Attachment Parenting Editorial Cartoon

Editorial Cartoon: Attachment Parenting

Today’s editorial cartoon is inspired by Time Magazines cover story on what is known as Attachment Parenting and the controversial cover photo.  Here it is in case you missed it (Click image for a Time Q&A with the mom)

I guess this image has caused some controversy both from the side who think letting your almost 4 year old still breastfeed and the attachment parenting advocates who think that this does not show the nurturing aspects of the practice.  Forbes Magazine has a great round up of different articles on the subject.

So what are your thoughts??  Good idea, bad?  How long should a kid sleep in the same bed as their parents and/or breastfeed in your opinion?

Happy Mothers Day…in that honor I’ll share with you this ditty I posted on G+


Charity Challenge Update

Week 2 Breakdown:

$10 for Using ME in their Cartoon –

$10 Blog about the Challenge

$5 Adding me to Blog Roll or Adding Banner

$1 for ever new follower on Google Plus at

359 NEW FOLLOWERS in a week.

Which gives us a week 2 total of ………$444 and a grand total of $926…Holy Crap I almost hit the goal.


I had 2 people donate money to Crayons2Computers in honor of Bearman Cartoons

Liz Krane – $25

Red – $25

So I will be matching those and last week’s donations with $105 of my own at the end of the month

Please let me know if I missed anyone and if you want to get involved click on the image below.

Bearman Cartoons Charity Challenge 2012

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106 Responses to “Attachment Parenting Editorial Cartoon”

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  1. Red says:

    Glad to help, Bearman. And your comic is not far off. You would be amazed at the sniveling and lack of independence. At best, my estimation is this backfires more than 50% of the time and produces bratty, entitled, never-to-blame adults.

    Rock on,

    • Bearman says:

      I like your scientific data guesstimation…though it would be more believable if you would have said 53% haha

    • Wolfmother says:

      It is up to the mother and child to decide till when breastfeeding is appropriate. I have yet to see a teenager breastfeed or develop some sort pathology because of their nursing relationship with their mother. In actuality, research studies done on the healthy development of emotional intelligence actually supports parenting practices that are child-led in terms of length, as it honors the individual child’s development needs. Prematurely forcing any behaviour on a child is what leads to issues with independence among other psychological dysfunctions.

      The concept that children are “too dependent” on their parents because of length of breastfeeding or show emotional connections to them doesn’t make any sense either. It ignores all tangible studies done on the healthy development of child psychology. For example, the generation that is growing into adults right now were mostly formula fed and were generally parented through traditional behaviours like punitive discipline and forced independence which has now been proven to be psychologically damaging. If you look to the level of dysfunctional relationships people have today, as well as issues with anxiety, depression, lack of empathy, etc; you can very well see that there is an alarming pattern.

      If a child is not allowed to be dependent on their caregivers, as is developmentally appropriate, to meet that need they will find it elsewhere like emotionally bonding with objects like stuffed animals, soothers, bottles, etc. They then develop coping mechanisms in order to deal with the anxiety of not being able to ‘trust’ the first people in their lives, thus affecting all future relationships. It’s alarming to think about but most psychological issues develop during childhood (barring any trauma at a later date), when the brain is being hardwired to perform a certain way which is why it is important for caregivers to be aware of what is actually healthy in terms of parenting behaviours.

      Children are often blamed for unsavory behaviours but they learn them foremost from the people they grow up with, making the adults responsible for their behaviours. That means how children are treated and supported matters greatly. Every ‘bratty’ child I have met had equally inappropriately behaving parents from who the child learned to adapt to. The are many variables that can create dysfunctional children and none of them develop from meeting their emotional needs, quite the opposite in fact.

  2. Deb says:

    What Red said.
    As for me, 4 months is long enough to breast feed my kids, and sleeping in bed with me never happened, outside of my time spent in the hospital when I gave birth to them. They are both healthy, happy, well rounded grown men now.

    • Bearman says:

      I just wonder how the dad feels about his kids between him and his wife in bed when he wants to get it on.

      • Deb says:

        See, that’s another problem it causes for that senseless over pampering!

        If women didn’t let their kids sleep in bed with them in the first place they wouldn’t have to find out that he doesn’t like it.

