Is Attachment Parenting Making Your Kids Rude?

According to this article, Today’s Tykes: Secure Kids or Rudest in History, produced by MSNBC, the answer is yes. 
I know, I know….. makes you want to question this writer to no end doesn’t it?
Apparently, co sleeping and delaying kindergarten makes your kids rude. Oh, and bratz dolls play into the role here somewhere…
I *sort of* get what this writer is trying to say, and I see her points in part of it and agree with some of it. But,  I don’t think it’s a very well written article. I don’t think she knows what AP parenting is.
I think this issue that the writer is talking about has to do with disciplining your children… I don’t know… I’ll let you all ponder this. Please share your thoughts.. 

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

15 thoughts on “Is Attachment Parenting Making Your Kids Rude?

  1. I see no attachment parenting in the article. I see parents teaching a sense of entitlement rather than a sense of fairness and cooperation. The very first example was a mother modelling the behaviour the children exhibiting.

    I’m very much an attachment parent and would never behave as that parent did, and if she did it to promote “self-esteem” she’s a bit mixed up. Self esteem comes from doing things that make you feel good about yourself, generally service to others, and self entitlement is this is mine and I deserve it because I’m special.

    This article is about discipline..and yes there are a lot of parents who are like the ones in the article however they aren’t no more likely to be from one parenting philosophy than another.


  2. I can’t speak much to attachment parenting, since I’m not a parent myself yet, but I can share some insight from my experiences in classrooms – both at the college and elementary level.

    We are living in the “Age of Entitlement.” My peers and my students all seem to believe they are entitled to what they want when they want it. I believe that came from a “You have rights” message taken TOO literally and gone TOO far.

    I especially see it with my second graders. This kids have very little empathy towards one another and show little respect to their teachers. We try to positively motivate them, but it instantly turns into an entitlement issue. “We did good today, so we deserve ______ (whatever our positive reinforcer is).” Are you kidding me? You did GOOD? You did your JOB! You did what you SHOULD do as students in my classroom. Why on Earth should I reward you for that?

    I’m all for encouraging students to succeed and reinforcing those positive behaviors, but I draw the line when it is expected of me.

    Whether it’s the parents, the media, or society in general that’s to blame, I’m just not sure, but I wish I could wave a big fat empathy wand over our world. Can you imagine the changes? 🙂

  3. I pretty much follow the AP model, but I hate to label my parenting style. I just do what I think feels right and natural. These days we have to label everything, it makes me crazy. Anyway…

    I think that some well meaning AP parents ARE building a sense of entitlement in their children. At the beginning of a child’s life, we spend so much time trying to met the baby’s every need – no CIO, nursing on demand, etc. But at a certain age – and I think I’m there now with Peanut – you have to teach them that they can’t always get what they want.

    I disagree with the idea of rearranging your entire home and life to accomodate your children. I think it’s really important for children to understand that some things are off-limits to them – not just material items, but time and activities as well.

    Because really, how are we preparing them for adulthood if we rearrange their life to avoid conflict? I’m not suggesting creating conflicts to teach a lesson, but I don’t think they should be avoided.

    Okay, I think I may have gotten off topic there a little, but I feel better… 😉

  4. Natalie’s comment demonstrates that more parents need to practice attachment parenting. A child who is attached would not have issues with empathy, but would rather have empathy. Children left to cry themselves asleep and not disciplined with love and gentleness would have difficulty expressing empathy.

  5. I think that children should be taught that they are valued and their feelings matter, but that they need to extend the same courtesy to others. It’s the basic principles of The Golden Rule. There is nothing wrong with confidence or self-esteem- these things are great! But we as parents do need to teach our children compassion.

    All in all, I don’t think that rude children has to do with a specific “parenting style”. I don’t consider myself to have practiced attachment parenting, but if one of my kids gets scared at night, I would let them come and sleep in my bed. I didn’t practice co-sleeping, but I also didn’t let my kids cry themselves to sleep. We all have different ways of encouraging our kids to be independent and teaching them to build self-esteem. We just have to remember that politeness is a part of growing up that we need to teach our kids.

  6. I couldn’t figure out how to leave a comment after that author’s article but, it was horribly written!! She generalized through out and threw in the name attachment parenting twice, not explaining it, just literally tossing it in there.

    It is obvious that the author is against attachment parenting whether it’s for a good reason or, if like many people I know, she just hears the term and thinks, “those hippies” while rolling her eyes.

    According to this article, attachment parenting (whatever it is, as she didn’t explain it) is to blame for all the undisciplined kids in our society.

    I’ve worked with young children for years and as far as undisciplined children go, their parents weren’t all raging hippies… They all had different parenting styles.

    On another note, it’s tough being parents these days. It seems that parents can’t do anything right, they are being judged left, right and centre. Spanking became unacceptable and was replaced with “good luck!”

