Christianity And Attachment Parenting: Do The Worlds Collide?

Do Christianity and Attachment Parenting go hand in hand? I’m sure we’ve all heard that Jesus was breastfed, and I’m sure we’ve all heard the Christmas story enough to know that Jesus co-slept, at least until the wise men came. But my question is this: What would Jesus think of Gentle Discipline?
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Mama Said No. All The Time.

One day I sat in an adjoining room to where my husband and daughter were. I didn’t know particularly what they were up to, but at one point, a full few minutes of the ‘conversation’ was her Daddy saying ‘No, no, don’t touch that. No Ameli, put that down. No, no, I said no’ and so on.

I became conscious of how often we were saying no to Ameli and discussed it with my husband. At first he didn’t really think it such a big deal, but he must have become conscious of it, as he started pointing it out to me when I was doing it too.

We began to realise how difficult it really is to exclude ‘no’ from your vocabulary once Ameli started walking, unpacking things from cupboards, and generally expressing her independence.

It wasn’t until Ameli one day did something she was allowed to, then looked at me and shook her head that I realised that it did have an effect on her.

So we’ve started making a few changes to the way we ‘do’ things:

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Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones…

…but words will never hurt me? Well that must be the biggest lie I’ve ever heard. Whoever first said that was surely never on the receiving end of painful words, harsh verbal onslaughts or cruel jibes. Whoever said that probably never went through putting on a brave face in public before making a hasty withdrawal and sobbing in private moments later.
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The First Vestiges of Respect?

I grew up with plenty of aunts and uncles. In fact, every man or woman in our church, our school, my parents’ friendship circle and parents of my friends were by default either ‘aunty’ or ‘uncle’. Even a total stranger was referred to as such.

In fact, as a child, anyone more than about ten years older was ‘Aunty So-and-So’ or ‘Uncle So-and-So’. As I grew older and into a teenager that gap became larger. Someone ten years older could be called by their first name, but anyone old enough to be my parents or grandparents were still respectfully addressed as ‘aunty’ or ‘uncle’. As an adult there are bitterly few people I now address in that way, but I still understand respecting my ‘elders’, and someone who isn’t my ‘chum’ would be ‘Mr X’, ‘Mrs X’, or even, perhaps still, ‘aunty’ or ‘uncle’.

I find it strange then, to be raising my child in a culture where people smile and tell me how old fashioned I am when I refer to them as ‘aunty’ or ‘uncle’. I understand that she doesn’t yet understand the title, but starting as I mean to go on, I feel it is so important for her to learn from the beginning how to be respectful.

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