  3. That pose is not realistic. It’s there to sell the magazine nothing more. A tiny baby needs feeding whenever it is hungry. A walker can be put off with cheerios or some type of semi solid snack usually until you get home. If you’re on a long trip or something and you’re trying to put him to sleep you do it discreetly. It’s usually over for those older babies in a matter of minutes, so there would be no reason for anyone ever to strike a pose like that.

    The bearman cartoon, however, is a metaphor for how some moms (who may or may not have breastfed at all or had precious little junior in their bed) just can’t seem to let him grow up. Parents who hover over their college graduate’s first job interview are not unheard of.

    • Bearman says:

      Colleen, as I mentioned the attachment parenting group felt like you did that the pose was just for shock value and nothing close to what they would do in real life.

      When I was in high school the only hovering around jobs my dad did was asking “Did you get your ass out and apply today?”

  4. First, your cartoon response to the Time cover was right on the mark and too funny. Personally, I breastfed The Demon Seed for three months. It only requires one month for a baby to receive all of the antibodies, etc from the mother. Mothers who let their kids breastfeed until they’re five, and still let the kid sleep in the bed have a more serious problem than the very nice euphemism Attachment Parenting. Think the DSM would place it under the category of bugf**k crazy.

    Second, cracked up at your Mother’s Day cartoon. Goes both ways hehehehehe
    You rawk as always.

    • Bearman says:

      haha the Demon Seed.

      DSM?? You can’t use those things and assume I know what that means.

      So you had ex boyfriends that thought they were your mother??

  5. duncanr says:

    I think this sort of behaviour is quite sad. I see it as an example of a woman so lacking is self-esteem that she defines her ‘value’ as an individual solely (or largely) in terms of her role as a ‘mother’ and hence seeks to prolong her child’s dependency on her as long as possible

    Continuing to breast-feed her 4yr old has got nothing to do with the psychological well-being of the lad and all to do with satisfying the psychological needs of the mother

  6. I like how the student is pointing where to go.
    About the TIME cover, ew.

  7. George says:

    We were just debating this at my mother-in-law’s home last night. I personally feel that there should be a cut-off point somewhere down the line for these kids. If you wanna continue spoiling your kids, do like my mom did: cut the crust off my sandwiches, wash my clothes, make my bed, and throw money at me until I moved out at the tender age of 43. 😀

    • Bearman says:

      By 5 I was making my own bed or getting fined $.10 for not doing it. By 1st grade I either could use my allowance and buy the hot meal at school or I could pack my lunch (my mother didn’t do it) the night before and save my allowance money for myself. By 12 I knew how to run the washing machine.

      Damn G you were coddled. We need to talk to your parents.

      • George says:

        I was an only child who grew up next door to his grandparents, so Pfffft…!

        I had to escape just to move out to California. 🙂

        • Bearman says:

          You moved from your parents house to your wife’s house. and I have seen the pictures on FB…she coddles you too much..hahah

    • Jande says:

      Oh, George! Too hilarious! <3

  8. Friggin Loon says:

    Attention Dr Phil. Dr Phil, to the front desk please!!!!

  9. nursemyra says:

    I breastfed both my sons until they were a year old. Quite frankly I loved the big firm bouncy breasts I had 🙂

  10. I think that attachment parenting is not the way to go. as another reader said it will just produce bratty, entitled, never-to-blame adults.

    • Bearman says:

      I am not a parenting expert but from the outside, I would agree.

    • Madam says:

      Actually the evidence disagrees. I’m part of an AP group (attachment parenting) and none of the kids are any more or less bratty, entitled or ‘never-to-blame’ than any of the other kids I know.

      • maybe it is just me and I certainly mean no disrespect. But a child over the age of one should not be breast feeding and the average time is stated as 6 months. Unless there is some medical reason. In this day in age I do believe to each his own, but don’t publicize things to get attention. It will only hurt the child when he gets older. It is the tech age, and that child will be ridiculed if his classmates ever find out and all it will take is a quick google search. People are too media crazy for their 15 mins of fame. Bearman Delete if you see fit. I probably shouldn’t hit submit but here I go.

