Attachment Parenting as Paradigm Shift

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

August 30, 2010


Categories: Family, Parenting

Rousseau complained in his First Discourse how, in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, we relied too much on specialists to answer our problems and too little on our own reasoning. He complained that we have Mathematicians, and Scientists, and Chemists to solve our problems, all commodifying humanity.

I had a discussion today with a friend, and advocate of Dr. Sears Attachment Parenting, who described attachment parenting more as a means to get in touch with our intentions, desires, and how we really want our children to grow up. Then, recognizing these things, making conscious decisions in our parenting to reflect those values. She bemoaned folks who have a desire to check things off a list and call that attachment parenting because it took the feeling out of it. Attachment Parenting, from what I understand of her view of it, is taking conscious goals and relaying them to situation-specific moments within the big picture.

I argued that attachment parenting, worded that way, was more a way to engage a paradigm shift in our society where we move away from these roles (as Rousseau described) into more holistic thinking and living.

What do you think?

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  1. Chris at Lost Arts Kitchen

    Hey…came here looking for something UTTERLY different (I need web help) and have really been enjoying your posts about NVC and this one about attachment parenting & holistic thinking/acting. You just got me thinking that I’ve always been a generalist…it’s one of the reasons I have had trouble “succeeding” in the regular world…and tended to see systems vs. parts. As a parent, I’m no different. I didn’t co-sleep or breastfeed because Dr. Sears or anyone else said I should–it’s just what made sense as part of our family system. I knew all the reasons why I should breastfeed–but it was also easier and fit into our lives better than bottlefeeding (which seemed SO complicated to me)…and co-sleeping made breastfeeding easier and cooking at home was easier than going out and buying food farm direct became easier than wheeling my kids around the grocery store and being a stay-at-home mom made all that easier…

    So, yeah, parenting this way, for me, isn’t about checking off a to-do list, but more a system of in which one act makes another practically happen on its own.

  2. Michelle

    Hey Chris, thanks for writing. I had no idea you read my random thoughts. 🙂 I know people in Oregon do, but I don’t know who all those Oregonians are.

    I, too, have always been a generalist, big-picture thinker, which is why “secretary” type jobs work for me in the “regular job” world.

    Certainly, farm direct that comes to my house… Can you imagine wading through the aisles? What a great way to think about this in terms of systems thinking…. I’m so glad you have shared your experience.

    As an aside, I wanted to co-sleep, but Levi wouldn’t allow it!

    Send me an email on web help, I’m sure I can at least direct you to someone who can help.

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