Attachment Parenting and TIME Magazine Jump the Shark


1.) Look at this ridiculous cover of TIME, which is about attachment parenting; 2.) read Reason's Kennedy on why attachment parenting is anathema to libertarianism

NEXT: Gary Johnson on Obama's Gay Marriage Remarks: "I guess the President is still more worried about losing Ohio, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia than he is in doing the right thing"

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  1. If some woman just randomly let some kid suck her boob, wouldn't that be sex abuse? Isn't that cover, strictly speaking child pornography? I can't see how the feds wouldn't take a pretty dim view of it if they found it on your computer.

    1. Breast feeding is not sex. The end.

      1. How can you tell that by the picture? Sucking a woman's boob is certainly a sexual act.

        I see what you are saying Zeb. But I have seen people call less suggestive pictures than that child porn.

        1. Those people are idiots. (And yes, I am sure some of those idiots work for Time. They do tend to love jumping on the latest idiotic hysteria.)

          1. That is the whole point Zeb. I am quite sure some of those idiots do work for time. And the point is completely lost on them.

        2. Boobs are like Disneyland. Designed for kids, but fun for adults too.

    2. The caption on the cover says it's her son. Assuming that she can document that she breastfeeds him when cameras aren't around, it seems difficult to make out a sex abuse charge.

      1. I realize that. But that wasn't the point. The point is that how does the fact that it is her son really change things? The picture is the same either way. Does the little note in the corner that it is her son really make a difference?

      2. Assuming that she can document that she breastfeeds him when cameras aren't around, it seems difficult to make out a sex abuse charge.

        Makes no difference. Telling the prosecutors that you sodomize small children even when cameras aren't around won't get you off the hook.

        John makes an interesting point. If a picture of a kid that age sucking a nipple was being circulated on the kiddie porn darknets, I have no doubt that it would be deemed kiddie porn.

        1. What is the cut-off for breast-feeding to become incest?

          1. IMO, once your kid can chew and swallow solid food without choking.

            1. I see no reason for the behavior to be desirable at all. The health "benefits" are negligible, and its kind of gross, inconvenient, and not something that a kid or a parent should be happy about being hooked on.

        2. Jesus Fucking H. Christ, you're stupid, RC. I've never heard of a woman being prosecuted for sex abuse for breastfeeding her own kid, even when they are 3 or 4. The only way I could see a prosecutor trying to go after a kid's biological mother for breastfeeding with any chance of making a sex abuse charge stick is if she fully weaned the kid then, some time later, started shoving her breasts into the kid's mouth. Otherwise every mother would be guilty of sexually abusing their own children.

  2. I don't believe I've heard the term "Attachment parenting" before. Is that a thing now?

    1. I think it's an upper-middle class on the east or west coast thing.

      Put it this way. There's a park in my neighborhood about the size of a football field. I caught some mild flak from another parent b/c if I was on the 10 yard line, my almost 3-year old was on the opposite 20 running around. at that distance, apparently unspeakable horrors could occur and i would be powerless to stop them.

      "oh, i don't think i could be that far from him."

      1. I shutter to think what kind of fucked up generation of kids we are raising. Seriously, how fucked up would you be if you spent your entire childhood within ten feet of your parents? No children in history of been subjected to that.

        1. what kind of fucked up generation of kids we are raising

          "We" aren't. Some of us parents are able to raise our kids the way we were raised.

      2. Wow. Those kids are going to have some problems later in life.

        1. It's just bizarre. Keeping up with a 3 year old is exhausting enough. trying to snuff out his desire for independence would be impossible to do and maintain any semblance of normalcy.

          1. That is why they are all miserable. Every parent I work with is utterly and totally exhausted and miserable all of the time it seems. If raising a kid was really supposed to be that hard, the human race would have died out 1000s of years ago.

      3. I suspect that attachment parenting is going to lead to near-100% incidence of "ADD/ADHD". Those kids are going to feel so smothered that they are bound to get twitchy as hell.

        1. And even if it doesn't, it will lead to massive over diagnosis of such and every other disorder you can imagine. If you are spending that much time obsessing over your kid, you are going to start going a bit nuts and seeing every action as a sign of something bigger.

          1. Thanks for revealing the future John.

            Also, as a parent with ADD I'm starting to see the signs in both of my kids and to be honest it makes me happy. ADD is one superpower I hope I never have to "cure" my kids of.

            1. Make sure to practice your spiel to the nice folks from Child Protection on why you aren't doping your kids.

      4. Jesus fucking Christ. This again? What you're describing (and what most of these comments are addressing) isn't attachment parenting.

