Sometimes we get asked whether we do set limits at all as an Attachment Parenting family. Some people seem to believe that being responsive to your children’s needs and treating them respectfully would require to just let them do anything they want.
But that’s not need-oriented, that is permissive. Attachment Parenting is all about love, care, respect, freedom and communication – but it is not a permissive parenting style. To the contrary, Attachment Parenting is an authoritative parenting style.
Parents who want to raise their children in this way do discipline their children but in a gentle way – and they do set limits.
The question is not if Attachment Parenting families set limits but which limits they set – and how.
Attachment parenting is a highly communicative parenting style. As parents we communicate our own needs, we respond to our children’s needs, we communicate the needs that we have as a family and we also communicate the needs other people have. We also talk about our values concerning faith, manners, ecological awareness, humility, generosity and so many other things that are important to us.
And that is also the way we set limits, we talk about what’s right and wrong in our family and how we can do things better. Setting limits doesn’t mean to force your children to do certain things or to behave in a certain way, it’s not about punishing misconduct or conditioning our children’s behavior. Setting limits in an attachment parenting way means to communicate and to ask our children to do or not to do certain things.
This is a beautiful way of growing together as a family in love and respect and yes, it does work. Sometimes it works better, sometimes it doesn’t work at all – like all things. Give it a try!