There is a pervasive myth that Attachment Parenting is done once the child has left the baby stage, when breastfeeding and babywearing are no longer appropriate or even possible to do. This is related to the same myth that prescribes only certain parenting techniques – namely breastfeeding, babywearing, bedsharing, and others – to parenting with secure attachment in mind.
Actually, Attachment Parenting – being an approach to childrearing – knows no age barriers, and while this approach has to look drastically different in older children than it does with babies and toddlers, it is still vitally important to a child’s optimal development to continue to parent with attachment well beyond the early years.
Right now, I have a baby, a preschooler, and a school-ager in the house. I am using an Attachment Parenting approach with all three of them, but the techniques that go with each child development stage are very different. They have to be.
What works for the baby just plain will not work with older children – as anyone can tell you. When someone mentions Attachment Parenting for the older child, that person isn’t so dense as to think that the same strategies used with babies can be applied to an older child.
This isn’t a matter of breastfeeding a six-year-old. Rather, what can be applied to all age groups are the Attachment Parenting principles.