        1. I dunno, the kid looks pretty well attached to me.

        2. Thank you. This article is f'n garbage. It's just a list of the author's pet peeves. The author has not accurately explained attachment parenting and then created a reasoned argument against it based on facts. Psychologists have established fairly well that attached children go on to be more independent, happy, and here's the key, secure adults. That said, there are different kinds of attachment parenting. There's the package of practices sold by Sears and Co., which I don't believe are necessarily proven to be the exclusive method of promoting attachment. After all, approximately 50% of adults are securely attached, and the Sears way wasn't that popular for that long. The other type of attachment parenting is simply to try to ensure that my child feels secure so that she can be confident when I'm not there. I don't expect my infant to be independent, but I will encourage her to be so when it is appropriate. For example, she will be ready for camp and sleepovers without crying, which is a hallmark of an insecure child. Attachment parenting has nothing to do with nut allergies or sharing.

      5. There's a park in my neighborhood about the size of a football field. I caught some mild flak from another parent b/c if I was on the 10 yard line, my almost 3-year old was on the opposite 20 running around.

        Back when my daughter was three, she was riding down the hill in her big-wheel. A woman in a (I shit you not) Volvo drove by and yelled "Helmet!".

        Society is doomed.

        1. shouting at people as you drive by doesn't sound like very safe driving...

          1. I wonder if her hands were at 10 and 2?

            1. the worst part is, you interrupted her phone call.

          2. Some rednecks in my town came up with saying "I gotta take a shit" as they passed by pedestrians. I helped it spread from there, because I found it brilliant at the time.

    2. I don't believe I've heard the term "Attachment parenting" before. Is that a thing now?

      Yep, and from what I've gleaned, it's also called helicopter parenting:

      1. No. It's totally different. My wife and I for the most part practice attachment parenting and we're the least helicopter-like parents you'll meet. We're also (gasp) libertarians. The implications that attachment parenting is somehow anti-libertarian is based on a shit-ton of false assumptions (which is ironic because most criticisms of libertarianism, from both the left and the right, are based on false assumptions as well).

        1. No. It's totally different.

          Okay, you're right, two different animals.

        2. So what is attachment parenting from your perspective and why do you choose to practice it?

          1. Nevermind, I read the rest.

    3. So, attachment parenting doesn't actually require being physically attached to the boob?

      1. wait, then what's the point?!

    4. Yes, and it is annoying as hell, leads to fun things like CPS showing up at your door because you let your 8 and 10 year old kids play outside in your upper middle class dead end subdivision "unsupervised".

  3. He's not going to be a very good Lord of the Vale when he grows up.

    1. damn it, I registered just to make that comment and you beat me to it. I fail at the internet.

      1. How were you going to word it? I was searching for something better but couldn't come up with anything.

        1. Thats the problem. The joke is obvious but the wording isnt.

        2. Eh, nothing good. Just "Lady Arryn, is that you?"

      2. Also, in the game of comments, if you're not first, you're last.

        1. Also true in the game of NASCAR.

          1. Somebody doesn't understand the rules of the Sprint Cup Series.

            1. Someone hasn't seen the Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

              1. Someone has never been second in making a comment.

    2. Excellent.

      "Make him fly mommy!"

    3. That kid is going to be dead by the next book. Harry the Heir and Sansa FTW.

    4. Lord Arryn, I presume.

  4. The poor kid is gonna have a hard enough life having a mom all his friends want to fuck. Now there's a picture of him sucking his mom's tit on a magazine cover that wil live forever.

    1. No kidding. Can you imagine when this picture makes the rounds in junior high?

      1. Well, at least he's 3 and not older. But yeah, somehow I imagine that he will not be too well equipped to deal with such mockery if that is his mother.

        1. It won't matter that he was three. The torture is going to be epic.

        2. Whatever do you mean? He'll run home and tell her, and she'll get the police, the school administration, possibly the city council and several national anti-bullying groups involved.

          1. Touche Brett. Touche.

        3. That's the biggest three year old I've ever seen.

          1. Me too. I thought he was at least five.

            1. same here. i don't think i've seen a 3 year old that big

            2. I thought the same thing. Maybe a steady diet of tit-juice until your kid hits puberty is the ticket to the NFL.

          2. How's she feeding him with that tiny thing?

            1. She's got a back-up for when that one runs dry.

            2. Most of the boob's mass is just fat to make it appear nutritional to potential mates.

          3. Holy shit that kid is 3?!

          4. Maybe she's really small.

            1. My wife is 5' 2" and I am 6' 5". Our 3 1/2 year old daughter is 41 inches tall. I believe your assessment is correct, Zeb.

