Since Attachment/Gentle Parenting isn’t the philosophy that the majority of U.S. parents subscribe to, it’s always nice to see a study (by Harvard, no less) that validates what we as APers are doing.
I’m lucky to live in an area where I’ve met families who have similar parenting philosophies to my own. But I know many others – who I’ve met on the ‘net through message boards – who don’t have that same kind of support network. I imagine that articles like the ones below are even more valuable to them because without support, you’re more likely to doubt yourself (at least I think I would). So that’s my motivation for sharing it, to let those APers know that they aren’t alone. Even though the Dr. Phils of the world may not agree with co-sleeping and it seems like so many people advocate CIO, don’t fret, Harvard researchers say it’s OK (and even good) to let your baby sleep with you or comfort your crying little one.
(This article dates back to 1998, but it recently surfaced on a Yahoo Group I frequent. Being that it’s 7 years old, it makes me wonder why this kind of information hasn’t made it’s way into mainstream society yet.)
Children Need Touching and Attention, Harvard Researchers Say
By Alvin Powell
America’s “let them cry” attitude toward children may lead to more fears and tears among adults, according to two Harvard Medical School researchers.
Instead of letting infants cry, American parents should keep their babies close, console them when they cry, and bring them to bed with them, where they’ll feel safe, according to Michael L. Commons and Patrice M. Miller, researchers at the Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry.
I also ran across the following article (from the United Kingdom) that says much of the same thing re: crying, though this one is more recent – from November 2004.
Science shows up Supernanny
A mental health expert warns that fashionable advice to ignore your child’s tears may cause lifelong harm
Amelia Hill, education correspondent
Sunday November 7, 2004
Nanny no longer knows best, the Contented Little Baby Book could undermine a child’s development, and Dr Spock’s advice that a child should be left to cry could cause psychological damage.
When it comes to the crowded and hotly debated world of how best to bring up baby, there is a new theory that uses brain scans to argue that controlled crying not only damages babies’ brains but produces angry, anxious adults.