There’s nothing like a publicaly displayed photos of a mother breastfeeding her child to stir “keep it to yourself” controversy. Intentious is aware of that, having shared opinions on posting breastfeeding pics on social media, earlier this year.
TIME magazine however, has taken this to a whole new level by giving front-cover exposure to the controversial practice called Attachment Parenting. There’s nothing like a picture of a mother breastfeeding her old-enough-to-feed-himself child to get people all riled up. A daring plan to sell magazines if ever I saw one.
The provocative cover story is about women who believe breastfeeding their children beyond babyhood is normal and healthy. The ideology is valid: according to attachment theory, the child forms a strong emotional bond with caregivers during childhood with lifelong consequences. Sensitive and emotionally available parenting helps the child to form a secure attachment style which fosters a child’s socio-emotional development and well being.
These mothers choose to achieve that through breastfeeding well into the child’s early years.
“People have to realize this is biologically normal. The more people see it, the more it’ll become normal in our culture. That’s what I’m hoping. I want people to see it.” Jamie Lynne Grumet, the woman in the cover photo, says.
Personally, when I see that picture, a few conflicting thoughts come into my head: it’s a well taken photo of a well-presented subject. She’s attractive, standing confidently, boldly, representing an attitude and steadfastness for her beliefs and care for her child that all mothers can aspire to.
But… a quick pan down and the cover and the unease settles in: that kid, her three-year-old son named Aram, is virtually hanging off her teat like a miniature Peter Griffin.
He is almost old enough to start to represent the man-child dependency the media just loves stereotyping these days. Yet who is more attached here to the breastfeeding phase, the child, or the parent?
Like breastfeeding pics in general, perhaps what you decide to do as a parent is best kept to yourself. Perhaps attachment parenting is completely harmless, if not beneficial.
But once you make it the world’s business, you’re asking for trouble. TIME Magazine selfishly knows that.
That kid is going to grow up being unaccepted and teased at school, forever known as ‘that breastfeeding kid on the cover of TIME‘. It may be different for girls, I don’t know. But until he grows up, there will be some hard times ahead for Aram. It is likely to continue in highschool, where perhaps his co-students may make uneasy taunting references to his mother’s “MILF” factor and that they’d totally understand if he were still breastfeeding now.
Thus, what is the greater psychological staying power, here? The strong bond achieved through Attachment Parenting, or the strong desire for this boy to grow to resent and detatch from his mother in his teens, what is already a natural adolescent desire boosted significantly by being socially outcast on an international scale?
- The May issue of TIME (duckduckgrayduck.com)
- TIME Magazine ‘Attachment Parenting’ Cover: Too Much? (dfw.cbslocal.com)
- Time magazine cover suggests attachment parenting has gone too far (boston.com)
- Controversial TIME Magazine Cover Shows Mother Breastfeeding 3-Year-Old Son (923now.cbslocal.com)
- Provocative TIME Magazine Cover Shows Mother Breastfeeding 3-Year-Old Son (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Time Magazine’s Breastfeeding Cover: Celebs Kick Up a Fuss on Twitter! (eonline.com)
- Blogger Jamie Grument Ignites Controversy for Nursing Preschooler On Cover of TIME Magazine (sheposts.com)
- Time Magazine Breastfeeding Cover: WTF? (PHOTOS) (blippitt.com)
- Attachment Parenting; Wrong? (thefashionofwords.com)
- Breastfeeding and Attachment Parenting: Time Magazine (singlemomontherun.com)
- Breastfeeding mom Time cover wins applause, cringes and shrugs (vancouversun.com)
- Time Magazine’s breastfeeding cover pic goes viral (ctv.ca)
- Time magazine shows mom breastfeeding 3-year-old (nj.com)
- Failure To Wean… Liberal TIME Magazine Gives Us The Image Of Our Next Generation (thegatewaypundit.com)
- O: Are You Mom Enough? (leggotunglei808.wordpress.com)
- Q&A with Jamie Lynne Grumet (dhamma4mama.com)
- Time cover shows mom breastfeeding 3-year-old (staradvertiser.com)
- Time cover shows mom breastfeeding 3-year-old (seattletimes.nwsource.com)