    I hope parents in the future can all find a middle ground and stop caring about what others may be thinking, and just begin to parent with confidence — as confidence seems to be something that is really lacking in today’s parents.

    Wow, that was long 🙂

  7. Hey!! Just wanted to stop by and say thanks for following my blog-Your own blog is really interesting and well written, I love it already! As far as the article goes, I agree that it’s possible to raise rude kids by doing all that stuff, but it is just as possible to raise rude kids by doing the complete opposite. I feel like having rude kids and what you decide to do with them attachment wise shouldn’t be considered to go hand-in-hand. The parent is perfectly capable of instilling good manners, kindness, and empathy no matter what the school schedule is. They are two different things completely!

  8. I think the mistake being made is parents not realizing that their child isn’t the center of the universe. Yes, their child is special, and a beautiful gift. Beautiful gifts don’t scream and spit and scratch when they don’t get their way.

    My 16 month old has been saying please and thank you for a few months now. Just recently we’ve added “sorry” when she has been rude to a friend or adult.

    We allow her to have her feelings, she is secure (doesn’t even cry when she wakes up in the morning) and she has manners, along with a sense of self.

    I can say there is a general lack of action by parents when their children are rude.

    I am not an “attachment parenting” subscriber, although I’ve never been one to fit in to any specific style.

    I am a mom who wants her daughter (and any future children) to learn compassion, respect and humility.

    Think of how refreshing it is to see a kid hold the door for an older lady, or say thank you when someone does it for him. Then think of how sad it is that those actions are remarkable and that the fits and tantrums are run of the mill.

    (Wow, I tried not to write a novel but I guess this subject is a hot one!)

  9. I am a balance guru… I try to seek balance in all areas of my life. Health, spirituality, parenting.. you get the idea. I follow many aspects of attachments parenting.. baby wearing, cosleeping, I nurse for a long time, but I feel like any parenting style taken to an extreme (I have definitely seen AP taken to an extreme as well as the flip side) isn’t balanced. I am trying to find a balance as a parent of trying to respect my kids’ individuality and validate their feelings, but also with that teaching them how other people feel too. I don’t think the article was well written, but I do get that we live in a society where many parents do think that their kids poop smells good and that we do build a sense of phony self esteem sometimes. Self-esteem is something that comes from within from accomplishing tasks and growing as a person..we can’t give it to them.. just foster it. Okay, I am babbling.. and this is starting to make no sense, so I guess that means that I am done :).

  10. Okay, my last comment was weird.. I don’t think that parents literally think that their kids poop smells good.. but you know what I mean :).

  11. I don’t think she has any idea what AP actually is. My daughter was parented with AP principles, to a large degree (breastfeeding, co-sleeping, “family bed,” baby-wearing, etc.). She goes where I go much of the time, and we constantly receive compliments on her manners, ability to handle herself appropriately in a variety of situations (she is 7 and has conversed with Gloria Steinem), and her deep empathy for others and for nature. She is a grateful, kind child, and so are the handful of other kids I know who are raised in AP households. I care about her feelings, and she has an emotional/feelings vocabulary, and therefore is conscious of the feelings and needs of others. And when she isn’t, the punishment fits the crime. That being said, if my daughter is being rude in public, and I “don’t say anything,” maybe you just didn’t hear it. She “hears” my non-verbal cues a lot more clearly than my words sometimes!

  12. Before my son was born, I didn't have a clue what attachment parenting was so I had no opinion either way. As I began to parent in the way that felt natural & right to me, I began to learn about the different styles, and through research it definitely sounds like AP is the best way to go because it makes kids more secure. I have done “my own version” of AP since my son was born, since he never liked baby wearing or co-sleeping. But treating your kinds kindly rather than with an iron fist does not make them rude – it makes them happy and healthy and secure! I have no doubt that my son has always been easy and well-behaved because I am meeting his needs and didn't make him “fend for his self” or cry all night, etc. He knows I am always there for him, he will always be able to count on me. . .what is wrong with that? This article was messing up the true meaning of attachment parenting by instead addressing “not disciplining.” If my son does something wrong, I'm definitely going to let him know what is not right and will not allow him to do whatever he wants, especially if that means hurting or disrespecting other people. TRUE attachment parenting means you're treating your kids respectfully so that they learn respect. For example, dsciplining by spanking is not respectful but talking & showing your kids the proper way to behave (as well as time out) IS. There are many factors that go into why rude children are rude. Most often what is going on at home, in families. There are all kinds of controversies that someone could “blame” – but to write an article that completely misunderstands attachment parenting is sending the wrong message and that is sad because MORE parents should me practicing attachment parenting!

    On a brighter note, hope you had an excellent Mother's Day!

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