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16 February 2007


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Have you ever read any of James Stenson's stuff? I think his books fit right in here. He gives a lot of practical advice for the school age, too.


Thanks for this. I've been kind of leery of attachment parenting philosophy and the list of six stages helps me pinpoint why. TO me the latter four stages seem much more important than those first two.

"It's not hard to imagine that in a family with very strict rules and harsh punishments for rule-breaking --- the kind of stuff that "gentle parenting advocates" and AP experts decry --- there might still be a strong sense of belonging and having a place in the family; a strong sense that Dad and Mom are on the same side as the kids; great love; the sure knowledge that the ties among them can never be ruptured."

I'm currently re-reading the Little House books and it seems like Laura's family is a perfect example. Very harsh rules and strict punishments, and yet I am so struck by the sense of love and belonging, the certainty of belonging and the closeness of family.


I LOVE this book- just finished reading it myself a couple of weeks ago. It makes so much sense, and now everywhere I turn, when I look at "typical" teenagers I just think to myself "Hold on to Your Kids".... I especially like that you emphasized that the hardest but most important stage of being secure in the knowledge that they are known and understood. This book has made me reevaluate my parenting style. (Just being in proximity isn't good enough after a certain age).


Melanie, agreed re: Little House, especially the "Ma slaps the bear" story.


I definitely agree with you about AP - I've been thinking for the last year or so that it doesn't seem to give the full picture. I read "Kids Are Worth It" by Barbara Coloroso last year and on the whole I think it is a helpful resource for what to do as the children get older, but this Neufeld book sounds more comprehensive.

I was on an AP homeschooling list a few years ago and I was struck by the fact that there were so few people there with older kids (the whole list was primarily preschool to first grade). I didn't know if parents of older kids just had better things to do with their time or if there was something more going on there. I've seen and heard a fair amount of anecdotal evidence that points to people starting out with an AP philosophy and then going either onto something else or just reverting to how they were parented once the eldest hits four or five and starts asserting their independence more.

On the whole I think I agree with what MelanieB said about the last four being more important, however I do wonder if fulfilling the first two helps in fulfilling the last four. It seems like they all build on each other in one way or another and if you neglect the first two you may end up making things more difficult in the latter stages.

Thanks for the review, there's certainly some food for thought here! I'll look forward to seeing any further thoughts you might have on the subject. I've had someone else highly recommend this book as well - it sounds like I need to check it out!


I really appreciated Neufeld's book, which I read after seeing him speak. Re: your point #2, I think it's not just who they attach to, but whether that attachment is also in relation to their attachment to *you* as the parent. Attach to kind helpful teenager at school who is good role model and respects you--good; attach to ditto ditto as primary compass point to exclusion of you--bad, no matter how nice and good she is.

I think one of his points is that in this time, it is easier to build the last four kinds of attachment when you have done the first two. In Little House times, the "power" to parent was there, and I think that made it easier to create the "we're in this together" belonging sorts of attachment. Now you have to start with attachment to build more attachment, or you don't have the power to parent that will keep your kids from whirling away from you.

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I think I read something somewhere about this

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