Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why Not Attachment Parenting?

Today you get to read a post from someone I have known a good chunk of my life. I am pretty sure I was only 10 the first time I met Ann. (Actually, Ann was probably the age I am now, when I first met her. That is kind of scary.) My parents had her and her family over for dinner. A few weeks later she reciprocated. She had a daughter about my age, and she made the two of us do dishes after dinner. I remember feeling affronted. "How could she make her guest do the dishes?"

Luckily, I have gotten over that. Ann is one of my good friends. We partner together in doing Bible Club on Wednesdays and Kids' Outreach on Sundays. And she allows me to contribute a small part to her girls' summer discipleship program.

Ann has successfully raised 9 children-2 girls and 7 boys. Her youngest son is the last in her long line of boys that have actually worked for Mr. Hippie, at Hippie Roofing. Her children are all adults, some married, some not. All loving and serving God. Some have wandered a crooked path, but all have ended up in the right place. Though I have the desire to raise my kids to love and serve God, they are still very young. The proof is not in the pudding for me yet. It is for her.

I have profound respect for Ann. She is a godly woman with a lot of wisdom. When I have a parenting conundrum, I usually go to Ann for perspective and council. I appreciate how she shares out of her experience and from the Word of God. She is confident but humble. Somewhat blunt, but also loving and she has a teachable spirit. I have learned a lot from her.  

I asked Ann to write on a difficult subject that has been on both of our hearts lately. It is a controversial subject. Again,  I feel her take is more qualified than mine, as she has much more experience than me.

Recently I have seen a trend in parenting that alarms me. It would not concern me much except for the fact that it is making inroads into Christian circles. This topic and parenting in general looms too large to handle in a single guest blog post. Nevertheless, I will attempt to provide some biblical thinking in dealing with “Attachment Parenting.”

For reference, API has 8 Principles of Parenting. You can find them for yourself on their site. Their website is: You will also find a Q&A section, with all sorts of scenarios, where the parent must decide how to handle a situation according to the API philosophy. I urge you to know God’s word first and foremost then parent according to His principles, not API’s. If the two coincide, fine. If not, let God’s word rule.

I find that in AP the children are more important than adults and take precedence over parent’s ability to make sound judgments on behalf of their child. For example, one mother asked about wanting to turn the TV off when the child still wanted it on. AP’s answer was, “You must ask yourself, why do you want it off?” Can’t she, as a mature adult, simply think the child has had enough for one day, and turn it off, even if it offends the child? According to God’s word, who is in charge? Eph.6:1-3, Gen.2:23-24

Another example can be found in this quote on the AP web site stating, “The fact is that caregivers who habitually respond to the needs of the baby before the baby gets distressed, preventing crying, are more likely to have children who are independent than the opposite.” If this is true, a real question we must then ask is, “What kind of independence does this breed in a child?” Would you want to teach your child from birth that only his needs matter? Please don’t misunderstand, I am not against soothing babies, but when is it ok to teach a child the world does not revolve around him/her? Is this kind of thinking causing parents to teach their children that we never have to wait for anything in real life? Anyone with two or more children close in age has had to let one cry while taking care of the needs of another. It seems to me the home is a great place to teach the art of “waiting patiently.”

The real question for Christian parents is: Does the parent have authority and responsibility from God to be “in charge?” The checks and accountability as to parent’s motives are there, if we are walking with God on a daily basis. In all this I am assuming the parents are obedient to God’s word where it tells us to “…not provoke your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6

I cannot begin to deal fairly with all the issues in this one blog post so let me urge you dear Christian parent, seek God and His word in finding your patterns for parenting...

Ann's family, which has grown by several spouses and a whole lot of grandkids, since this picture
Thank you, Ann. The Word of God is where we each need to end up. 

Tomorrow I am going to review Bringing Up Bebe, a treatise on the French style of parenting. I found some great parenting advice and tips in there. But, my final conclusion is not far off from Ann's. (here)