I ruined my child – I wrecked my kid. I made the wrong choices.
I’m making changes. I’m always improving as a parent.
As parents we get really down on ourselves. We may have an ideal of parenting, but there’s no “right” way to parent. There are probably quite a few wrong ways to parent. I was listening to talk radio today to hear another ‘study’ of parenting come out that says modern parenting is wrecking our kids.
I waited. I gasped and yelled in my mind “attachment parenting is NOT modern parenting” until they indicated that yes, the modern parenting is detached parenting. It is the kids sleeping alone, it is the not even trying to breastfeed, it is the “things” to put kids in, it is the strollers used 100% of the time, it is the keeping kids in car seats all the time. That is apparently modern parenting and new research shows it hinders brain development. Listen to some of the talks here.
Yep, researchers are saying that not being connected to your child is damaging. What does the research really say? You can’t spoil a child. Life will go on and be okay if you decide to take your full maternity leave (I did not the first time) or if you even decide to not head back to work. And if you do work, when you come home, hold your babies. The lovely radio show (that I normally love!) was complaining that moms can’t hold their babies after work because they have to cook. They said moms who work don’t babywear because they are too busy.
Attachment parenting is important for working families. Baby wearing is important for moms who work. THAT Is the bonding time. Put baby in a sling while you warm up dinner (keep baby away from the flame, 😉 )!
So to my “favorite” radio station personalities – modern day parenting is hard. It was hard then too, but we know that babies NEED bonding for brain growth. They need parents for moral development. A moldy baby bouncer won’t do that. There are no replacements for parents. It isn’t about “you” or “me” as a parent, it is about challenging society’s expectations of us and our kids. I CRINGE when I hear the first question of a new mom “is s/he sleeping through the night?” UGH, way to make a mom feel bad. Unless it is an experienced mom who is strong and understands that babies have a need to wake at night (to um, live! and feed!) they’ll think THEY are doing something wrong, when really, responding to baby’s needs is just what they need to do. Sleeping close to baby allows that to happen. It isn’t modern to respond to your baby… it is gut instinct, it is just right.
Read more about the research and what is being found at Dr. Narvaez’ Psychology Today blog.