Attachment Parenting and Unschooling


My first child was a perfect baby. She ate and played and smiled, and then when she was tired, she put herself to sleep. She even slept through the night. I thought I was a perfect mother. (What was everyone else doing wrong?) But my second child wasn’t quite so obliging. Cracks began to appear in my perfect mother image. My third child? When he joined our family, all my high opinions of myself fell in a heap. He had no routine whatsoever. It’s just as well I’d discovered attachment parenting by this time.

Yes, my ideas about parenting had changed. I could see that fulfilling a child’s needs, however much work that involves, is much more important than getting her into a routine and being able to boast, “I have a perfect child. She even sleeps through the night!”

A week or so ago, I shared an attachment parenting story from my archive on Facebook: How to Have Demanding Children Who Rule the House. And then I began thinking about attachment parenting and unschooling. Does one lead naturally to the other? I decided to mull over some ideas on this topic in this week’s podcast.

In episode 54:

  • I talk about our past week. Are we ‘finishing up’ as Christmas approaches?
  • I tell you about my older at-home daughters and their university experiences, as well as their plans for the Christmas break.

I also discuss the following questions:

  • Why do attachment parenting and unschooling sometimes suffer from a negative image?
  • Will attachment parenting result in demanding children who rule the house?
  • What is the connection between attachment parenting and unschooling?
  • Is unkindness ever justified?
  • And what is the main message I’d like to share via my blog and podcast

So this week’s episode is called Attachment Parenting and Unschooling. I hope you’ll listen!

Podcast Notes

Blog posts


I’m going to take a break from podcasting over Christmas. (I might make one more episode this year.) I want to spend a few weeks concentrating on my family, and pondering some ideas for next year’s episodes. If there’s anything you’d particularly like me to talk about in a future episode, please let me know in a comment. I’d love to hear from you!Thank you for listening!

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  1. Reply

    Thank you Sue, once again I'm glad to have made the time to come and listen.
    God bless.

    1. Reply


      You must have listened to two of my podcasts today. Thank you! And thank you for your kind feedback. May God bless you too!

    2. Reply

      My husband took the kids out for most of the day so I treated myself to both podcasts 🙂

    3. Reply


      How kind of you to spend your precious free time listening to me. Thank you!

  2. Reply

    Another lovely Podcast Sue. Your love for your family shines through. xxx

    1. Reply


      I am so blessed. We all are. We have families who love us and we love them. I am so grateful for the life we are able to live. Thank you so much for listening to my podcast. I appreciate your comment very much!

  3. Reply

    Sue, I do think that attachment parenting and unschooling go together, and I think that those philosophies or lifestyles do come easily or seem more natural for certain personality types. I nursed my babies "on demand" and through the night and for waaaay too long by some people's standards. But it helped me bond with my babies so much. Weaning was a bittersweet time for me.

    1. Reply

      Sue ElvisAmy,

      It sounds like you parented very much like me. Yes, weaning was bittersweet for me too! I was sad when my children no longer wanted to breastfeed, when they were ready to move on. At the same time, I knew we were both ready for the next stage.

      You must have listened to two podcasts this week. Thank you!

  4. Reply

    Hi Sue!
    As my new first born babe sleeps on my chest in a sling, I am excited to have the chance to write to you. I found you through your podcast via a search I typed in for "co-sleeping," and this was the first of your episodes that I listened to; I have been like an addict ever since then (within 3 days I've already devoured 15 episodes- I like the company of your voice in my quiet home!). I was feeling discouraged about how my husband and I are parenting (attachment style) since everyone seems to tell us we are setting ourselves up for an impossibly difficult child, and this scares us sometimes. There is VERY little support in America for doing things alternatively, like attachment parenting and unschooling, so to hear another person talk positively about it (a Christian at that) is SO reassuring. It is especially exciting for me to hear that you had a positive experience raising your babes like this, and have 8 healthy and loving children… and you survived it (some nights I wonder if I can)! I was homeschooled a bit and my husband and I are planning on taking the un-schooling path with our family too. I just love the picture you paint of your days… I love hearing the details- I can imagine me and my family living similarly and I can't wait! I hope you keep podcasting; to me I feel like you are a dear friend reading a comforting story to me every time I listen to your podcast. Thank you from the bottom of my weary heart! God Bless you, <3 Elizabeth

    1. Reply


      I'm so pleased to hear from you. Congratulations on the birth of your first child! Oh what a precious time for you and your husband. And a tiring time too! Yes, I remember being bleary-eyed and wondering how I was going to make it through the day. I wonder if you get the chance to snuggle up on the bed with your beautiful baby during the day for a nap.

      It's very hard going down a different track from the majority. Everyone is quick to tell us we're wrong. Maybe they don't want to consider the fact we might have chosen a better way. Have courage! Attachment parenting is a positive experience, both for children and parents. I will admit there was the odd day when I felt a tiny bit envious of my non-attachment parenting friends. When I was overtired, I had my doubts about what I was doing. Surely everyone else was more sensible than me. I could put my baby in a cot. She'd get used to it. Perhaps it would be good for her. I'd have my arms free. I could do all those other things I wanted to do. But I persevered. I knew other things could wait. Nothing was more important than seeing to the needs of my baby.

      I experienced so many wonderful times which overshadow the difficult ones: snuggling next to my child in bed, waking in the morning to see them next to me, being so close I could breathe in their delicious scent, watching them grow into secure and happy children, including them in all parts of my life… I didn't miss a moment. I'm still enjoying every moment I can with my children. Things just keep getting better!

      I'm so glad you feel reassured after listening to my story. I imagine you listening to my voice in your home across the world while cuddling your beautiful baby. What an honour for me to be included in your life! Thank you!

      Elizabeth, thank you for making me feel like a dear friend. Your words have brought joy to my day. They encouraged me to record this week's podcast. I've just finished recording it. I haven't listened to it yet. Hopefully it's okay. I'll edit it and publish it tomorrow.

      Elizabeth, I'm glad we are now friends. Enjoy this precious time with your baby. Snuggle up and love him! I hope we can talk again soon.

      God bless you!

    2. Reply


      I think you are so right: It's much easier to 'stay on track' if we feel supported. We need to connect with other like-minded people who will encourage us, who will remind us what is important when we feel like giving up. I used to belong to a breastfeeding support group. I made a lot of good friends while attending meetings and later, I became a counsellor with the group. Perhaps you have similar groups where you live? How about the La Leche League? If you haven't got a local group you could connect with other mothers via their Facebook group.

      Books are good too. Have you got any on the topic of attachment parenting? I used to have a book by William and Martha Sears which I liked very much. I just did some googling and discovered the book is still available!

      I found some articles about attachment parenting too:

      Of course, you can stay in contact with me. You are very kind wanting to share our adventures.

      Elizabeth, you can do it, I agree!

      I hope everything is well with you and your sweet baby.

      God bless you, and sending you love, Sue

    3. Reply

      Thank you so much for your reply, Sue! I was so excited to see that you'd written back to me… I means a lot! It's very encouraging to hear you say that you also sometimes felt envious of other new mothers' freedoms as well as felt doubtful at times… I really don't like those feelings- but it helps to know that they are shared. It can be hard to stay the track… but by "surrounding" myself with like-minded and supportive friends such as yourself I know I will be able to do it!

      I do LOVE the snuggles I share with my son, and the good moments far outweigh the tough ones… but at least now I know where to go listen when I need to hear reassurance (and to get a glimpse into the fabulous style of life that my family also will some day also enjoy! I love hearing the details of your adventures and can't wait for my own with my babes)

      Thank you again, and I'm sure we will chat again!

      God bless you 🙂

      With love,

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