          5. That's the biggest three year old I've ever seen.

            I had to look at the picture again. My initial glance registered around 6yrs old, but on second look, the gargantuan 3yr old does fit.

          6. And good parenting means NOT putting your kid in army-man pants.

            1. I chose to wear camo pants, in the 90s. Not at the same time I wore my flannels.

        4. There won't be any mockery once we've eliminated bullying (through legislation, of course).

          1. Shit...need to read down-thread before posting.

      2. No kidding. Can you imagine when this picture makes the rounds in junior high?

        Which, by the looks of the kid will be next year.

    2. The fact that he's breastfeeding at that age is problem enough, regardless of the photo.

      Apparently, there are cultures where that is the standard, but I find it really bizarre.

      My wife is going to be having our first child in a few months, and I'm already dreading all of the hyper-parenting crapola I'm going to be surrounded by here in the Washington DC area. The good thing for me is that I'm too old and grumpy to give a shit about what people think anymore, especially ubermommies with too much time on their hands.

      1. If I was hubby, I'd be really pissed that a big part of the playing field was still roped off after 3 years.

        1. If she breast-fed for three years, the playground would be ruined.

          1. At least all that breastfeeding did away with the pregnancy weight.

        2. Jamie Lynne Grumet was sucking on her own mother longer than that: "My mother breast-fed me until I was 6 years old...."

          Read more:

  5. Think of all the kids in all the pediatricians offices who are going to show this one to mommy. Heh.

    1. Pretty funny since that is the only place I've seen Time in a decade.

  6. She may be a nut, but damn that woman is good looking.

    1. I'd fuck her.

      1. Both John and sarcasmic would do her?

        Whoever thought that a lactivist wacko would be your common ground?

        She's a uniter, not a divider!

    2. Yeah, wouldn't mind being swapping places with that kid for a day or so. She can be my attachment parent anyday.

  7. We practiced benign neglect. Knowing when to stand by quietly and watch your kid hurt themselves by being stupid is a key aspect of imparting common sense.

      1. We had cactus in planters around the house when my first wass just a toddler. He only touched it once. We never had problems had any plants in the house with the kids growing up.

        1. I never believed in child-proofing my house. I figured they'd keep finding a way to get back in despite it.

        2. Agree. One of our big parenting rules is "Let's see if they do [stupid thing] twice so we know we can stop putting money in the college fund". And we sorta used Attachment Parenting.

  8. Hey Mike, any time you (or anybody else over at Reason) want to learn about actual attachment parenting--as opposed to what Kennedy thinks it is--feel free to shoot me an email. There are certainly pros and cons to it, but it's been ridiculously misrepresented here lately and I fail to see how it has anything to do with libertarianism one way or the other.

    1. I'd be interested to hear your take. As and aside, I'm still trying to figure out the whole Kennedy/Reason thing. I don't see any value at all in having her around, in fact I think she's a detriment. But I guess people my age (29) and older still know who she is.

      1. My take in a nutshell... Neurological studies have shown that more contact is better for brain development. The contact involved with breastfeeding, and being there for an infant when they cry, stimulates neurological development. As for extended breastfeeding, it's both healthier AND, because it provides them with the nutrients they need, you skip baby food and just start feeding them a little of what you're eating with a focus on introducing flavors and textures rather than worrying about nutritional value (it's never a problem finding something for them to eat when we go out to restaurants). Additionally, from a practical standpoint, the co-sleeping and baby-wearing are convenient: less getting up in the middle of the night, and baby-wearing keeps your hands free to do stuff.

        The negatives are probably obvious. First, it requires more attention by the parent which means sacrificing one-on-one time with your spouse. And second, it's also harder to practice for moms who work.

        So basically, it's a little suckier (at least for the dad) over the first couple years, but it's a sacrifice that some believe is worth it. Our older two kids (ages 5.5 and 3) are incredibly independent, outgoing and active, so the idea that it somehow leads to kids who are introverted, sheltered, conformist mama's boys completely misses the mark.

        1. This has been our experience, too. My wife did extended nursing and even tandem with our two girls (now 12 and 9). The co-sleeping was awesome as everybody slept great. Our kids never really ate baby food, just regular food from our plates. They have no food allergies and are better (less picky) eaters than their peers. We definitely don't hover. Our kids are very independent and don't depend on us to entertain them. I had actually never heard of the term attachment parenting until this cover. I agree, I think there is confusion over what you've described as attachment parenting and helicopter parenting; they're very different.