        • Madam says:

          The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of two years for optimal immunity to build up and the American Association of Pediatrics recommends at least one year. Unfortunately there is so much widespread mis representation and mis information about breastfeeding that ‘advertising’ the realities around it are very very important. (Although the TIME image is ridiculous. NO ONE breastfeeds that way.) The benefits of ‘extended’ breastfeeding (meaning over one year) are important too –, if you want to find out more.

          As you say, to each his own, but the research and the facts don’t change based on our personal opinions. (And it’s lovely to be able to have a respectful conversation about it, so thanks 🙂

          • Bearman says:

            Madam thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear from a proponents perspective.

            Isn’t it a wide disparity though from the WHO organization’s recommendation of two years and the AAP’s reco of 1 year?

            In either case, I think we are talking about the benefits of beyond either of that time especially in developed countries.

          • Madam says:

            @Bearman, there’s no reply link on your comment.

            If by disparity you mean the difference between 1/2 and 4, well… yes, there is a difference, but there’s also a difference in the way they nurse. I’ve never nursed a four year old, so can’t talk from experience. With my 2.5 though, I know that for her, nursing is less about nutrition (now that she’s eating normally again – see my other comment further down) than it is about not feeling replaced by the baby, or about being calm or about ‘healing’ falls and scrapes and so on. My guess is that at four it’s a way of reconnecting between mom and child. And that means it doesn’t happen every two hours, like it does with a new born. Before our baby was born 9 weeks ago, my daughter was only nursing to sleep at nap time and when she woke in the morning – her choice. As they get older, it becomes less.

            The NUTRITIONAL benefits of breastmilk beyond 1 or 2 years are of more value in developing countries than developed, I’d agree with you, but if you follow the link I shared above, you’ll see there are many more benefits to breastfeeding (or skin to skin contact if a child is bottle fed) than just nutrition.

            Thanks for allowing me to share ‘from the other side’. 🙂

          • Bearman says:

            Sorry…I only have embedded comments down to 5 levels.

            I think you are referring to the difference many of us are talking about. You are weaning your kids off it while in the Time Magazine case it is ongoing.

          • Madam says:

            I’m not really weaning my kids though – I’m just allowing them to feed when they need. For my girl, that was diminishing around 2.5, but for others it may take longer. 🙂

  11. No Mom! I said ‘HISTORY’ NOT ‘ANTHROPOLOGY’!
    Back across the quad! And make it snappy!
    (seriously – I have no clue, but this seems all kind of off to me)

  12. DadaHyena says:

    I actually thought your cartoon was comment on how much ‘kids’ these days need to be supported by their parents before I read the rest of the post. It’s kind of sad but true.

    As for the Time cover, I can only imagine the line of boys who wanted to ‘audition’ for that photo-shoot.

    • Bearman says:

      I can only imagine the MEN who wanted to audition for that photo shoot.

      • DadaHyena says:

        It took ten security guards to drag George Ford out of that studio!

        • jynksie says:

          Those security giards were hired by me, so I could get to the head of that line without interruption! [smirk]

          I have to say, having seen the after effects of this “attachment parenting” first hand [relative who raised 2 children], it totally ruins a child in adulthood. They can’t function and by function, I mean form normal attachments to other people, or understand independence. I think mothers who raise their children in this manner are compensating for a lack of something in their own life and unknowingly destroy their child by using this to fill a void.

          I’m a firm believer people need to be screened before procreating! I was screened, then I was neutered! My wife knew one of me was enough! [wink]

          • Bearman says:

            hahah…so was it your wife that did the screening? You are like me….we can’t be replicated so why even bother.

  13. Scott says:

    Your cartoon is right on!

    “Time” may have been a reliable source of information in the distant past. But now it’s crap. Of all the news mags, it is definitely the most sensationalistic. It’s had bizarre, sensationalist covers for years, so I’m not completely surprised by this one.

  14. Brandon says:

    Lol, well done, sir.

  15. Lisa says:

    I think he needs to be weened at age 4. If not, time to put him down! Seriously, kids need to become independent in little ways, with mom to fall back on. Creeeeeepy. Your cartoon reminds me of how I was in college with my mother. EEPS!

    • Bearman says:

      Who carried who??

