Mayim Bialik's Parenting Style - Page 2
By Paulette Cohn for JustMommies
JustMommies: In this style of parenting, does the husband have to be even more involved?
Mayim Bialik: Not necessarily. There are single moms who practice Attachment Parenting.
JustMommies: But you mentioned that the children sleep with you, so if you are married…
Mayim Bialik: A lot of people have separate rooms if the husband is sensitive to baby noise and stuff like that. For us, we have one family bed as it were. It is actually two next to each other because there are so many of us now.
JustMommies: Is there an age at which you put the children in a separate room?
Mayim Bialik: Yes. There is an age at which they wean from the bottle and an age at which they don't sleep with you anymore. We are hoping by high school [she jokes]. There is an age at which they desire independence, which a child will exhibit anywhere from age two to six or seven. For us, it has worked really well to follow our kids' lead. Also, if you are a nursing parent, sleeping with your kid is both easy and also facilitates a good milk supply and good bonding. That was also part of the motivation.
The idea is if you foster healthy dependence from the time they realize they are not in your body anymore, if you teach them that the world is a safe place because you are there, they will expect others to be sensitive to them as well. And, they will behave appropriately in terms of the things that they do to get their needs met. Hopefully, they will be more sensitive and more on the gentle side, because they won't need to scream and using crying as their first form of communication. That is what we found with our kids: Crying is their last form of communication. If we miss the early cues of hunger and sleep, even with our four year old, it usually ends up with a much louder communication. It has worked for us, but it doesn't work for every family, it doesn't work for every temperament of kid, but as I said, for our two, it seems to suit them very well. And it works for our family. Again, everything has to work for your family.
JustMommies: Because of the closeness to adults, do they become verbal much younger, so they can verbalize their needs?
Mayim Bialik: I don't know. Some people say that children whose needs are met this way … our oldest son signed, we taught him some signs … but people say that children whose needs are met this way don't need to speak because their needs are anticipated or communicated nonverbally. I don't know that there is a general rule. I make slow-moving, large, quiet people.
JustMommies: Talk a little bit more about how Elimination Communication works. You use cloth diapers and there is a band you put around it?
Mayim Bialik: That is a little trick that a lot of people have started using. You don't want to have to fasten a diaper every time your child goes to the bathroom, which at this age can be once an hour, sometimes more frequently. The idea is babies are born giving signals … that part of our wiring is that we give signals when we are going to go to the bathroom. With our first son, we started looking at those signs at about six months. With our second son, we figured since we were sitting at home and hanging out with him, let's see. He absolutely very early indicated when he was going to go to the bathroom.