EST. May 2000 (AD)


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Extreme Attachment Parenting

By Sharon Grehan-Howes

In response to the uproar caused by the Time magazine cover of a woman breastfeeding a 6

year old, HW, in our quest to remain at the blunt edge, decided to gather a roundtable of parents who adhere to the Attachment Parenting method.

Parenting books abound but experts agree parenting techniques can be honed down to just two throughout the ages. Authoritarian and Indulgent. Attachment parenting belongs to the latter category.

The eight principles of attachment parenting (from API) are :

  1. Prepare for birth, and parenting.
  2. Feed with love and respect.
  3. Respond with sensitivity.
  4. Use nurturing touch./Babywearing
  5. Engage in nighttime parenting./Cosleeping
  6. Provide constant, loving care.
  7. Practice positive discipline.
  8. Strive for balance in personal and family life.


HW: Today I have with me Elise McCoy-Jameson, Annie Mason-Bourque, Nicole Jesson-Henry-Smythe and Courtney Haber-Smith all disciples of the Extreme Attachment Parenting method a rather new branch not recognized by the API organization.

HW: Welcome all, thank you for being with us... sorry, what is your child saying? I can’t hear him through the pacifier.

Elise: Oh, he’s saying “num num mum.” Do you want fed sweetheart?

HW: Oh,my God.

Elise: Ha! The sight of a woman breastfeeding repels you? What kind of woman’s magazine are you? Would you rather my child starve? Maybe die right in front of you? Rather than see a naked breast, you would rather my son drop dead, is that what you are saying?

HW: It’s not that--how old is that kid? Ten?

Elise: He’s only eight but he’s very big for his age. Leon don’t pay any attention to the mean magazine lady she’s just jealous.

HW: Annie, can you tell us about your experiences?

Annie: Siegfried and I have not been apart since his birth 2 years ago. My husband and I made the decision while I was pregnant that he was to have our undivided attention—actually up until 2 months ago I even used to bring him to work with me.

HW: What happened to change that?

Annie: I got fired for bringing him to work with me.

HW: So what are you going to do now?

Annie: I’m going to save up my child support and open up a butterfly clothing boutique. All of the clothes will involve butterflies one way or another, isn’t that supersweet? Siggy has picked out all of the clothes so far. He has wonderful taste and we will be able to work together all day long, probably forever!

HW: Wait, did you say child support?

Annie: Oh, yeah, that jackass I married left me because I wouldn’t sleep with him anymore. Now, I ask you how could I sleep with him with Siggy in the middle? That’s disgusting!

Nicole: Luckily, my husband Aiden and I have been able to stay together. We are rabid attachment fans. We used to take turns bringing him to work-- we have the Balboa sling that Dr. Sears recommends-- and that way he was with us all the time.

HW: You said “used to” Nicole, don’t you take him with you anymore?

Nicole: I do but my husband doesn’t anymore. He’s a hostage negotiator and there were complaints.

HW: Prudent.

Nicole: No, Aiden.

Courtney: Jaden is rarely out of his sling and it has been that way since he was born. We refuse to lose our affectional bond.

HW: Affectional Bond—that is at term coined by Dr. John Bowlby the man who formulated the attachment theory, correct?

Courtney: I don’t think so. I didn’t see him on Oprah. I think you are getting him confused with Dr. Sears.

HW: No, I don’t believe I am, the affectional bond...

Courtney: Well, if I take him out of the sling, bang! Kaput, forget it, all sorts of bad things will happen.

HW: Like what?

Courtney: Things. Like bad things, like he won’, affectional anymore.

HW: How old is Jaden?

Courney: Four and a half.

HW: Four and a half? Can’t he walk?

Courtney: I don’t know.

HW: Shouldn’t you find out?

Courtney: Um, maybe, I guess. Let me

HW: Oh, shoot! Is he hurt? Do you need a hand getting him up?

Courtney: No, he’s fine. His legs are like rubber.

Annie: I love the sling it makes me feel like I’m really protecting him. I can’t tell you how much I love our little guy, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for him, I’d throw myself on a landmine to protect him.

HW: That’s rather counterproductive, no? (chuckles)

Annie: So now you think dead babies are funny?

Courtney: Dead babies are not funny and I can’t believe a magazine wants to see all children dead.

HW: No I didn’t say I wanted all children dead and I don’t think dead babies are funny it’s just if Annie was wearing the child in front of her and then she jumped on a landmine it would be counter-productive. You see?

(Blank stares)

HW: Because the child would be on top of the landmine.

(Blank stares)

HW: And it would explode—please---anybody?

Courtney: I don’t think blown up babies are funny either.

HW: OK, let’s move on. There are many people who feel that attachment is actually “overparenting” what do you say to this?

Nicole: I say that they are people who do not care about children. How can you raise a child without nurturing him or her every single second of their little lives?

HW: Well the people who parented the children who went on to be named “The Greatest Generation” were for the most part fans of Authoritative Parenting, a very strict method of parenting where children are mostly seen and not heard and where discipline is often of a physical nature. What do you say to that?

Annie: They were wrong.

HW: Yet they raised what is widely considered to be a terrific generation.

Courtney: I think they are a bunch of idiots and I hate that generation because they think they are so great.

Nicole: And if you love that generation so much why don’t you interview them and spew their hatred all over the place.

HW: I honestly can’t think of anything else to say. Thanks to all of you for.. .um. Well thank you.

© 2012 Sharon Grehan-Howes