    • Madam says:

      The ‘average’ age of weaning world wide is 7. It’s only in the ‘western’ world that we think its weird or creepy

      • Well I think you are a bit off for the age 7. this article by the NACD states the average world wide is 4.2 years old, and The World Health Organization states that babies should be breastfed for at least two years, which is the average age for the immune system’s maturation.

        so weird creepy and true, maybe many of us are uninformed and also We like our alcohol so I can see why many choose to stop. But if they were more informed maybe they wouldn’t. who knows.


        • Madam says:

          I’m sorry, I meant to say four, I don’t know why I hit seven. But it’s also true that if in most of the world we know, if people DO breastfeed it’s for less than a year, so the average of four means elsewhere someone else is breastfeeding for a lot longer! 🙂 Also, the WHO says FOR AT LEAST two years, as you said, thereby implying that it goes on longer than two years.

          As an aside, my two and a half daughter was almost weaned when her sister was born, and her ‘regression’ involved not eating, so it was a huge comfort to me that she was still getting enough calories and nutrition and I didn’t have to worry about that on top of a newborn. But then I also don’t nurse her on camera 🙂

          You are able to drink when you breastfeed, you just have to time it properly. Unless you’re planning on outrageous drunkenness, in which case you shouldn’t really be looking after a child anyway. We tend to say if you’re tipsy, baby will be tipsy, if you’re drunk, baby will be drunk, if you’re hungover, baby will be hungover (which I doubt will be much fun!!)

          • Bearman says:

            haha…no I doubt it would be much fun for the baby or for the parent if baby is hungover.

            Question: Do all these studies take into account the underdeveloped areas of the world where a healthy alternative to breast milk is not readily available. I would think those countries would skew the time frame to a longer period.

          • Interesting question Bearman I would like to see the answer to that one. **Question: Do all these studies take into account the underdeveloped areas of the world where a healthy alternative to breast milk is not readily available. I would think those countries would skew the time frame to a longer period.

          • Madam says:

            Good question. I’m not sure that they take that into account specifically, but if you think that realistically a child could wean onto solids from around six months and be totally off all types of milk by about two, there’s no NUTRITIONAL imperative for breastfeeding (remembering that for breastmilk to be optimal mom needs to be eating nutritiously too)a child that can eat a healthy, balanced diet, so technically, there’s no reason why the lack of a healthy alternative to breastmilk should skew the time frame, I don’t think. Extended breastfeeding isn’t about breastmilk still being the child’s main source of nutrition, so feeding for longer shouldn’t really make that much of a difference to the stats, iykwim?

            Also, the problem in developing countries isn’t so much the lack of a breastmilk alternative (companies such as Nestle make sure of that,sometimes by very unethical means), but has more to do with the lack of clean drinking water, which can be deadly for babies and young children.

        • Madam says:

          Ah! I knew I’d read 7 somewhere: As recommended by the WHO, breastfeeding should ideally continue beyond infancy, but this is not the cultural norm in the United States and requires ongoing support and encouragement. It has been estimated that a natural weaning age for humans is between two and seven years. Family physicians should be knowledgeable regarding the ongoing benefits to the child of extended breastfeeding, including continued immune protection, better social adjustment, and having a sustainable food source in times of emergency.

          Anyway, nap time is nearly over, kids to entertain … thanks @Bearman for the chat.

  16. Scholar Mel says:

    A lot of women give the opinion from a mother’s point of view. I want to give it from the boys point of view because I have been one of those.

    I would have been embarrassed as a 4 year old to be on my mother’s boob.

  17. Binky says:

    I think college age is a good cutoff point as you don’t want to spoil your kids too much.

  18. lisleman says:

    I subscribe to Time. What a stupid cover picture. The article on it is not too bad but left me confused about the details.

  19. Jande says:

    I have to agree about the Times Cover. Ridiculously sexualizing in a sensationalistic manner.

    It’s wonderful if you can breast-feed your kids until they self-wean, if you have the time, the support, and the privacy, and can respect the comfort levels of other people around you. I wouldn’t eat beef in front of a devout East Indian person either.

    You can still breastfeed an older child if they need it (and some do –lactose intolerant kids for example, kids who have, through no one’s fault, experienced emotional trauma) without turning them into entitled brats. Conversely, there are enough of those entitled brats around that never were breast fed at all. It’s how you raise a child, not how long you breast-feed them.

  20. James says:

    That can’t be good for her back.

