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Co-Parenting - When You Hate Your Child's Father (or Mother)
The last two were only added in with the publication of the Attachment Parenting Book. He refers to this birth bonding as " imprinting " and bases himself on a study by Marshall Klaus and John Kennell from ; however, Klaus and Kennell later modified their original assumptions, including the one cited by Sears. If researchers go without randomization and turn a blind eye to those possible alternative factors, they fundamentally run a risk to falsely credit the feeding method for effects of socioeconomical factors. Colen Ohio State University , who successfully factored out socioeconomical determinants by comparing siblings only; her study demonstrated that formula fed children showed only minimal differences to their breastfed siblings, insofar as their physical, emotional and mental thriving was concerned. In , John R. Britton and a research team Kaiser Permanente found that highly sensitive mothers are more likely than less sensitive mothers to breastfeed and to breastfeed over a long time period. However, the study showed no effect of the feeding method on the attachment quality. It is undisputed that babywearing can calm children down. Infants cry the most in the age of 6 weeks; in , a research team at McGill University showed in a randomized study that infants of that age cried significantly less if their parents wore them a lot on the body during the day. Mother and Child, William Sears states that any sleeping arrangement that a family practices is acceptable as long as it works; but he advises mother to sleep close to the child. McKenna University of Notre Dame has discovered that co-sleeping mothers and infants not only synchronize their sleep-wake-rhythm , but their breathing, too; he therefore reasons that co-sleeping lowers the SIDS risk. Otherwise, no increased risk was associated with bed sharing. Consumer Product Safety Commission also warns against co-sleeping. Berry Brazelton had shown in a study that a certain amount of crying in young infants does not indicate emotional or physical problems, but is to be considered normal and harmless. Balance[ edit ] For parents and particularly for mothers, attachment parenting is more strenuous and demanding than most other present-day ways of parenting, placing high responsibility on them without allowing for a support network of helpful friends or family. William Sears is fully aware of the arduousness of the methods. She argues that the low reputation that breastfeeding, namely extended breastfeeding in the Western world has, arises from a sexualization of the female breast: Parental authority[ edit ] Sears states that in attachment families, parents and children practice a highly developed and sophisticated type of communication that makes it unnecessary for parents to use practices such as scolding; often, all it takes is a mere frown. Claim[ edit ] Like Benjamin Spock before them, William and Martha Sears consider their parenting philosophy as a common sense and instinct-guided ad hoc way of parenting. We have witnessed the effects this approach to parenting has on children. Good Science Backs AP. Mother and child in emotional harmony The concept of mutual emotional fine-tuning has been known in psychology since Franz Mesmer , who introduced it under the term " rapport ", before Freud adopted it for psychoanalysis. In relation to the mother-child-tie, behaviorists and developmental psychologists rather speak of "contingency" today; Daniel Stern coined the term "attunement", too. For Williams Sears, attachment parenting is a kind of parenting that is radically characterized by maternal responsivity. The woman directs her attention completely on the child " babyreading " and responds continuously to every signal that the child sends; the result is a state of harmony between mother and child that leads to mutual attachment. However, it was Margaret Mahler who gave the most accurate description of the attachment development during the first three years. He applies it synonymously with terms like trust , harmony, closeness, bonding , love bonds, and connection: The readers must therefore assume that attachment is a deeply vulnerable state that never stabilizes and that requires constant reestablishment through incessant sensitivity. Infants are extremely resilient. In numerous scientific studies, the normal development of attachment has been well documented. The same applies for deviant or pathological developments. Problematic or disturbed attachment has been described in three contexts: In extreme and rare conditions, the child may not form an attachment at all and may suffer from reactive attachment disorder. An example of such a case is for children in orphanages in Romania where babies have been known to be left for 18—20 hours by themselves in their cribs. Mary Ainsworth described a type of disorganized attachment that appears, too, mostly in children who suffered child abuse ; boys are more frequently affected than girls. In social problem groups, the percentage can be significantly higher. Children who are insecurely attached behave in the strange situation test either aloof towards their mothers, or they fluctuate between clinginess and rejection. As Beatrice Beebe Columbia University has substantiated in a study in , these children experience from their mothers constantly behavior like under- or overstimulation, intrusiveness or volatility. His formulations don't reveal which kind of problematic attachment is meant: It is, therefore, not practices like co-sleeping, babywearing or feeding on cue that Ainsworth identifies as the crucial determinant for a secure attachment, but the maternal sensitivity. The theoretical starting point of attachment parenting — the idea of contingency — would suggest a concept of the infant as a creature who is essentially