Monday, January 28, 2013

Potential Negative Effects of Attachment Parenting

Now for the long awaited sequel to my  What is Attachment Parenting post. If you haven't read that post yet then go read it and come back....I'll wait.......

Did you read it? Okay now we can go on to the effects of AP. 

First off, I'd like to point out that AP is not so much a set of rules as it is suggestions. At the end of the day only you can decide what is best for your own child, and if you choose AP and there is something that you just don't agree with, don't do it. It's as simple as that

So anyways, I've been doing some research and it's actually pretty difficult to find hard evidence of what the long term effects of AP are. Most of the time the sources I found turned out to be opinion pieces, and those were so ridiculously biased that I won't pollute my blog by mentioning them by name for fear that I may actually provide an audience for them . They focus their opinions on the stereotypical over-the-top AP parent, i.e. hypochondriac, borderline Munchhausen Syndrome, total ignorance of their children's talents to encourage equality,and whatever other ungodly trends have hit the parenting world that I'm unaware of. None of which apply to me, and I still consider myself an AP parent. The source goes on to the selfish focus on a parent's own intimate needs over the comfort of their child, aka giving up marital relations in lieu of co-sleeping, thereby being completely unaccepting towards co-sleeping as a whole. As far as I know, there is nothing under AP that says that co-sleeping has to take place every single night. Obviously, parents need time together away from the child, that's what separate bedrooms and babysitters (for out of the home occasions) are for. 

I did find one source that managed to be professional about the whole thing. In the article: Can 'Attachment Parenting' be Harmful? , Dr. Peter Nieman mentions two potential negative effects of AP as seen by skeptics. The first and arguably more important of the two , is the potential for the child to be denied boundaries and in turn lack understanding in regards to the mother's eventual exhaustion. In other words, the child may become so reliant on the mother always being available that when the time inevitably comes that she isn't available the child, the child may suffer from anxiety.

The answer to this potential negative effect seems pretty obvious, I mean it's literally written above, "the potential for the child to be denied boundaries". Don't allow the potential denial of boundaries, set practical unwavering ones. Have a set schedule each day, and do your best to follow it. Obviously no one is perfect, and keeping a set schedule is easier said than done, but using a physical calendar or planner will definitely help.

The second potential negative effective that Nieman mentions, that he also refers to as anecdotal, or unreliable and based on opinion, is that on the mother specifically. The potential for fatigue, sleep deprivation, weakened immune system, depression,  and the potential for weight gain if the mother chooses to eat to deal with depression. Although Nieman says that "no definitive studies have confirmed that", it kind of just sounds like the typical first year parent problems that every mother and father go through regardless of their parenting style.

I intended to be non- biased with this post, but the few sources I could find were either too biased themselves to be taken seriously, or they listed potential negative effects and then went on undermine them. So I have a question for you readers today:

Do you have any negative experience with AP families? Have you even heard negative rumors of other AP families? Can you find a non biased source that shares proof of negative effects? Leave any answers as a comment below

This post ran a little long so I will write a separate one soon that will go over the reported positive effects of AP, and the effects I've seen personally on Annabelle.



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