I think I may have to admit to getting a bit carried away. Um, again. While the children were out yesterday afternoon, I rushed home from befriending to try out some of the more ambitious papier mache prokects. There is now a mermaid, half finished, drying over the back of a kitchen chair.
Jenna finished her bigger bowl this morning and is going to paint it later when it's dry, so although I have no idea when I'm going to be able to finish the mermaid, we have plenty more projects. I can't believe how calm this last week has been and how much easier it has been not to shout (the return to hormonal normality perhaps - I dare not speculate). And it isn't like we're not really really busy either, this morning apart from the obvious project mentioned we've also baked banana cake and harvested berries and fed the chickens and planted up some cauliflower seedlings and made stew for the freezer and drawn pictures of aliens (don't ask me!).
Anyway, those thoughts about why AP isn't just for the tiniest folks. If you think you may have already read some of this, you may be right lol I copied and pasted some from replies on IVillage. For those of you who just went onto IVillage to check, why are you stalking me?
The conversation I had lately that made me really think about this was with a couple of very experienced APers who said that they feel it can be "taken too far" and is only relevant to small babies. Anyhow, I think I understood what they meant (they were talking about parents deliberately curtailing freedoms and treating children as babies into their late childhood). I don't know if that really happens in a healthy family or if it's just an unhealthy situation occasionally trying to justify itself using AP terms to do so...
It was an interesting thought, so I persued it by having waffley long thoughts myself, and posting a poll. ;)
I think AP gives an inordanant amount of freedom, and supports children growing up, because it respects the wishes and abilities of the individual and looks at where the child is really at and not at a model of what should be that they have to fit. I believe that an important aspect of attached parenting is letting go as the child indicates readiness - so overprotective behaviour in those terms is perhaps as un-AP as blindness to any other need.
Because children do need to be allowed to grow up. They need a realistic parental view of safety, giving them freedom to try things out and explore, sometimes away from a parent. I have to say it's a part of play I feel really strongly about. I want the children to be able to keep secrets from me, have their own private hidey-holes and spaces. Play that is planned by an adult has its place, but the way children work is to simply mess about!
Love isn't absorbing someone into yourself, it's being individuals and yet together. That's why the family unit is such a precious thing, because it fulfills the need of human beings to be separate and yet also one.
When does attachment become unhealthy? Goodness I didn't prepare an answer for *everything*. Give me some more time on that one lol!
I think that using AP as an excuse to overprotect is something we perhaps have to guard against but, in short, it certainly doesn't devalue the attitude itself. For more on why I believe that AP is primarily an attitude towards human relationships, one of respect and trust, see previous entries...