By Maria Smith
When the May 21, 2012 issue of Time Magazine was released, just days prior to Mother's Day, the cover photo was titillating, to say the least. It showed twenty-six-year-old mom, Jamie Lynn Grumet, standing up and defiantly breastfeeding her 3-year-old son, Aram.
The headline screams "Are you Mom enough?" and it is no wonder it became a controversial story as soon as it hit newsstands.
The cover story was actually about the not-so-new trend many parents are now picking up on called attachment parenting. This parental philosophy typically includes co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, baby "wearing", and generally the idea of attending to the child's every need before he/she can cry, and not leaving the child alone.
As can be expected, there are both advocates and opponents of the attachment parenting thought process, in addition to quite a good deal of controversy surrounding the idea.
The leading authority of attachment parenting is Dr. William Sears, co-author of "The Baby Book" which has been a bestseller since it was published in 1993.
He believes his parenting philosophy is the best way to raise happy, healthy children. However he advises parents that his book is a series of guidelines which they can use, and not a bunch of hard and fast rules.
Yahoo.com reported that on the Today Show on May 11, 2012, Dr. Sears defended attachment parenting and his role in the Time magazine article.
He said, "I've never yet seen an attachment parented baby who's become a school bully ... If you were on an island, and you had no mother-in-laws, no psychologists, no doctors around, no experts, this is what you would naturally and instinctively do to give your baby the best investment you'll ever give."
Critics contend that children may come to believe that the whole world revolves around them because of this coddling parenting style. Others worry about how some parents may take attachment parenting to extremes, which can lead hem to socially, emotionally and even academically hurting their children.
As for the cover model at the center of this story, Ms. Grumet is not ashamed of the article or her parenting choices, but was surprised at the negative backlash. While she continues to breastfeed her three-year-old son, who will be four in June, she did admit to hoping he would self-wean himself in the next year.
Yahoo.com. Web. Published May 12, 2012. "Jamie Lynne Grumet defends her Time Magazine Article".
Time.com. Web. Cover photo of May 21, 2012 issue. http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,20120521,00.html
Yahoo.com. Web. Published April 11, 2012. "8 basic principles of attachment parenting".
Reviewed May 15, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
By Maria Smith