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Why TIME Magazine Shows Attachment Parenting is Going Mainstream, Not Extreme



May 21, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Are you mom enough? That's the question being posed to mothers across Tennessee and the nation this week by a controversial TIME Magazine cover photo and story hitting newsstands today. The cover features Jamie Lynne Grumet, a 26-year-old mother from Los Angeles, who is breastfeeding her 3-year-old son.

The photo has sparked a national debate about attachment parenting. Some say it drives mothers to extremes, but Attachment Parenting International Executive Director Samantha Gray says the TIME article only proves that attachment parenting is going mainstream.

"It is not extreme. The author even says that attachment parenting is the new common sense. It's starting to seep into society, and you see more practices, you see parents responding more sensibly to children. I see the difference already."

Gray adds that many parents are coming out of an era when they were told to ignore a crying infant's cries and not pick it up because of a fear of creating dependence. Gray says those notions are incorrect, and parents should simply trust their instincts and respond to the needs of their child.

While attachment parenting does not mandate breastfeeding, Gray says it does recognize the importance of the practice and encourages mothers to do what is best for their child and family. She warns that children today are becoming more connected to technology and relationships that aren't as deep and abiding as parents would want them to be.

"We recognize that fostering really secure attachments, contrary to popular belief, does not foster dependence - in fact, it fosters independence."

The TIME article also features Dr. Bill Sears, author of "The Baby Book." Gray says Sears is an attachment-parenting advocate who quickly puts things in perspective.

"He says, 'Look, this is how we would raise our children if we were on a desert island and we didn't have anything else there.' In these hard economic times, this is another reason attachment parenting is so popular. You don't have to go buy a million things to raise your child. They just need their parents."

Since the news broke about the TIME article, thousands of new members have joined API, Gray says, and its website has received more than 1 million page views, proving that interest in attachment parenting is definitely resonating with parents nationwide.

More information is available at www.attachmentparenting.org.

Bo Bradshaw, Public News Service - TN