defined by his feelings and his communication. William Sears, though, defines infants even more essentially by their needs. Berry Brazelton , a pioneer in the field of newborn psychology, and child psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan published their book The Irreducible Needs of Children, in which they re-assessed the term for pediatrics. When the Sears published their Attachment Parenting Book one year later, they responded neither to Maslow nor to Brazelton and Greenspan, but used the word need merely in a colloquial sense. Although they stressed that parents must distinguish between needs and desires of children, in particular of older children, they denied their readers a guideline of how to tell needs and desires apart. Most likely the child is seeking consolation. To give a child comfort is an important parental responsibility; but parents are just as well liable to teach their child to take heart by his own power. Stress has been surveyed and documented in many studies. The theoretical foundation was created in the s by Richard Lazarus. In , Hans Selye introduced the differentiation between distress and eustress , and in , psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut proposed the concept of optimal frustration; Kohut postulated that the harmony between parents and child needs some well allotted disruption in order to empower the child to develop a healthy personality. He refers the term to any uncomfortable or frustrating state which makes the child cry — a signal which AP mothers are supposed to carefully attend to since stress sickens the child. For parenting, any fuzziness of the term stress as well as of the term need have far-reaching consequences. If it is assumed that any crying of the child indicates harmful stress and that any of his demands indicate a true need, parents are bound to confuse rapport, sensitivity, responsivity, emotional availability, and wise protection with behaviors that, from an educational standpoint, are highly dysfunctional and that William Sears mostly wouldn't agree with himself: The Sears describe attachment parenting as the natural , biological, intuitive and spontaneous behavior of mothers who rely on their instincts, sixth sense , inner wisdom or common sense. Lorenz believed that instincts are physiological processes, and assumed they could be described as neuronal circuitry in the brain. But already Arnold Gehlen had disputed that humans still have much instinct at their disposal; for him, plasticity and learning aptitude outranked instinct. The Sears use the word instinct in a purely colloquial sense and synonymous with terms like hormonal and natural;  as an antipole of instinct and nature, they identify the things that "childcare advisors" say. Keller doesn't rank attachment parenting as a counteragent to the high-tech world, but asserts that it "paradoxically fits optimally into a society of individualists and lone warriors how we experience it in the Western world". Many of the methods that the representatives of attachment parenting attribute to the evolutionary history of life don't actually play the major role in non-western cultures that is attributed to them. In Cameroon for example, children are actually carried in a sling initially, but then have to learn to sit and to walk much earlier than European and North American children; rather than to cultivate affectionate eye contact, mothers blow into their children's face in order to get them out of the habit of making eye contact. Amish mothers for example co-sleep with their infants, but only for the first several months;  they never let their infants and toddlers out of view, but they don't wear them while they are working. Optimal development of the child[ edit ] As Suzanne M. Cox Northwestern University has pointed out, neither attachment theory nor attachment parenting offer a general outline of the optimal development of the child, which could be used to empirically measure the efficacy of attachment parenting. In the year of the publication of the Attachment Parenting Book, Wendy Mogel , by contrast, suggested her own very influential concept of character education that was straightforwardly based on her Jewish faith The Blessings of a Skinned Knee, Attachment parenting is particularly popular among educated urban women in Western countries, who are interested in ecological and social issues. In Europe, Attachment Parenting Europe APEU, in Lelystad , Netherlands campaigns for attachment parenting; in the Dutch language the philosophy is referred to as natuurlijk ouderschap natural parenthood. It began in with a cover picture on the Time magazine that showed a Californian mother breastfeeding her almost 4-year-old. In the accompanying article The Man Who Remade Motherhood, journalist Kate Pickert argued that even if William Sears' positions are much less radical than those of his followers, they are misogynic and give mothers a chronically guilty conscience, and that they frequently disagree with relevant research results. At the same time, attachment parenting attracted attention of sociologists like Ellie Lee, Charlotte Faircloth, Jan Macvarish, and Frank Furedi who described the phenomenon an example of 21st century Parental Determinism. As early as in , sociologist Sharon Hays had described the sociocultural phenomenon of an Intensive Mothering; with attachment parenting, this phenomenon finally became tangible and recognizable. Douglas and philosopher Meredith W. Michaels followed with their account of a New Momism. She characterizes attachment parenting as not just a parenting style, but "a completely fulfilling way of life ". Macvarish even speaks of parental tribalism. According to Macvarish, it is characteristic for such choices that they are much more angled towards the parents' self-perception than towards the child's needs.
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