Mayim Bialik was the child star of the popular 1990s TV sitcom Blossom, but she definitely didn't follow the typical child-star trajectory. Instead, Mayim got her Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA, married her college sweetheart, and had two kids. Mayim then did what many new moms do - she read a lot of books, talked with other parents, and she soon started questioning a lot of the conventional wisdom she heard about the "right" way to raise a child.
That's when she turned to attachment parenting, a philosophy and lifestyle popularized by well-known physicians like Dr. William Sears and Dr. Jay Gordon. To Mayim, attachment parenting's natural, child-led approach not only felt right emotionally, it made sense intellectually and instinctually. She found that when she followed her intuition and relaxed into her role as a mother instead of following some rigid parenting script, both she and her children thrived.
Drawing on both her experience as a mother and her scientific background, Mayim explores the major tenets of attachment parenting, including:
Mayim describes the beauty, simplicity, and purposefulness of attachment parenting, and how it has become the guiding principle for her family. Much more than a simple how-to parenting guide, Beyond the Sling shows us that the core principles underlying attachment parenting are universal and can be appreciated no matter how you decide to raise your child.
©2012 Mayim Bialik, Ph.D. (P)2012 Tantor
"At once conversational, informative, and progressive, this book should be compulsory reading for anyone who has even considered becoming a parent." (Ricki Lake)
I loved this book, even though I don't plan to be an "attachment parent." Mayim says a few times in this book that she doesn't judge... and it's true. She really doesn't. She just lays out her parenting style for those of us who are curious. I really appreciated the laidback philosophy. It's obvious that she loves her kids. From co-sleeping (impractical?) to baby-wearing (sorta cool - I may steal this one) to diaperless babies (ew), her ideas were interesting and educational. She drew a picture of a life that embraces a child rather than treating him like an add-on.
I think this would be an excellent introduction to many of these principles for those unfamiliar this type of parenting.
As someone who already intends to practice many of these elements/styles of parenting, I was surprised at the number of times I was turned off by her. I read this book expecting to learn more and be taken deeper into the concepts of attachment parenting by learning from someone's every day experience.
Instead I was turned off by being educated as to what my "parental intuition" was "going to be". I guess I expected more of "figure out what works for you - here is what worked well for us" and less, "if you do it this way it will feel right to you".
I appreciated her non-judgmental stance on the various parenting styles and fully embrace her ideas about accepting that different things will work well for different families.
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