Dr. Sears and Attachment

black_mom_kissing_babyDr. Corinne Masur

So many parents have read Dr. William Sears’ books and tried to approximate his description of attachment parenting. But how many knew that he and his wife developed these ideas not based on research, but based on their own reactions to their difficult childhoods?

It’s very challenging to adhere to his description of ideal attachment parenting (utilizing the co-sleeping technique, wearing the baby, and being as available to the infant and toddler as he suggests), especially for parents who work outside the home, have older children, or have to meet additional family demands.

Now, if the Sears’ work were based on solid longitudinal research, that would be one thing. It would behoove parents to make the sacrifices necessary to adopt some or many of his strategies. However, as it turns out, his theories are not research-based, but are rooted in his and his wife’s fantasies of what would have been better for them as children.

Clearly, a generation of parents have been strongly influenced by the Sears. And for those who were able to take the advice with several grains of salt and to apply their techniques when and where possible, babies may have benefitted from the closeness and attunement of these parents. But MANY parents have suffered the guilt of knowing they were not able to adopt these strategies due to limitations of time, money, energy, etc. And these parents have definitely been done a disservice by the Sears.

To learn more, check out this article in Time magazine and let us know what you think!

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