  21. Awesome comics! I’ve just subscribed to your feed and I’ll keep up with them.

    Best regards. 8)

    • Bearman says:

      Pensador…thanks so much. I have you in my Webbie Folk circle on G+. Thanks for having cartoon translations for us dumb Americans..haha

  22. Bo Lumpkin says:

    I’m actually shocked…does Time still have a magazine. I thought they moved it to TV and cut it up in increments, 20/20 60 Minutes, NewsHour etc. Maybe the Saturday Evening Post will make a comeback too.
    It is time for mama’s to quit molly coddlin’ their boys and start makin’ men out of ’em. Kids can’t even play ball any more without their parents gettin’ involved. Kids need to learn some independence and learn how deal with other kids without a lot of adult intervention.

    • Bearman says:

      I would like to see Life magazine make a comeback. I’ll have to look to see if they still have an online presence.

      My parents only went to games when it was their turn to drive the shift. Now my brothers/sisters kids, they make they entire family go to every game….boring.

  23. Jande says:

    Bearman, I realised that I forgot to say how much I admire your cartoon for this one. I laughed out loud when I saw it, so well does it depict the almost literal “bending over backwards” a lot of parents go through with their clingy, fearful,living through their kids instead of their own lives. You show just how much of disservice this kind of over-parenting does to both parties, and the cartoon stands alone even without the help of the Time cover. Well done, sir!

    • Bearman says:

      Thanks Jande. I have been trying to give my characters a little more motion rather than being so stiff.

      I only included the Time cover in case anyone had not seen it. Thanks so much.

  24. starla says:

    Well shoot I guess I didn’t add you to my blog roll in the right way. I did add you, but maybe I needed to cut and paste the logo. I’m not sure, anyway looks like you have a good turn out.

    The cartoon is hystarical I laughed out loud chotled and snorted. :+)

  25. Tyler says:

    The college years picture is awesome. I’m sure some parents would love that.

  26. Mark Stokes says:

    Mom, back up a bit, I can’t reach the beer bong!

  27. TEDeBEAR says:

    Nice one brother bear you scored 100% with this one. Breast feeding till four does seem a bit much but at the end of the day it’s up to those parents to choose how it all goes down in their house hold. I guess the helicopter moms were the precursor to this new over securing/protective menace.

    • Bearman says:

      Thanks. I think it isn’t just the breastfeeding itself, it is the possibility of going beyond that to the point that the kid can’t socialize correctly.

  28. Madam says:

    For the record, I’m an attachment parent, and I carry my babies in a sling and breastfeed etc etc, and I thought the cartoon was funny.

    • Bearman says:

      Thank you. Hope you weren’t turned off by the commentary. We like to have free reign with discourse here but try not to offend each other directly at the same time.

      • Madam says:

        🙂 It’s a sad reality that I’m quite used to the commentary on this subject and fortunately don’t take much personally 🙂 I think like in ANYTHING, you have people who do even the unusual ‘normally’ and people who do it to extremes. Ironically, the TIMES cover didn’t do either ‘side’ any favours.

        Your drawings are great 🙂

  29. Tony Mcgurk says:

    With a mum like that who’d wanna stop??? That’s a great transport method & definitely saves on petrol costs

  30. Tom Andrews says:

    This picture did much more harm than good. People think attachment parenting is something different than it is.

    Think of this. There was almost no one doing attachment parenting 18 or more years ago, yet everyone is sure that that is what’s wrong with Today’s young adults and college students. How can that be?

    It’s just about helping them feel secure. Not doing everything for them. We did attachment parenting for both our children, and I think so far it’s served them well. It’s early yet. But when we dropped our 3 year old at his first day of pre school, he said “bye mom bye dad” and ran past all the other screaming and crying kids and barely looked back.

    • Bearman says:

      I am not sure. It may not be a great representation of what attachment parenting is/is not but it was successful in getting people (including me) talking about it. And now I have you here to offer a different opinion which is great.

      Congratulations on raising an obviously well adjusted youngster.

  31. I think this is my new favorite! Absolutely hilarious! I tossed my baby carrier years ago and have no intention of ever using it again!

  32. Androgoth says:

    Keep up the great work Bearman,
    you’re lucky I didn’t attempt a
    drawing as my sketching skills
    are… well… crap really 🙁 lol

    Excellent Cartoons you have here 🙂


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