Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting Educated=Guilt

I went to class today, the subject was on attachment. After class discussion and reading the text, I caught myself in deadly thoughts. Attachment: a strong emotional tie that involves feelings of security. How do children become attached? By the responsitivity of their parents. In other words, the more appropriately responsive a parent is, the more securely attached the infant is. So, when I allow the Queen to cry for a few minutes before picking her up because I need to finish preparing dinner, some household chore, or homework I am not responsive?! Then Mary Ainsworth explains that parents who hover too much have infants who exhibit insecure-avoidant (or A Type) attachments. Now, how do I know if I hover too much?!
I have, of course, encountered this theory many times throughout the course of my major (namely in ALL of my classes), but it has never hit me quite as strongly because, I did not have a baby at home. I now wonder if I am being a good enough parent.
My major does emphasize the importance of the imperfect parent. This is just a way for parents to realize that they will not be perfect in every situation. What matters overall is doing their best.
Right now, the Queen has a cold. I have been getting, on average, 3-4 hours of sleep at night. My patience is at a 2.5 on a 5-point scale. I usually can lovingly handle the Queen's cries by comforting her through my calm demeanor. However, at this point I am barely containing my own tears, tears of frustration. This may sound ridiculous, but once one has gone through nights without sleep they will understand exactly what I mean.
What do I do with all the infant development information I have learned? Am I to constantly allow myself to feel guilty for not doing things perfectly or recognize that even theorists were imperfect in their parenting? I think that I will opt to go with the second option. I know that I am doing my best. I also know that I can do better. This is why I make the goal to start every day fresh. This week I have had to make a concentrated effort in order to have fresh days, but it has paid off. I have been able to keep my patience on a pretty high plane, all things considering.
In conclusion, I am positive that the Queen will be securely attached to both me and her father. We avoid over stimulating her, and respond to her needs within a reasonable amount of time (if it isn't 3 am). Besides, I love her and put forth my best effort. Thank you Mary Ainsworth for your contributions in infant development, I really do appreciate them. Heck, at least I am learning a great deal about what I will not do. Those items, my friends, will have to wait for another day.

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