Why need-oriented parenting after all?

Since 2012 there is a huge controversy regarding Attachment Parenting (AP) in the English speaking part of the world which was caused by a cover picture on Time magazine that showed a Mom breastfeeding her almost 4-year-old child.

But what is AP after all and why would anybody breastfeed a 4-year-old?

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AP – or as we call it “need-oriented parenting” – is a parenting style that focuses a lot on meeting a child’s needs and being empathetic and responsive in order to establish a strong mother-child-bond. This bond between mother and child – also called “attachment” – is crucial for a child’s healthy personal development.

Therefore many parents who practice AP choose (longterm) breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, cloth diapers or elimination communication, homeschooling or even unschooling, organic home-made food and gentle discipline. AP is a highly communicative parenting approach.

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In the US AP is widely regarded as a mainly Christian parenting style, whereas Europeans tend to assume AP to be a secular parenting approach. Feminists often criticize AP as “New Momism” which promotes role models that should be overcome by now – but maybe a child’s needs and his personal development should be more important than social ideologies…

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To us as parents the main reason for bringing our children up in an AP way of life is this:

Certainly sons are a gift from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb, a reward.

~ Psalms 127:3

Our children are a gift and a blessing from God – so we should treat them as the gift they are. How would you treat a gift that is very precious to you? We decided we wanted our kids to grow up in a family that grants them love, respect, trust, emotional security, warmth, protection, happiness and the freedom to just be who they are.

That’s why we chose this parenting style.

A Weekend in Pictures – April 23rd/24th 2016

This was a real April weekend with real April weather. Luckily I love rainy weather.

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April isn’t only the month of uncertain weather it’s also a beautiful month in spring – and I love spring! Would you just look at those leaves, they are stunning, aren’t they?

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And there is more: We’re enjoying our home-grown parsley:

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Of course we also enjoy our time together as a family:

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Our children learn so many things just before our very eyes – e.g. dressing themselves. And let’s be honest here: If you have a bunch of nice shoes why just wear one pair at a time?

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Dressing yourself isn’t the only thing you learn as a toddler, though, how about some sportive activities?

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But there is time for rest, too. E.g. time for reading…

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… time for siting on Mommy’s lap…

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… and time for some fun moisturizer experiments.

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How was your weekend?

Why we’re treating our children respectfully

Somehow that sounds like a platitude: Treating children with respect should be the most natural thing you do. But what does that actually mean – to treat a child respectfully?

Just consider the following situations:

“Oh please, give Grandma a kiss!”

“A little teasing is just fun, right?”

“Don’t make such a fuss about that, it’s not that bad after all!”

“You’re such a cute little doll!”

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Would you consider that respectful? Would you feel treated respectfully if someone talked to you like that? However, that sure is the key question. What would you define as respectful?

I would consider the Golden Rule as a pretty good definition of respect. We can find the Golden Rule in Tobit 4:15, Matthew 7:12 and Leviticus 19:18. But I prefer the Golden Rule as it is written in Luke 6:31:

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

~ Luke 6:31

So, do you like to be teased? How do you feel about kissing random persons who consider you cute? Do you feel appreciated, when your thoughts and worries are not taken seriously? How would it make you feel when you’re called “a doll”?

Yes, treating a child requires a lot of thinking and pondering, it can be hard, it needs tons of patience and good will and willingness to personal development – but as a matter of fact not treating a child respectfully is really not an option!

God trusts us with our children as we can see in Psalms 127:3:

Certainly sons are a gift from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb, a reward.

~ Psalms 127:3

So we should treat children as the gift they are, we should treat them the way we want to be treated, we should treat as the little persons they are – not as cute little toys.

Two under two – our new series on Living a Catholic Fairy Tale

Two under two – an introduction

 

Life is changing – always and in every moment. Life can be challenging, life can be painful and life can be so beautiful. And sometimes it is just everything at the same time.

But how is life with two kids under two?

