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Attachment Parenting Causes an Abundance of Self-Esteem

Updated on January 2, 2017
Chuck Bluestein profile image

At age 16 I was a volunteer at a hospital bacteriology lab. I became a chemist for U.S. government. Then I studied health & related fields.

Celebrities Practicing Baby Wearing

Angelina Jolie wearing her baby Zahara. Notice the resemblence. Actually she adopted some babies.
Angelina Jolie wearing her baby Zahara. Notice the resemblence. Actually she adopted some babies. | Source
Cover of Time Magazine May 21, 2012.
Cover of Time Magazine May 21, 2012. | Source
Oldest (Journee 16) and youngest (Fletcher 21 months) of 7 kids raised with attachment parenting. Site below says "Children who are raised with attachment parenting grow up have lots of self confidence, and it also instills compassion and nurturing."
Oldest (Journee 16) and youngest (Fletcher 21 months) of 7 kids raised with attachment parenting. Site below says "Children who are raised with attachment parenting grow up have lots of self confidence, and it also instills compassion and nurturing." | Source
Brad Pitt wearing his baby. Angelina Jolie carrying her child.
Brad Pitt wearing his baby. Angelina Jolie carrying her child. | Source
Jean Liedloff in South America. She brought attachment parenting to America with her book The Continuum Concept. She saw the wisdom in the tribe that had brought up babies the same way for 100,000 years.
Jean Liedloff in South America. She brought attachment parenting to America with her book The Continuum Concept. She saw the wisdom in the tribe that had brought up babies the same way for 100,000 years. | Source
Gwen Stefani and Zuma Rossdale.
Gwen Stefani and Zuma Rossdale. | Source
Keri Russell wearing her baby.
Keri Russell wearing her baby. | Source
Sarah Jessica Parker wearing Marion Broderick. I think that this is also Matthew Broderick's daughter.
Sarah Jessica Parker wearing Marion Broderick. I think that this is also Matthew Broderick's daughter. | Source
Jennifer Garner and Seraphina Affleck. I think that the father is Ben Affleck.
Jennifer Garner and Seraphina Affleck. I think that the father is Ben Affleck. | Source
Kate Hudson saving money with a homemade sling to hold her son Ryder.
Kate Hudson saving money with a homemade sling to hold her son Ryder. | Source
Alanis Morissette and Ever Treadway. Her husband is holding their child, while also wearing it.
Alanis Morissette and Ever Treadway. Her husband is holding their child, while also wearing it. | Source
Jessica Alba and Honor Warren.
Jessica Alba and Honor Warren. | Source
Beyonce wearing her daughter, Blue Ivy, at 2 months old.
Beyonce wearing her daughter, Blue Ivy, at 2 months old. | Source
Alyson Hannigan wearing Satyana Denisof.
Alyson Hannigan wearing Satyana Denisof. | Source

Biggest Part of Attachment Parenting is Baby Wearing

Note all the celebrities doing baby wearing. This is the most important part of attachment parenting. This subject has received a lot of attention with the Time Magazine article (May 21,2012) about it and cover picture with a child breast feeding. It talks about Dr. Bill Sears being their guru about parenting and raising infants, babies, kids and children.

Dr. Sears saw many children being raised by different methods and was most impressed with children being raised this way. He wrote The Baby Book (1991) and created the terms attachment parenting and baby wearing.

Attachment parenting means carrying a baby or wearing a baby and not pushing them around in a stroller. The latter way is a good way to keep an ugly and hated baby from touching you. Of course a car goes so fast that they have to be tied down in a seat. This article was written June 18, 2012. Years before this researchers had studied attachment theory by experimenting with baby monkeys.

Jean Liedloff went to South America to find treasure-- diamonds. But she saw some amazing things with children in the Yequana tribe or village. She knew that this was the real treasure-- how to raise children that never argued, were very peaceful and happy and were much smarter and mature than American kids. She realized that Americans needed to know these secrets of raising children.

