parenting” is relatively new, as a terminology. However attachment theory has been around for almost a century and has been proven over and over to be one of, if not the biggest, predictor of a child’s future success in relationships and/or life. If you’re really interested in it, google the work of Bowlby and Harlow, as they were really the pioneers of attachment theory. It’s really quite fascinating (not being sarcastic), especially Harlow’s work with rhesus monkeys (which nowadays would probably be ethically questionable).

  13. anitacoleman1813

    April 3, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    I’ve poked fun on Medical professional. Sears before to be Medical professional. Judgy McJudgerson, but in fact, I have not an issue while using the person. When i basically take pleasure in lots of their resources pertaining to ill kids. His / her information will be helpful in addition to relaxing for any stressed-out father or mother. Generally, When i try and offer him the benefit of this question, till When i capture some absurd subtext stiched in one of their posts. A lot more ». http://goo.gl/bN5OJA

    • cabinfever

      April 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      Yes, interesting.

    • brebay

      April 3, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks for your totally real and non-spammy comment. I totally believe that’s really you in the pic and that English is your first language.

    • Kay_Sue

      April 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      I love how it is just garbled crap from the post. These spambots make me chuckle.

    • practicallyperfectineveryway

      April 4, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      The Judgy McJudgerson bit is 40x more hilarious in the middle of gobbledegook like this

    • Kay_Sue

      April 4, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Also, I find it fascinating that the Bot has “not an issue while using the person”.

      What does that even mean? Inquiring minds NEED to know.

  14. Kay_Sue

    April 3, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    *raises hand*

    So telling them to fucking share already is a bad move, Dr. Sears? Asking for a friend.

  15. Melastik Bintang

    April 3, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    nice info by mommyish…. =)

  16. rrlo

    April 3, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    I just gloss over Dr. Sears’ AP nonsense whenever it comes about. His AP agenda is quite annoying (like 7 baby B’s really pissed me off). However, some of his medical advice is great and I do have many of his web pages bookmarked

  17. rrlo

    April 3, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    I just gloss over his AP nonsense and focus on the good stuff – especially the medical advice. He definitely has an AP agenda.

    I would say the only reason to read his AP stuff is when you get flak for preferring some of the things advocated in AP – like extended breastfeeding or co-sleeping. It provides a counterpoint to the Ferber/Cry it Out perspective.

    When people claim that unless you sleep train, your baby will be a horribly spoiled tyrant (or breastfeeding a toddler is somehow perverted)- it’s good to read the AP stuff (which says the EXACT opposite) and feel validated that NOBODY really knows what the hell is going on. So might as well just do what works.

    • allisonjayne

      April 4, 2014 at 9:34 am

      YES. I agree. I don’t agree with everything Sears says (and he can definitely come across as an ass!), but I do like reading some of his materials because I did end up doing a lot of the AP stuff because it was worked best for us. And I do get some pretty judgey comments sometimes about stuff like co-sleeping. I usually brush it off and don’t engage (I’m not confrontational in general) but it’s nice to have things to read that affirm the choices I made.

    • Jessica

      April 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Is co-sleeping attachment parenting? We tried NOT co-sleeping but honestly, it just didn’t work for us. The only reason I get any sleep is because my baby is right there in bed with us, which makes it easy to nurse and fall back to sleep. There was no philosophy behind it- just wanted to get as much rest as possible!

    • rrlo

      April 4, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Yup, by co-sleeping you are practicing one of the 7 Bs of Attachment Parenting. So if you want you can claim to be an AP lol. You can read about it here – there are some eye rolling paragraphs in there, so be warned: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/parenting/attachment-parenting/what-ap-7-baby-bs

      I think Sears clan used to call it “bed sharing” but now it’s called “bedding close to the baby”.

      I know what you mean about co-sleeping – desperate times call for desperate measures.

    • Jessica

      April 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Haha, I read through your link and it looks like I’m mostly an attachment parent. And here I though “parenting styles” were BS.

    • rrlo

      April 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Haha – uh oh!!! Now you have to go on Facebook and act all superior (just kidding).

    • ninjalulu

      April 4, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      I have a rocker that my daughter sleeps in next to our bed. My husband snores, uses a CPap machine, and sleeps like he is dead. He rolls over on me all the time, and i have punched him, hard!!, to get him to wake up. No way in hell am i putting my daughter into that kind of risk. However, I want her in the room with me. I dont want to get out of bed every goddamn time that paci falls out of her mouth and she cries, she needs a bottle, or i want to check to make sure she is still breathing. I be lazy like that. My husband, who almost NEVER wakes up unless i wake him up, thinks i will sleep better if she is moved to her room/crib. She is 3 months old! He thinks i am attachment parenting, even though she doesnt breastfeed anymore (time constraints to pump at work, and those puppies hurt when you get engorged!)

