Blossom star Mayim Bialik has authored a new book that is sure to spawn parenting discussions. In Beyond the Sling, Bialik writes about the nontraditional attachment parenting method. Bialik uses this method to raise her children, Miles, 6, and Fred, 3.
Attachment parenting endorses diaperless potty training, co-sleeping, child-led weaning, babywearing, and parenting without yelling. Babywearing and c0-sleeping are methods to develop a closer bond between parent and child.
Overall, attachment parenting focuses on talking to the child and working through emotions. According to Bialik, the essence of attachment parenting is to parent through reading your child’s signals.
She explained to FoxNews.com, “Children are born giving signals; they are subtle, but if you spend enough time looking at them you will be able to reinforce those signals. Our children could sign for potty by 10 months, before they could walk or talk. By 12 months they did not want to pee in a diaper. It’s not reward and punishment, good or bad. It’s simply learning the cues.”
When Bialik first heard about attachment parenting in the late ’90’s, she thought the method to be a little off the wall. However, while studying hormones and bonding for her Ph.D. in neuroscience, her views changed.
Bialik told the Toronto Star, “I was in graduate school studying the hormones of human attachment as part of my thesis, and started seeing the results of these kinds of parenting choices that these friends of ours were making. The relationship between adult and children wasn’t based on them being told that they were bad.”
Co-sleeping is an especially controversial part of attachment parenting. Children co-sleep until they are ready to sleep independently. However, Bialik does not advocate it for everyone. She only supports safe co-sleeping if it works for the family.
Opponents to co-sleeping warn of the dangers involved. The Public Health Agency of Canada states: “When infants sleep on surfaces that are not designed for them, such as adult beds … they are more likely to become trapped and suffocate.”
Bialik counters these arguments by explaining that she sleeps on a low surface without excess bedding to keep her children safe. She and her husband also do not drink or take heavy medications before going to bed.
With Beyond the Sling hitting bookshelves and controversy surrounding co-sleeping, Bialik will be sparking some lively parenting conversations in weeks to come.