So she stayed with this tribe for two and half years to learn their secrets about raising children. She also learned a lot about herself and was transformed by staying with this tribe of stone age Indians or Amerindians and seeing their ancient wisdom. She then wrote The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost in 1975 which is the best book ever written on parenting. Psychologist Jean Liedloff devoted her life to teaching people about this. This is why there were women practising this type of parenting in America that Dr William Sears looked at and called attachment parenting.

The main message of this book is that if infants or babies are given what they need for the first few years, they will learn a lot and be very mature and will practically raise themselves after that. They evolve very quickly if they get what they need while very young. Before they can creep (hips on floor) or crawl, they need to be held all the time. Then when they can creep and crawl, they should do that as much as they want.

While they are held or in a sling, you do not pay any attention to them unless they need something. You continue what you normally do. You do not keep them home in a cage called a playpen. They learn a lot by observing you interact with the world. If you are a hater, that is how they learn to hate, by watching you. Children learn by imitation not by you trying to teach or control them. So if you do not want your children to smoke, then you should not smoke.

The child sleeps with someone until they are ready to sleep alone. This is called co-sleeping. Dr. Martin Seligman was elected president of the American Psychological Association by the widest margin ever. His wife also has degrees in psychology. They slept with their 5 children until they were around 5 years old. The Continuum Concept does a great job of describing how the baby feels at this time.

When the baby or infant is held, then it feels loved. When it is not held, then it feels totally unwanted like a piece of trash. This is about the time before they can creep or crawl. By feeling loved all the time (by being held), they will have an abundance of self-esteem. The less they are held, the less self-esteem they will have when older. Now no matter how badly a baby was treated when younger, they can make up for it when older, but that is beyond the scope of this article.

The Baby Book covers many specific details of raising children like if they should get a circumcision. It says that in the Western United States, 63% of infant males do not get a circumcision. But The Continuum Concept focuses only on the attachment parenting part. Everyone should read this book. The back of this book has testimonials on it. Here are some of them.

The Continuum Concept does not even make breastfeeding an issue. It was done in this village and it was between mother and baby how long it would go on for. Breastfeeding is about food. There is a group, La Leche League, that was promoting breastfeeding at this time (1975). Their newsletter is called Leaven. So one of the testimonials on the back of this book is "We in La Leche League ought to turn handsprings and shout for joy." --Leaven

John Holt is an American author and educator, a proponent of homeschooling, and a pioneer in youth rights theory according to Wikipedia. He says about this book:

If the world could be saved by a book, this might just be the book.

The New York Times Book Review says:

Deserves to be read by Western parents, child psychologists and other social engineers concerned with restoring self-reliance and well-being. There are remarkable insights here.

Please note that feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights-- nothing else. Wikipedia says about feminist Gloria Steinem:

Gloria Marie Steinem (born March 25, 1934) is an American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader of, and media spokeswoman for, the women's liberation movement in the late 1960s and 1970s. A prominent writer and political figure, Steinem has founded many organizations and projects and has been the recipient of many awards and honors. She was a columnist for New York magazine and co-founded Ms. magazine.

She says about this book:

A book we should all read...to help us become nurturing parents and advocates for our own child within, to understand what we missed, and to restore it.

Follow Gloria Steinem's advice and learn why most most people in Western society have low self-esteem. There are still Asian societies that have been practicing attachment parenting for many thousands of years. Gloria Steinem wrote Revolution From Within: A Book of Self-Esteem (1992). This book has great information from over 50 other books. It covers how low self-esteem causes most of the problems in society.

To be technical is self-esteem good or bad? To answer this you have to know what this word means. The place to find that is in a dictionary. Then you see that self-esteem-1 is good and self-esteem-2 is bad. The first one is self-respect and Mahatma Gandhi was a good example of this. The second one is self-conceit and Adolf Hitler is a good example of this. This article is talking about self-esteem-1. Is sugar healthy or unhealthy? Sugar-1a (added) is unhealthy and sugar-1b (natural occurring like in fruits and vegetables) is healthy. I guess you call the above a nerd alert.

