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Thursday, January 29, 2009

AP Lite

My good friend Gemma was chatting me up about the concept of AP Lite. She was saying that she could only be AP if she could be AP Lite. I laughed and asked her what that meant. Basically, once you have kids you become jaded and a bit judgmental. (who am I kidding? Mom's are the most judgmental people out there.
I am not too sure why this is, because we are all just trying to do our best with what we know at the time.
The thing is to be AP Lite means to believe that we console and give our children our full support, but do take time for ourselves as well.
I guess AP Hard Core would be completely subservient to your kids then?
Thoughts?

2 comments:

Stinx' Mom said...

I like the idea of AP Lite. I am definitely not HXC AP.

Alisha said...

Sent to my email...
Dr Sears coined the term Attachment Parenting. He has made is associate with all those 'B', birth bonding, bed sharing, breastfeeding, babywearing - I know there are more. Doing one or all of these does not make you an attachment parent. For that matter no where does he say (as far as I know) that a parent should be subservient or put their childs needs ahead of their own at all times.
Attachment theory comes from psycology. Its about how secure children are in their attachment to their parents. Basically does the child know that their parent is the person they can trust, they can go to when they need help,do they know they are loved and cherished.
Attachement parenting for me is not at all about putting my kids up on a pedistal, letting them do as they please, dropping all of my interests and needs in favour of theirs. It is about the RELATIONSHIP between me and my child. It is about showing my child respect. It is about showing my child I love them. It is about teaching my child to respect me and other people in their lives. It is about teaching and showing my child that they are important and valued.
There is an other side to the AP coin that I notice lots of the mamas around me missing (imho).
Children look to their parents to learn how to act in the world, we are their example and their boundaries. AP does not mean letting children totally take over every situation they are in, running and disturpting everything. AP does not mean that mamas can not take a break from parenting. AP does not mean that a childs needs always come ahead of mamas. AP does not mean that the child is now the centre of the universe.
Rather the relationship is the centre of the universe. In my house this means connecting with my children each day, several times. Be it a simple good morning hug, sharing meals and talking about our day, doing an activity together. Honouring the connection I have with my children is where I focus my 'AP' philosophy. We all have needs in this family, we all take turns having our needs come first. I can not give my children the attention and time they deserve if I don't take care of myself first. For me that means I can't sleep with my babies for longer than about 4 -6 months. I can not nurse all night long every night all the time. Some times they need this, I can give it for the short bursts when that happens (sickness, teething) but as a matter of course I need and expect my children to sleep longish streches in the night.
In the day I strive to balance their needs and mine. If I have work to do I involve them if I can (cooking, cleaning etc). If I can't involve them I spend quality time with them first so they are feeling filled with mama attention, then set them up with an activity so I can work.
They interupt, of course, I set them back to what they were doing so I can get my work done.
This is getting rather long and rambling. I don't think one needs to live up to Dr Sears standards to be AP. My mother did not do any of the 'b's but I consider her an attachment parent. She connected with us as children and continues to as adults. My sister and I know that we are loved and cherished. We know that we are respected and we respect her back. That is attachment parenting. Summed up in one word - relationship.
I'll stop now.

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