Time magazine’s latest cover photo, accompanying an article on attachment parenting, has sparked controversy. Why? The breastfeeding image below.
A super-trim, blonde 26-year-old mom in skinny jeans and a tank top, chest thrust out with an exposed breast ... feeding a 3-4 year-old from it.
Attachment parenting advocates keeping a baby as close to your body as possible - at pretty much all times, and well beyond infancy. Exhibit A:
Time is marking the 20-year anniversary of “attachment parenting,” a term coined by Dr. Bill Sears and his wife Martha in 1992's The Baby Book.
Parents are supposed to wear their babies in slings, instead of pushing them in strollers. Some moms breastfeed toddlers through nursery school.
Parents co-sleep with the kids in the same room, with babies in attached bassinets and older kids in the bed, for a period of several years at least.
“The essence is about nurturing strong connections between parents and their children,” reads the website of Attachment Parenting International.“It is to raise children who will become adults with a highly developed capacity for empathy and connection. It eliminates violence as a means for raising children."
"Ultimately, it helps to prevent violence in society as a whole.”
Sears claims that the latest research reveals that infants’ brains are “hardwired with strong needs to be nurtured and to remain physically close to the primary caregiver, usually the mother, during the first few years of life.”
That’s most likely true ... but is this taking it a bit far?
Where’s the fine line between being an attached parent and becoming one of those nuisance helicopter parents that never let their kids be independent?
Does the image above paint a fair portrayal of the parenting approach taken by millions, or does it paint it in an unnecessarily unflattering light?
Sound off on the Time cover, and the issue in general, in the comments below.
Attachment parenting is ...