    • rrlo

      April 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      Your arrangement makes perfect sense. I had an irrational fear of SIDS – and the risk drops after four months. So I moved my son into his crib at 4 months – before that he stayed in our room in a bassinet.

      Then at 6 months he kept on waking up unless he was sleeping with me. So him and I moved to the guest bed room for a month or two where we both got better sleep.

      After that there have been many iterations of him sleeping in his own room, sleeping with us – doing half and half. Now he is three and we are all in general well – rested. So it all works out in the end…

      Life with a baby is a literal and figurative shit show regardless of what you do anyway :(.

    • ninjalulu

      April 4, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      “literal and figuritive shit show” HA! Never have truer words been spoken (or typed!)!!

  18. CW

    April 4, 2014 at 1:31 am

    I’ve noticed that kids who spent a lot of time daycare when they were very young have trouble sharing compared with kids who got 1-on-1 attention from a parent or nanny. And I say this as someone whose oldest had to be in daycare as a toddler because we needed my income and health insurance coverage at the time. I don’t think it’s AP per se, but rather that AP moms are far more likely to either be SAHM’s or to have hired a nanny rather than using daycare.

    • ChickenKira

      April 4, 2014 at 1:36 am

      I used to work in a school as an integration aide, mostly remedial reading, but also social skills and honestly, you couldn’t tell.

      We knew who came from a daycare background vs home background, as I used to work with preps (what you guys call kindergarteners) and we know who came straight from home, who came from a daycare and who came from a preschool (or, what we call kindergarten, what a mess, haha). I had kids in my scial skills group from all sorts of backgrounds, I met with their parents often and there was every parenting style under the sun represented. There was no clear cut “Doing this causes sharing issues”. Kids who came straight from home had trouble sharing, kids who came from preschool had trouble sharing, kids who came from daycare had trouble sharing, and kids from all three backgrounds didn’t have trouble sharing. There were parents who were very much AP and parents who were very much ‘traditional’ and many in between and all over.

      The larger the sample size is, the more you see that there is no clear cut answer.

    • K.

      April 4, 2014 at 2:06 am

      My friend is a kindergarten teacher and she says the same thing. They all come in with different talents, deficits, issues, that have no correlation to anything–SAHMs and career women; together and divorced parents; daycare and nannies–they were all just kids and also individuals.

      The good news is that in her capacity as a kindergarten teacher, she also knew that kindergarten is pretty much all about teaching kids to learn in a classroom environment, which includes sharing. So no matter where your kid is at 2, a good kindergarten teacher will boot them up to speed by 6 regardless.

  19. Williwaw

    April 4, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Kids don’t refuse to share their toys because they are validating their self-worth. They refuse to share their toys because they don’t want to share their toys.

    • ctpdenver

      April 4, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Right. Kids do this. They’ve done it since the beginning of time. You have to teach them to share much like you have to teach them not to smear applesauce everywhere or stop pestering their siblings.

    • rrlo

      April 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      I know, who wants to share! Sharing is for suckers. And if I could get away with it, I wouldn’t want to share either.

  20. Guets

    April 4, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Does he think AP makes toddlers into magical little non-assholes? Because I don’t believe that.

    • ctpdenver

      April 4, 2014 at 11:38 am

      They become special snowflakes of the highest order. Mere mortals can’t understand them.

  21. ctpdenver

    April 4, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Oh, for the love of God. Children have to be taught to share. All of them, even the special snowflakes of AP

  22. Ellen

    April 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    The research says that children whose emotional needs are adequately met in the first two years will be more likely to develop compassion and empathy. Those abilities lead to sharing most of the time. It’s not about AP or not AP it’s about the child feeling secure that their own needs will be met before they are able to give away what they don’t need.

  23. Jessica

    April 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Did anyone else think the title made no sense because of the abbreviation?

    • Bethany Ramos

      April 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you!!! My lingo got the best of me, and I am fixing now. 🙂

  24. SA

    April 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    OK, so I thought that I would NEVER be an attachment parent. However, I had an “attachment baby”. She always did better being worn, sleeps best when co-sleeping, and is a general cuddler, hugger, etc. While I don’t prescribe to one style over another, we have had to use much more of the AP with her.

    She stood in the kitchen screaming MY MILK MY MILK MY MILK this morning when there was milk on the counter that wasn’t hers for the taking. She screams MY CHAIR MY CHAIR MY CHAIR when I sit down. She definitely isn’t the ‘worst share-er’ I have seen, but she is 19 months old, so it just rolls that way a good chunk of the time.

    Uh-oh, I do use a stroller sometimes. That must be it.

  25. competitivenonfiction

    April 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    It’s not quite clear where the quote starts and ends, but if he argued “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.” he’s hedging his bets by phrasing the idea that a kid could share because they were APed, or they wouldn’t share because they were APed… but that it’s a good thing either way. This kind of psuedo-logic isn’t helping anyone, even if they have a point.

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