Posts Tagged ‘Lois Goodman’

Practicing Non-Attachment with Attachment Parenting

Daily OM Image

Daily OM Image

Seems like a strange topic and title choice for on article on Attachment, right?  It does feel quite paradoxical! Yet, I believe there’s a distinction in the semantics of “attachment” at play here.

The essence of Attachment Parenting, according to the Attachment Parenting International site is: “…forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children.”

Non-Attachment, traditionally associated with Buddhism, isn’t about severing these precious bonds with our children. And, in my opinion, it’s not about being Buddhist. It’s a nondenominational practice of letting go and a practice that I personally find extremely challenging as a parent.

I know that my best-intention desire to protect, to fix, to guide, and ultimately provide the best possible life I can for my girls puts me in a silly position of believing it’s up to me to do so. I mean really, this is pure illusion on my part as I dream up an idyllic life and attempt to impose that definition onto my children, sweet souls here to experience their own unique life journey.

My friend Lois Goodman, an amazing, loving human being and incredibly gifted Intuitive, has said to me a number of times over the last year or so, “Monica, you’ve got to let go of trying so hard to create the perfect life for your daughters. It’s not healthy and it’s not fair to them.”

In recent months I’ve been tuning in more and more to what this means, discovering how to redefine love and attentive care with non-attachment — and remain Attachment Mama.  I can support my girls to live their own lives, choose their own path and feel empowered to solve their own problems without relinquishing my care and our fabulous bond. And to be clear, in moving toward more awareness around what it means to guide my children toward solving their own problems, I’m not endorsing the idea of teaching babies to “self-soothe” with Cry-It-Out.  Each to their own — but sleep training in this way is not for our family.

The idea of parenting in such a way that you foster independent problem-solving becomes more relevant when the child is a bit older, say two or three years old and you can coach her to resolve conflict on her own with other toddlers.

“When Johnny takes a toy from you that you were enjoying playing with, what can you do?  You can work together to take turns; You can choose something else and come back to that toy later….”  Or “When Sally hits you, what can you do?  You can tell her how it makes you feel; You can protect yourself by walking away; You can let her know you like it when friends give hugs.”  After several conversations and real-life practice, when she comes crying to you down the road about one of these scenarios, you can empower her by asking her what she intends to do to solve the problem.

For me, getting into practicing non-attachment as an AP mama is about getting more comfortable with being uncomfortable. Two paradoxes in one sentence???! Holy Moses, this article is getting out of hand. But seriously, figuring out how to solve your own problems in life ain’t pretty. It’s a rough road! I know from experience as a mother and a daughter that the parental rescue swoop can relieve a lot of discomfort for both parent and child in the moment. Long term? Not so great.

The Daily OM — which I have loved receiving for several years now — appeared to be written for me today.  The title of today’s inspiration was: “Practicing Non-Attachment: Allowing Our Children To Be“.

“Truly loving our children requires us to set them free and practice nonattachment. Trust and allow.

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Posted in Empathetic Parenting, Over Parenting | 2 Comments


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