Continuing with Attachment V. Detachment Parenting...
Engage in Nighttime Parenting is the third principle. This principle says that babies might be uncomfortable or lonely during the night and so you should just let them sleep with you. The problem then becomes that your husband becomes uncomfortable and lonely as well. This is my least favorite of the Principles, because I feel like it makes the kid too needy and the mom and dad too cranky.
Practice Positive Discipline is the fourth principle. I think this means do not spank your kid and you are not allowed to say: “Because I said so, that’s why.” I feel badly, because that is one of my favorite Detachment Parenting phrases. I think the best way to illustrate this principle being applied correctly is to tell you a little story about my niece, Curlylocks, the two-year-old daughter of sibling Number Six, whom, as I mentioned, is the president of the Attachment Parenting Fan Club.
One morning when this sister and I were at the home of sibling Number Eight, Curlylocks was sitting in her chair eating her porridge when she spied my glass of orange juice.
“Mommy, she said. “I want some of that.”
“Please may I have a glass of that?” my sister corrected, raising her right eyebrow.
“Please may I have a glass of that? Curlylocks said obediently, licking her lips. (Orange juice is not something she has in her normal life. Too much sugar.)
“O.K., “ said my sister. “For a special treat you may have a glass of orange juice,” and she poured Curlylocks a little, tiny glass.
And she drank it all up.
Then she looked right at her mother while holding up the empty glass and screamed at the top of her lungs: “I WANT SOME MORE OF THAT!”
Then my sister kind of cocked her head to the side and raised her right eyebrow and just looked at Curlylocks for a couple of seconds without saying anything at all.
At which point Curlylocks put down the glass very calmly on the counter and said in a very polite and quiet voice: “Mama. When can I have some more of that?”
“Maybe on Thursday,” said my sister.
And then Curlylocks nodded her head and went back to eating her porridge.
During this exchange I was just looking back and forth from parent to child with the kind of sick excitement that an older sibling who has lived through the parenting of several strong willed children will have when watching a younger sibling deal with the challenge. I was getting ready for the big tantrum with maybe some stomping and some yelling from the child or the parent or both and I got nothing.
Watching this exchange made it clear that the Positive Discipline Eyebrow Raise is the most valuable of all the Attachment Parenting Principles, and the one I would fail at most miserably.