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Is it possible to find a good solution for one of those moments when both kids are crying? How do you make enough time to play with your older child? How do you survive Holy Mass with two kids under two? Is there any chance to have just a few minutes to yourself?

If that sounds interesting to you you’re more than welcome to follow our new series “Two under two”. And be assured: There is definitely no way to handle all those challenges without God’s grace!

Do you need encouragement? #2

“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.”

~ 2 Timothy 1:7

The Bible tells us that God gives us everything we need. Sometimes we feel we want more than He actually gives us or something different because He doesn’t answer all our wishes the way we think He should.

We know we should be thankful but sometimes we’re not. Sometimes we ask ourselves what it actually means, that God gives us everything we need. In those times we can come to 2 Timothy 1:7 to remind ourselves what it is that we really need.

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God gives us a spirit of power and love and self-control. And that is what we really need in our day and age! God knows how easy we get discouraged and distracted, He knows how often we feel weak and angry, and He also knows all of our weaknesses.

And for that reason He offers us hope, because He loves us. He gives us a spirit of power and love and self-control because He knows how weak we feel. And He knows that this is exactly what we need.

Do you need encouragement?

Our goal is to encourage and inspire our readers with this blog and to motivate them to follow the plan God has for their lives. So this is our new category: Encouragement. In this category we share encouraging comments and quotes and ponder them. That way we hope we can encourage you in your everyday life and maybe we can even help you with some worries that have burdened your heart. Our first encouraging quote is of course a biblical quotation:

Do not fear: I am with you;
do not be anxious: I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

~ Isaiah 41:10

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This is such an encouraging bible verse to us! No matter how hard some situations seem to be, God is always with us. He never leaves us. Sometimes we might not hear his voice or feel his presence. But he is always there, and he always listens to us, and he always cares.

So we can always lean on him and let him be strong for us in those moments when we can’t be strong ourselves. He is always willing to carry us through those moments.

Protecting childhood – for a good reason

 

 “[…] but Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Remember this! Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

~ Luke 18:16-17

Jesus called the children to him and talked to them. But why did he have to fight for them being led to him in the first place? Luke tells us that the disciples tried to hinder the children to come to Jesus. They tried to send them away so that Jesus wouldn’t be disturbed by them.

Let’s be honest: Don’t we know situations like that?

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Children are widely regarded as a disturbing factor. Children are always in someones way – they are in the way of their parents careers, they are in the way of their parents relationship, they are in the way of their parents friendships and they hinder their parents from doing their hobbies, going on vacations, etc. But there is also another view on children:

Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a real blessing.”

~ Psalms 127:3

Why doesn’t modern society regard children as a blessing anymore but as a disturbing factor and a burden to their parents? Shouldn’t children in fact be “the greatest possible gift”1 to their parents?

When they become parents, spouses receive from God the gift of a new responsibility. Their parental love is called to become for the children the visible sign of the very love of God, “from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.”

~ Familiaris Consortio 14

Today’s children grow up in a society that is loud and cold. Instead of having a happy and unburdened time as children in a caring and loving family, they often have to leave their families for daycare at a very young age.

As parents and writers of this blog we request the child’s right to a warm and safe home and a close relationship to his parents. Children should grow up in emotional security. In order to guarantee these aspects we advise parents to avoid daycare if possible.

[…] Acceptance, love, esteem, many-sided and united material, emotional, educational and spiritual concern for every child that comes into this world should always constitute a distinctive, essential characteristic of all Christians, in particular of the Christian family: thus children, while they are able to grow “in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man,”(77) offer their own precious contribution to building up the family community and even to the sanctification of their parents.”

~ Familiaris Consortio 26

Protecting childhood isn’t only a family issue or a society issue it has a deep Christian meaning. Jesus loved children and even fought for their right to come to him. For this reason it should be our mission as Christians to fight for our children’s rights and to protect their childhood.

1Familiaris Consortio 14