          1. Co-sleeping sucks. I'm the lightest sleeper on the planet. I didn't really even like having my wife in bed with me if we weren't, you know...

            Our kids never really ate baby food, just regular food from our plates. They have no food allergies and are better (less picky) eaters than their peers.

            My child was breast-fed for about 3 months (my wife nor my child much liked breast-feeding) and then she was bottle fed breast milk for a while and we eventually went to formula. My daughter has no food allergies (which are a joke in my household). She spent very little time with baby food and I pushed her to eat regular food pretty early.

            She is a very finicky eater, but my wife was when she was a kid, and her side of the family were all finicky eaters.

            Little to no hovering. My daughter's highly independent and as an only child is highly capable of entertaining herself.

            My problem with any parenting "practice" is that all kids are different, and the parenting "method" you read from a book will work for some kids, and won't work for others. If your kid takes to it, then the method must work! If it doesn't, then the method must not work!

            There's a shitload of genetics going on that gets ignored. Sometimes you have to bend your parenting to your kid.

            1. I said no fucking way to co-sleeping from day one. No kids and no pets in my bed.

              1. and no pets in my bed

                You monster.

            2. My problem with any parenting "practice" is that all kids are different, and the parenting "method" you read from a book will work for some kids, and won't work for others.

              Agreed. We just read tons and did what worked for us. Like many things, YMMV. I wasn't even aware there was such a thing as attachment parenting.

        2. Neurological studies have shown that more contact is better for brain development.

          I'm not sure society is prepared to handle this new generation of supergeniuses.

          1. Hey, at least Apple is going to provide them with jobs.

        3. Thanks CMS, that has pretty much been my experience as well (speaking from the mom side of things). Reason/ Kennedy is talking out their ass on this issue, as what they are describing by and large is NOT attachment parenting.

    2. christ, dude, just tell us what it is already and clear up the misperception.

  9. back in the dark ages - the 1970s - I, along with my brothers, were given pretty much free reign. We were out of the house most of the time, hanging with the other neighborhood kids. We fought, did fireworks, burned things, got stuff from the nearby construction site, ran through the woods, and shot things (BBs, crab apples, stones) at each other. And somehow, I managed to live into adulthood.

    If anything "bad" happened, there was always someone else around to run and get help - if we didn't figure it out ourselves. I had no idea I was living like frickin' Tom Sawyer.

    1. And that has nothing to do with attachment parenting. Attachment parenting generally involves three things: co-sleeping, extended nursing (in our case, until the age of two, which incidentally is what the World Health Organization recommends) and baby-wearing. For us, the first and the third were largely utilitarian, and the second was based on what we felt was best for our children. That being said, we're also big fans of free range parenting and let our kids play unsupervised all the time. I've also let my kids do lots of stupid stuff where I knew they might hurt themselves but needed to learn the lesson. I agree with most of the criticisms being thrown around in these comments, but they don't apply to attachment parenting.

      1. Hmm. I think, CMS, that one of your issues is that 'attachment parenting' is loosely enough defined that it means different things to different people. What Kennedy (or anybody else) thinks is attachment parenting may not be what you think is attachment parenting. You'd have to agree definitionally about the cluster of behaviors before you can have a discussion.

        Also, I apparently want to spell attachment as 'attachement'. Would attachement parenting be keeping the kid in a briefcase?

        1. Perhaps, though it seems like the people I know who practice attachment parenting don't really fit any of these criticisms. It would be like the idiots at Balloon Juice (or any other stupid lefty website) ripping on libertarians for all being corporate shills, and then when you point out that there's nothing libertarian about crony capitalism, them coming back by saying, "Well, libertarianism is different things to different people."

          1. "Well, libertarianism is different things to different people."

            Anybody who has witnessed our constant internecine bickering has to agree with that statement.

        2. Would attachement parenting be keeping the kid in a briefcase?

          I thought it was when you child-labor your kids into MAKING briefcases.

      2. That level of attachment parenting strikes me as unobjectionable. Sounds like it basically means intensive parenting until age 3.

        Past that, though, I can see problems with it.

        1. That has basically been my experience (with my one lone data point).

      3. co-sleeping, extended nursing (in our case, until the age of two, which incidentally is what the World Health Organization recommends) and baby-wearing.

        CMS: With all due respect. If that's all there was to attachment parenting, why would there be an entire book and guru? Couldn't that be covered in a mere pamphlet... or... post-it note?

