Tag Archives: breastfeeding

Attachment Parenting

21 May

How do you feel when you look at this picture? If you are like me, this is your reaction:

***shocked, slightly disgusted face ***.

If your child can stand on a stool and breastfeed, haven’t you crossed the line!?!

The reason why I react in this way is because this parenting style, called the attachment parenting method, is not in my western christian culture – although at times, it certainly felt like it was going towards it.

Flash back 8 years ago when I had my first child.

Although becoming a mother brought me immense joy, I vividly remember all the dos and donts that I struggled with. In christian circles, we sometimes make the mistake of taking a widely accepted principle in our culture, reacting against it, opposing it and making it a godliness issue, not truly reflecting on what the Bible says about it. I wrestled with breastfeeding, routine, spanking, staying-at-home, homeschooling… you name it! I was told that breastfeeding is godly, that a lack of routine will lead to ungodliness, that no spanking is disobeying God’s word,  that working (instead of being a stay-at-home mum) might show that I do not love my children the way I should and that homeschooling is the only christian way to educate my offsprings…

As I read about attachment parenting, I realised that my reaction towards it is no different that the people saying that homeschooling is a mark of better parenting – read godly. I pass judgement on that parenting method simply because it is different from what I’m used to do in my christian culture. Some aspects of the attachment parenting make me feel uncomfortable but are they are ungodly? I cringe in my chair at the sight of a 6 year old feeding from his mom’s breast as much as my own family cringes at me homeschooling my children (They’re getting used to the idea slowly). As long as those practicing attachment parenting do not imply that their way is the only way to raise psychologically healthy children, I say breast-feed-away!

As a christian though, I would want to be careful that my children do not become the ‘be all and end all’ of my life but the Bible has never blamed any parenting methods for turning our children into idols (Rats!!! It would have made parenting so much easier!). If I adhered to that method of parenting, I would want to be careful not to alienate my fellow christian mothers who won’t or can’t do the same, by making them feel that their choice is only second best. I would want to absolutely be certain that, whatever I advise, (not the Lord), does not add any unnecessary burdens on other mums.

The driving principle of motherhood should be love: Love for God – Not love for what I feel comfortable with according to my culture. After reading and digesting this article, I was challenged on the view I hold of people that do things differently. I was reminded that in Christ we are free.

Inside the box that God has defined, I am free to make my own decisions, whether they go against the trend of the day and the culture of the time.

 

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