Are Caucasians More Likely To Do Attachment Parenting?

A year and a half.

By using my administrator tools for The Dadabase last week, I discovered that some random person found The Dadabase by Googling, “Why do Caucasian parents share their bed with their kids?”

Accordingly, I want to thank that mysterious parent of Asian, African, or Middle Eastern descent for helping me realize something about myself:

I’m a Caucasian (mostly) and therefore I’m more likely to be involved in attachment parenting. That includes, but is not limited to, the following:

The anti-circumcision movement, co-sleeping, natural childbirth, home birth, breastfeeding, homeschooling, support of organic and local foods, and babywearing.

Until this week, I never put it together that attachment parenting is largely a white people thing. And when I say “white people” I don’t mean it in neither a superior nor a derogatory way.

It was about two years ago that I read the satirical blog and book, Stuff White People Like, which helped me differentiate the cultural quirks of Caucasian Americans compared to the minorities.

(Granted, most of us are aware that Caucasians are the minority of the world and eventually will soon no longer be the majority of America.)

So to quench my curiosity on the connection between Caucasians and attachment parenting, I asked my readers, via The Dadabase Facebook wall. The most interesting answer I received was this:

“I’ve been a nanny/caregiver for over 20 years and your question about parenting styles of different races is interesting. I have seen different styles between the white, Hispanic, black and Asian people I’ve worked for. The co-sleeping for example was allowed in the white and Hispanic families but not in the black families; VERY prohibited in the Asian family. The co-sleeping families even wanted their children to sleep with me when staying overnight but the other families would have flipped at that suggestion.”

There. It’s confirmed. Caucasians are more likely to be involved with attachment parenting. (See Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character in the movie Away We Go, between 1:25 and 1:40 of the clip featured at the bottom of this article.)

But as some pointed out on The Dadabase Facebook wall, it’s not so much about race as it is about culture. Good point.

I’m in the middle of reading an awesome book called Microtrends, which opened my mind a bit to something I never really had thought about before:

“Race scholars contend that race is an experience, not a fact.”

Here in Nashville, it is quite common to see Chinese girls adopted by Caucasian parents, who interestingly pass onto to them their Southern accents. As those girls grow into teens and adults, are they truly Asian in any cultural sense whatsoever?

Am I any less “white” just because my maternal grandmother is a dark-complected Mexican? Technically, I’m something like 75% white. But the fact I eat hot sauce with every single meal is something I picked up from my Caucasian dad, not my Hispanic grandma.

The real question is, how culturally Caucasian am I? If it’s in regards to Caucasians and their link to attachment parenting, then I would say I’m a lot less white than I used to be.

My wife and I started out being all about having a natural birth, exclusively breastfeeding, using cloth diapers, mostly co-sleeping… all that good stuff. Yeah, none of that actually worked out for us.

It’s pretty funny now; seeing that I’m huge advocate of incorporating the “cry it out” method.

But the three of us did become vegetarians along the way. So score a few “Caucasian points” for me on that one.

But over all, if attachment parenting is a Caucasian thing, then…

I’m turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so!

 

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  1. by Sarah

    On June 4, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I like this quote, “I’m a lot less white than I used to be.” :)

    I do wonder if the Caucasians in America can’t be split in to groups geographically. I find that my white Californian cousins hold different ideas from my white Virginian family. We’re more like my black uncle’s family in Atlanta than we are my Cali cousins.

    What’s more, I find that whenever standup comics do an impression of white people it’s just about completely wrong. I’ve never met a white person who acts the way they portray them. Maybe those characters are more up north?

    Nice article :)

  2. by Jessica

    On June 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Actually a study from a few years ago said that African American infants were four times more likely to share a bed with their parents: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21053702

  3. by Jewel Reed

    On June 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    This is absurd! White folks were taught all of these things by other cultures! smh!

  4. by Jewel

    On June 27, 2012 at 11:35 am

  5. by Kim

    On June 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Yeah, I agree that there is a perception that AP is a white thing, but that’s because in recent decades, a certain demographic of white parents have discovered the ancien traditions of many cultures of color, realized the value in them and started to emulate them. Nothing at all wrong with that; quite a lot right with that, actually. But, now that AP has started to become more popular, those white folks who are newer to it have learned it or been turned on to it by other white folks. So, it seems to them to be a white thing. At the same time, cultures of color have been disconnected from the traditions their ancestors practiced for eons, partly just due to the assimilation that happens when you are a minority in the country and partly through quite purposeful oppressive methods employed by whites in power during slavery and the forced relocation and assimilation of native Americans. Yes, I have had some black women react as though surprised when I told them I planned to breastfeed my then unborn child and tell me that they always thought that was something white women did. But, I know even more black women who are “crunchy” like me and see it as getting back to their cultural roots, in addition to simply meeting their babies’ needs. AP may have been practiced by more whites than blacks over the last few decades in America, but that’s not the case in the rest of the world and it seems that cultures of color are reclaiming our heritages when it comes to parenting naturally. So, it is definitely NOT a white thing.

  6. by B-girl

    On April 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    We’ll just exclude Africa, Asia, and South America… Where whte people TOOK the idea of AP

  7. by Black mama

    On April 14, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    This is fucking halarious. White people stealing cultures and claiming it as their own… AGAIN. It’d like its their instincts to just steal and claim; whether that be land, culture or parenting traditions. AFIRCANS, ASIANS, AND SOUTH AMERICANS MADE ATTAHCMENT PARENTING, YOU MORON