Honest Discussion of Attachment Parenting or Journalistic Theater?

The Calm Nursing Toddler

I haven’t read the recent issue of Time magazine that covers attachment parenting (AP). I glanced at the website, took the quiz, and read the cover story up until it told me that I needed to create an account to continue. I have, on the other hand, read a lot of the feedback in reaction to the issue, mostly the cover photo.

The first I heard about it was from a friend who was shocked that they could turn something so important to us into something so awkward.Later, she contacted me again to say that she may have judged too soon and that the magazine may not have been reporting about it negatively. From first glance at the Time website, I understood her reaction.

My first reaction to the cover photo was to be offended. Not because I am offended by extended breastfeeding. I’m still nursing my almost two-year-old and plan to let him self-wean. My reaction was similar to that of my friend’s. How could they turn something so loving and sweet into journalistic theater?

I saw the Today Show piece with the mother pictured on the cover and it did soften my reaction a bit. She, herself, stated that it was a shame they didn’t show her cradling her child in order to more accurately reflect the nurturing bond shared while nursing, but that she understood why they chose the photo they did because it would get people talking.

It certainly did, but are they being educated about the parenting style or just talking about the photo?

Part of me appreciated the defiance it displayed. Sometimes that is how I feel when I’m quietly nursing my son in public and someone stares at me like I’m sitting there naked. I stare back at them pointedly and wonder if they would react as strongly if they saw someone abusing his or her child.

Ultimately, I think the shame of the cover photo is, much like what has happened in this post, it has taken the conversation away from what is important. What is attachment parenting and why do people choose to raise their children using its “techniques”?

Why do I put the word “techniques” in quotes? I’ll cover that in my next post about attachment parenting and further discuss AP and how it has been misunderstood.

Did you nurse your child past the first year? If so, what was your reaction to the photo and why?

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2 thoughts on “Honest Discussion of Attachment Parenting or Journalistic Theater?

  1. I am 2 months into breastfeeding and I didn’t realize the bond would be this amazing. Before giving birth I said my goal is 6 months, well now my goal is one year. I admit I was one of those ppl that thought that babies should be weaned at about age one. I have since started to read more about breastfeeding and I follow the Facebook group called the Leaky B@@b regarding extended breastfeeding. I have a much more open mind about extended breastfeeding and child led weaning. In regards to the cover photo, I think it could have been done differently. I agree it drew attention to breastfeeding, but it just didn’t look natural and nurturing.

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