Sunday, June 3rd, 2012
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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