Growing up, I loved the show Blossom. I could relate to Mayim Bialik's portrayal of a teen that was wise beyond her years. No longer rocking big floral hats, a lot has happened to Mayim Bialik since her stint on the show. She received her PhD in Neuroscience, married her college sweetheart and had two sons. Through her experiences as a mom, she adapted a style of parenting called attachment parenting, a principal based on co-sleeping, breastfeeding, baby wearing and gentle discipline that she chronicles in her new memoir, Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way.
To celebrate the release of the book, I attended a press junket hosted by Denise Albert and Melissa Gernstein of the Moms to hear more about Mayim's child-led parenting approach that focuses on following your institutions, as opposed to listening to everything you hear, that will help parents understand their child's needs, your needs and the basics of human development. I was immediately struck by Mayium's genuine personality as she stated, "I'm not a perfect mom but I want to be the best mother to my kids." She added, "for me that means attachment parenting and believing in myself as a parent and my chooses."
Throughout the event, I loved learning more about attachment parenting from Mayim and hearing how her she had her ups and downs with nursing, constantly holding her baby and the complicated feeling with her husband over this style. Not a quick fix or a trend, attachment parenting is a dedicated lifestyle choice that questions conventional wisdom about parenting. Her honesty was refreshing and I loved how she simply stated: "I don't believe in judgment." Throughout the book, this is the same tenant that makes it a refreshing enjoyable read as I learned more about gentle discipline and looking inside your heart and not listen to what doctors, family or society is telling you.
There are also a lot of misconceptions about attachment parenting, but Mayim stated "it is not for the rich or just white people or hippes." Adding, "it is also not just for people that stay at home with their kids." She noted that there are different types of attachment parents and even if you work full-time, it is about spending close time with your children and when you are home to do the best that you can with what you have. Quality, closeness and comfort is a way to bond with children, and Mayim also noted that these are ways to communicate.
Whether you believe in attachment parenting or not, the book is a very interesting read where you can pull out various aspects of parenting from communication to behavior to the basic needs of your child. This includes a selection of tips on how to wear a baby to foster closeness, the essentials tools and resources for breastfeeding as well as how a baby doesn't need a rigid schedule and how co-sleeping allows the entire family to get a good nights sleep.
What I loved about the book and meeting Mayim in person is her refreshing perspective that was incredibly informative, interesting and proactive. Beyond just about attachment parenting, Mayim is asking parents to question the information we are given and to make choices based on our instincts. A refreshing and honest memoir that will truly help moms raise secure, content, and compassionate children.
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