Reader Question: When Attachment Parenting isn’t enough


Dear Kate, the article you shared recently When Attachment Parenting Isn’t Enough was perfect for me and just what I needed.

My little girl is 21 months. I have tried to follow AP/gentle parenting methods since birth. I still breastfeed and baby wear and sleep in same room as my daughter. However she is at an age where recently it feels like this alone is not enough. I recognise that I have that panic feeling when she is upset or having ‘tantrums’ of needing to stop her crying or feeling like a failure if I can’t.

I read about connecting parenting and feel like it can complement an work alongside ap/gentle parenting and also take things to the next level as my daughter grows. It all makes sense about needing to release emotions and fears, as I as an adult need to do this too. However what I am confused with is How to do it? How can I do this without seeming like I’m ignoring her or without seeming like I marrying to stop her? Also how do I communicate this to close people alongside who are also a part of our lives? I was so excited to see the title of your new book, but then saw its not coming out until October! I will definitely be getting it, but do you have any tips in the mean time? Thank you in anticipation. From F

Hi ‘F’, thanks for your message. I’m really please the article resonated with you. I really want parents to know that crying is so often not a reflection on your parenting. Sorry the book’s not out till October!

The approach I write about is called Hand in Hand parenting, and if you go to their website you will find lots of resources about listening to feelings, and how that can be helpful.

To answer your questions, the approach we have to listen to crying is called staylistening, so that means you always stay with your child, holding them if they want to be held, giving them lots of eye contact, and connection so they don’t feel ignored. If children cry on their own, it’s not a healing kind of crying, because they need the presence of a calm, loving adult, to help them get out of a distress state, and to release their feelings.

Here are a couple resources that might help. There’s a free tantrums booklet from Hand in Hand parenting Secret To Transforming Tantrums, one on Setting Limits,
and here’s an article which explains a bit about Parenting From Different Pages — there’s a few good tips in there for explaining the approach to others.
Hope they are helpful 🙂 Kate

Would you like a Hand in Hand parenting solution to your parenting challenges? You can pm message me via facebook or leave a comment on the blog.