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Speaking Out: The Twenty-Something Product of Attachment Parenting
Ever since Time Magazine released an article featuring a version of attachment parenting, the method has developed a negative connotation. Some people have expressed that attachment parents produce needy and dependent children. While others argued that children raised without extreme attachment are deprived and sad.
The problem is that they think all styles of attachment parenting are the same. Instead of arguing about it, they should be asking: how does attachment parenting look in real life, and how do the kids really feel? I’ve got the inside perspective on what it’s like to be the young-adult product of attachment parents.
Case study: Me.
I was raised by parents who used the attachment theory, a technique that focuses on “forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children,” according to Attachment Parenting International. This means, my parents provided me with love, affection and attended to my every need, ensuring I never felt helpless and was capable of building more knowledge. I was breastfed until ready to eat real food (around age 2), slept in my parents’ bed for my first few years of life, and was showered with hugs, kisses and cuddling. My parents have been there every step of the way. Thus, our emotional bond has flourished.
As I grew older, eating big-girl food and moving into my own bed did not mean the end of our attachment. My mother was there everyday to pick me up from school, and she helped with the problems that I wasn’t yet capable of solving on my own. My dad and she taught me how to manage different situations with friends. I even have a clear memory of my mother and I sitting at the counter, while she guided me on how to manage my time, stay organized and complete difficult school work. My parents certainly never fixed all of the problems for me—but, what they did do was provide me with all the support and resources I needed along the way.
Was I ever completely dependent on my parents? No. Truthfully, I probably could have managed with less help. My parents’ guidance and attentiveness ensured I had all of the tools I needed to effectively handle challenges and be self-sufficient. This, of course, allowed me to feel confident, supported and capable from an early age.
Today, I would have to say, I am an independent and well-adjusted young woman who still adores her parents. Their love and constant teaching has been ingrained within me, and I feel like a better, more well-rounded person because of it.
I will forever see my parents as a source of immense love and support, and though I respect that each parent has his/her own method, I strongly feel my attachment-style upbringing has done me very well.