The May 2012 TIME Magazine cover sparked a lot of discussions, both positive and negative, about attachment parenting as a parenting style. The article gave readers a better understanding of what attachment parenting is and how it can positively affect the growth of the child. The photograph of a mother breastfeeding her three-year-old son did its job to not only get the world’s attention towards attachment parenting, but it also put breastfeeding - and extended breastfeeding - into the limelight as well.
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What is attachment parenting then? Attachment parenting (AP) as a style, as the name implies, focuses on creating a strong bond between parent and child where the child’s individual needs are met, which, in time, creates a relationship where parents eventually develop a knowledge and wisdom to make choices that are best for both the parent and the children. Advocates of AP believe that it brings out the best in not only the children but the parents as well.
Experts agree that these seven Bs define AP: 1. Birth Bonding 2. Breastfeeding 3. Babywearing 4. Bedding close to baby 5. Belief in the language value of your baby's cry 6. Beware of baby trainers 7. Balance
Dr. Bill Sears, who is known as the father of attachment parenting, writes a blog in reaction to the TIME Magazine article. He clarifies that “attachment parenting is not an all-or-nothing, indulgent style of parenting” just as the high impact cover photo shows. He shares that the seven baby B’s are tools to help parents and children get to know each other better, but they are not rules that cannot be modified to suit each family’s uniqueness and situation.
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How relevant, then, is attachment parenting as a style to the Filipino parent? Is it something natural to us because of our culture? Is it a parenting style that we subscribe to or agree with? And what are Filipino moms’ thoughts about extended breastfeeding up to toddlerhood and beyond? This author interviewed a number of breastfeeding moms to find out.