Attachment parentingparenting philosophy founded on an interpretation of the principles of attachment theory. Its proponents believe that a major goal of parenting is to create strong emotional bonds, also known as a secure attachment, between the child and a parent or both parents. Attachment parents try to respond prompty to the child's emotional needs. They believe that a strong attachment helps the child develop secure, empathic, peaceful, and enduring relationships.
Similar practices are called natural parenting, instinctive parenting, immersion parenting or continuum Parenting.
Practitioners of attachment parenting vary in their specific behaviours; however, they are likely to include a number of the following elements:
- Home birth
- Natural childbirth normally meaning childbirth without medication
- Avoidance of circumcision
- Breastfeeding on demand
- Child-led weaning
- Baby-wearing, which is carrying a child in a sling
- Co-sleeping in which young children sleep with their parents
- Avoidance of any kind of physical or corporal punishment
The word "attachment parenting" was coined by pediatrician William Sears and his wife Martha, who have published a number of books advocating the philosophy.
Criticisms of attachment parenting are that many of its proponents seem to insist on rigid gender roles, that it may be overly permissive, and that the parents are enslaved to the children.