How To Discipline Your Children As An Attachment Parent

One of the biggest myths about attachment parenting is that there is no room for boundaries and discipline in the midst of it.

One of the biggest myths about attachment parenting is that there is no room for boundaries and discipline in the midst of it. In truth, disciplining your children as an attachment parent is starkly different from some of the more mainstream modes of discipline. It won’t involve raising your voice or sending your child to a particular room or step.

One of the foundations of being an attachment parent is treating our children the very same way we want them to treat other people. That includes how they treat us too. At the core of this is having respect for our children so that instead of simply commanding it ourselves we show them that respecting other people is normal.
There is no better way to do this than in how we choose to treat our children. Showing them respect helps them to become confident happy individuals and these kinds of children are much more accepting, empathetic and willing to help and listen.
The kind of disciple that attachment parents will exercise will be of a gentle nature. Attachment parenting in general stems from the idea of responding compassionately to your baby’s needs. As they become toddlers, young children and teenagers their needs change but they still require the same level of compassion in how we respond to them.

Being an attachment parent is not about being a permissive parent. As the parent, you will always be in the driver’s seat but your child will feel as though they have an important voice. They will grow to feel like their questions and feelings matter – because they do. Practising a form of gentle discipline is not the same as parenting that is devoid of discipline.
As an attachment parent, you will understand the importance of setting boundaries and teaching your children about consequences as these are lessons and skills that our children require to survive and function in the world. A total lack of discipline would no doubt lead to great difficulties in relationships, schooling and future careers.

Positive discipline involves a great deal of listening. Rather than yelling with frustration an attachment parent is more likely to validate their children’s feelings or thoughts. The answer may still be a firm “no” but there is a big difference in the way that information is being delivered. Children desperately want to be heard and understood and quite often this is more important than the very request itself.

There are many people who will refer to attachment parenting as a kind of “alternative” parenting which goes hand in hand with being a pushover. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As an attachment parent, you are tuned in to your children’s needs in a very sensitive way.
The term “pushover” is so entirely focused on the needs of the parent and it takes the spotlight off the child and their feelings. The kind of gentle discipline that attachment parenting promotes recognises that respect, empathy and love are two-way streets.

Attachment parenting promotes a sense of positive discipline that does not involve harsh punishments and embarrassing our children. Instead, the consequences are respectful and age appropriate. It involves looking at discipline as a long-term goal rather than a knee-jerk reaction to what is happening in that very moment.

Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at


Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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