I have done many 5 day personal growth seminars with over 150 people in the Philadelphia area. In them you learn a great deal about other people. I noticed that I was like a freak compared to others since they had such extremely low self-esteem compared to me. So that was a mystery to me.

Then I learned about The Continuum Concept and understood. My mother lived with her parents that were wealthy. My grandmother loved holding babies more than anything else in the world. So my grandmother held me all of the time and it was her favorite thing to do. So I could feel that in the depth of my being. Again there are many societies where infants are still held all the time and do not have all these self-esteem problems as in Western society.

Also another strange thing happened to me according to my mother. I was born in a busy New York City hospital. My mother lived there since she taught ballet at Juilliard’s School of Performing Arts. When I was born in the hospital, there were lots of baby girls but I was the only baby boy. So nurses were lined up to hold me, so I was held a lot at that hospital by many women.

Other celebrities that have been seen wearing babies include Madonna, Liv Tyler, Sheryl Crow, Courteney Cox, Gwyneth Paltrow and Brooke Shields. Using a sling is approved of by Scientology so Katie Holmes brought her sling home and Tom Cruise tested it and gave it his approval. Please note again that fussing over babies that you are wearing is not a good thing to do according to Jean Liedloff. Instead concentrate on what you are doing.

What do you do about bullying? This book will not help you since the children in the Yequana village where she stayed for over 2 years never fought with each other. Since all the parents in the village were brought up this way, it was in their instinct to raise babies this way. In our society, trying to raise children this way when you have been raised differently, will be a challenge.

The sling is strong enough to hold a baby without any help. But if you look at all the pictures, you notice that they are also holding their babies. How the parents are feeling while they are holding their babies affect the babies. Being relaxed and calm has a relaxing effect on the infant. So take care of yourself so you can take care of others. The happier that you are, the happier that your children will be.

Some of these celebrities are also in my articles 23 Celebrities That Do Yoga and 29 Celebrities That Do Meditation. I also have a whole article on Alanis Morissette. She had anorexia nervosa and bulimia from age 14 to 18. At age 17 she had a nervous breakdown. At age 21 she made 25 million dollars from her album that is the second best selling album ever by a female artist. Also super model Gisele Bündchen was seen wearing her baby plus she is in both articles above. She was also in 23 Celebrities that Do Martial Arts.

I have been doing yoga since age 12. There is more information on attachment parenting in the articles Woman in New York Arrested for Possessing 2 Weapons of Mass Destruction and How to Raise Happy and Peaceful Kids. The description of The Continuum Concept says:

Jean Liedloff, an American writer [and psychologist], spent two and a half years in the South American jungle living with Stone Age Indians. The experience demolished her Western preconceptions of how we should live and led her to a radically different view of what human nature really is. She offers a new understanding of how we have lost much of our natural well-being and shows us practical ways to regain it for our children and for ourselves.

Here is Dr. Bill Sears' response or comment on the Time Magazine cover story (May 21, 2012) about attachment parenting. He participated in the writing of the story. It starts with:

Hello parents! The cover was risky but a brilliant hook by Time Magazine to attract readers, and they achieved their goal.

Mayim Bialik was the star of Blossom and is on The Big Bang Theory series. She also has a PhD in neuroscience. She wrote a book on attachment parenting called Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way. You can see from this book that I did not invent the idea that attachment parenting is good for self-confidence. Since she also has a book on vegan eating, she must also be a vegan.

More About This

The following comes from the webpage (guardian.uk) that is linked to under the picture of Jean Liedloff in South America.

Jean Liedloff, who has died aged 84, was the author of The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost (1975), in which she outlined her belief that babies should be continuously carried by, and never separated from, their mothers, until such time as they are able to crawl away by themselves.... Many credit her with being the mother of attachment parenting.

