5 thoughts on “Mindful Parenting vs. Attachment Parenting

  • October 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I’m not quite sure I follow all of your thinking here, but I think what I pulled from this is that mindful parenting is just a state of being–so you can be a mindful parent in any way that you choose to parent. You can push a stroller or carry baby in a sling…you can be mindful with a bottle or breast. I get all of that. The disconnect for me comes from you understanding of AP–in AP parenting there is a set of guidelines that help parents and children feel attached and connected–but it is not a rule book or a checklist. You are not all of a sudden NOT AP if your child sleeps better in a crib, nor are you AP if you are among the 3% of women who clinically cannot physically breastfeed…AP is collection of principles that often go hand in hand–my middle guy liked his own space at night, we tried co-sleeping and he did better in a hammock bed in his own room. We didn’t all of a sudden flunk out of AP parenting, I still consider us AP parents and love that the term encompasses a line of thinking where I can find other like-minded parents. As in all things there is a balance and from reading about this mindful parenting, thinking about your child, feeling connected, honoring their needs by giving them space when they need it…that to me sounds a lot like AP parenting!

  • October 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Attachment Theory is not being distinguished from Attachment Parenting. Attachment Theory was developed by John Bowlby in the 50’s and researched by Mary Ainsworth. Bowlby was interested in distinguishing healthy from unhealthy forms of attachment between parent and child. Whether he would think the Sears’ Attachment Parenting was healthy or unhealthy is an open question.
    In any event, there is a distinction between keeping children close because they are happy that way and desire it and keeping them close because we feel pain at their maturation and increased desires for independence and choice. Bowlby evaluated parent-child attachment on a case by case basis, and so should we. One size does not fit all. In the parenting book, Smart Love: The Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Regulating, and Enjoying Your Child (www.smartlovepress.com) a clear distinction is made between parenting based on caregiving motives, which grow healthy children, and parenting based on personal motives, which keep children close for the wrong reasons and really amount to permissiveness.

  • October 18, 2012 at 2:00 am

    Great response to the either-or question. A blend! I read somewhere recently that we only need attune to our children 30% of the time to form secure attachment and typically it’s the moments of distress that matter the most in “being there.” Look forward to sharing your article with the parents I work with.

  • October 18, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I agree wroth the 1st 2 c comments. While I am right with you on the benefits of nindfulness. Prewar excuse my tiypos. I am doing this whole my son sleeps in my dominant arm. I disagree with your take in AP. Dr. Sears clearly states many times in his books and articles that it is not a set of rules on where to sleep, what and when to eat, who to care for baby etc. it is precisely what you described as mindful parenting. You can bottle feed formula, have your c child sleep in a crib (although having the crib inn your room is recommended) and have Daddy stay at home while you work and still practice AP. He does not judge nor does he suggest judging. I have 3 friends who all practice AP in different forms and then we have 2 other friends who do everything they can to disconnect from their babies to the pint of constantly bragging about their newest gizmo that allows them yi be farther away or to do anything but interact with their babies. It hurts me to see the children of the latter 2 families who struggle to connect to other people. It takes a good minute to get them top come out of their haze and make real eye contact. The one is already overtly aggressive. You cannot convince me that this is not a result of a lack of attachment to her parents. Their other choices also come from a lack of mindfulness and interest in connecting/attaching. Their goal seems to be to have as many children as they can without changing their pre-parent lifestyle at all. It is absolutelt having a negative effect on their baby’s development.

  • December 30, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Attachment is/ should be a mindful act/process. It is defined as a relationship between parent and child with trust and security behind it. Attachment parenting is not judgmental and since Bowlby I think that both parents (and sometimes others) have been found to be important attachment figures. I do agree that co-sleeping takes attachment a little to far for me. I certainly agree that what and how are very important but not mutually exclusive. What/how we do, care, bond, empathy, awareness, touch is what attachment is.


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