        1. There's nothing about parenting that can't be expanded from a pamphlet into a full-blown line of merchandise. Just look at the "Baby Einstein" chick. She took a study of questionable import on college kids and applied it to infants in a multi-million dollar marketing triumph.

          1. So my keep-kids-at-arms-length parenting system is a potential goldmine?

        2. I wrote a book about Libertarianism.

          Minimal government. The End.

          1. Too long. There's no end to shrinking government.

    2. got stuff from the nearby construction site

      What is it about construction sites that's so attractive to children. I still can't explain what drew me to them as a kid.

      1. Building skeletons are just made to be climbed on. They are way easier to navigate than trees so you can get up a lot higher. Plus, it's easier to dive through imaginary walls than real ones.

        1. Excellent Analysis.

      2. They were also the premiere spot to pick up nails, screws, scrap wood, etc for our tree forts. Plus, big construction equipment is boss to play on! I grew up in the '80s in a semi-rural suburban area that was experiencing a big growth surge at the time, and we spent an incredible amount of time playing in and scavenging from construction sites.

      3. We used to get into houses that had the sheet-rock up, but still had the concrete floors, and we'd have a rubber ball. You'd throw the rubber ball at your friends who would duck from room to room as the ball bounced around indefinitely, if you got hit you we're it.

        What was cool is you didn't even have to aim, you just threw that shit in the direction of your friends running down the hall, ducked into a sideroom and at some point someone would get hit, sometimes you got hit with your own ball.

        I'll tell you about my explosives training when we got into Jr. High another time.

        1. I'll tell you about my explosives training when we got into Jr. High another time.


      4. "What is it about construction sites that's so attractive to children."

        Shit to fuck up or steal. Being somewhere you shouldn't be. Getting in to a place you won't have access to when its finished.

  10. First person to photoshop the kid so he's flashing the "shocker" hand sign wins the Internet.

    1. HA HA HA !!!! If only I had the time today...... I sure hope someone does.

      1. really, really, tempted. but then i'd have to get a flickr account or something else to post it on, and, well.....ugh, can't be arsed.

  11. Now that I've thought about it a little bit, this is really a good thing. It means more dark meat for the rest of us at Thanksgiving.

  12. I imagine they put him in camo pants to make him look tough but there aint no way he's getting enough milk from her small Bs to justify the beatdowns in middle school awaiting him.

    1. but there aint no way he's getting enough milk from her small Bs

      Health Class taught me that that's not how boobies work. It was public school though, so now I don't know what to think.

      1. When my wife was breastfeeding, she described ducts and glands running through her boobs that made it sound like breast size was proportional to output capacity.

        Can we get a ruling?

        1. From my recollections back when my kids were infants, the general teaching was that breast size does not determine milk production.

  13. I can't believe everyone is overlooking the more interesting story:

    God of Cricket.

    1. Crickets for the Cricket God?

      1. Nice.

        1. " *chirp chirp* ", better response?

    2. And somebody got rejected by a French chick.

  14. How did Time Magazine get a picture of Shrike and his mother?

  15. After reading Kennedy's article I still have no clue what Attachment Parenting actually is, other than that she doesn't like it.

  16. True story: Warty wasn't weaned until he left for college.

      1. Don't be, college ain't that great.

  17. I think the problem with 'attachment parenting' is that it has a name--that some schmuck has made it into a 'thing'

    The larvae used our bed--they had their own but those got more use at naptime. And you would not believe how much space a baby can hog.

    And snuglis and other papoose things have been around for a long time--because they make sense.

    Likewise, lactivists have been pushing long term breastfeeding since the gods know when--I believe they're now suggesting that the wedding toast be the cut-off.

    What you're doing isn't 'attachment parenting'--if you're smart, it has no name, you're just raising your kids.

  18. I could be that kid.

  19. Here's my cutoff for breastfeeding:

    If your kid is old enough that he/she/it will remember sucking on his mom's tit, he's too old.

  20. Sorry, but you're just using this easily-mocked topic to bash liberalism. I'm a socialist and I think that "attachment parenting" is dangerous, selfish bunk.

    Day care centers are anathema to attachment parenting, but are considered a human right by most on the left, and are government funded in many countries. If anything, AP is anti-feminist, dictating that a woman's role is constantly by her child's side. In reading about AP on various websites recently I've read many a resentful statement from AP practitioners angry with the government and feminists trying to tell them how to raise their children, like having the temerity to tell them not to co-sleep with their children, a practice which kills many children every year. These parents don't care because they're going to do it their way and to hell with what the government tells them. Sound familiar?

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