She observed, most famously, the Yequana tribe of Venezuela. Babies were in continuous physical contact with their mothers until they could crawl, then children of all ages, from babies just out of arms to teenagers, played all day, unsupervised, but were responded to – without judgment – the moment they needed anything. "Not only did the children not fight, they never even argued," she said.

►Please note that Jean Liedloff saw something very interesting.◄ It appeared that the more that children were trusted, the more trustworthy they were. And the less that they are trusted, the less trustworthy they were. So a woman nervous about her child making mistakes will tend to cause the child to make mistakes.

Right after I take the baby back from the girl, the mother asks if she can hold the baby. So I let the mother hold the baby as long as she wanted to. So after about 5 to 10 minutes she gives the baby back to me. Then another women asks to hold the baby and she holds the baby awhile. This happened with all the women there. I was aware that when these women saw this baby as a pre-teen or teen, they would have an extra liking for this kid since they had held him as a baby.

Jean Leidloff The Continuum Concept on Vimeo

Attachment Parenting Book

The Continuum Concept: In Search Of Happiness Lost (Classics in Human Development)
The Continuum Concept: In Search Of Happiness Lost (Classics in Human Development)

About the author before she died. Jean Liedloff practices and teaches psychotherapy based on the Continuum Concept, She lectures and broadcasts in many countries where her views have earned a substantial following. She is living in California.

 

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    • Phelcky profile image

      Lilly 5 years ago from Denmark

      This is a very interesting hub Chuck! I am glad I read it.

    • Chuck Bluestein profile image
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      Chuck Bluestein 5 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      Yes Phelcky a great deal of suffering from low self-esteem could be wiped out just from parents making sure that their baby is held all the time, right after birth. They call this the fourth trimester. The baby is born at the end of the third trimester.

      This reminds me of the late 1800s when 90% of American and European children had the terrible disease known as rickets. Vitamin D was not discovered until 1922. But all those cases of rickets could have been avoided with people getting more sunlight. Now people can take vitamin D. Although it is healthier for people to live closer to the equator. Of all 50 U.S. states, Hawaii is the closest to the equator and they have the longest living people of all 50 states.

    • profile image

      Martha Love 4 years ago

      What a great article! So happy to see John Holt recommended here. Would like to recommend "The Magical Child" by Joseph Chilton Pearce as it is a very readable book and beautifully explains the need for attachment parenting. It's section on the pygmies is fascinating and explains why attachment parenting needs to be in place throughout the child's life. Also would like to recommend my own book on attachment called "What's Behind Your Belly Button" available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Whats-Behind-Your-Belly-Butt... and in UK at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-Behind-Your-Belly-Bu... . We found in counseling hundreds of people that acceptance needs (attachment) are instinctive and we offer in the book a method to get in touch with your gut feelings to work to fulfill these needs in yourself and in your child and to increase intuitive intelligence.

    • profile image

      Martha Love 4 years ago

      Also, Chuck, I would like to add on to what you are saying that the solution to some major health issues (emotional and physical) have been right under our noses. Scurvy killed off nearly half the colonists at one of the North America's first French settlements (according to a recent study of their bones), from lack of vitamin C in a harsh winter. I have read that if they had known that pine needle tea is very high in vitamin C, they would have all lived as pine trees were all around. I tried some pine needle tea after I read that and it isn't too bad tasting, yellow and certainly could have saved lives in that situation! Something as simple as holding your baby, your child seems natural, but our industrialized society has just not encouraged the bond between parent and child and we have all suffered for this lack.

      These are beautiful images in this article!

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      youaresuchamom 4 years ago

      A lot of informative things being said but at the base of it all, I believe, is that there is nothing wrong with a parent showing love for a child. When did that become something that needed defending?

    • bonda profile image

      Nonqaba waka Msimang 2 years ago from Canada

      Women in southern Africa carry babies on their backs. It is called ukubeletha. The baby shares the mother's warmth. All the products shown in your hub also do the same thing.

    • babytact profile image

      Mahmoud Saleh 22 months ago

      I am agree with that "The Baby Book covers many specific details of raising children like if they should get a circumcision"

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