Known for her role as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS's hit series, The Big Bang Theory, Mayim Bialik is an American actress. Mayim is more than just an actress, like her character Amy Fowler, she is also a neuroscientist. She earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA and also has a minor in Hebrew and Jewish studies. As for her acting career, Mayim started acting in the late 1980's and has taken on many roles since then. Those roles include being a mother of two boys and more recently, becoming an author.
Mayim is a mother of two boys, Miles and Frederick. Miles is now twelve and Frederick is nine. Mayim has drawn a lot of attention to her when it comes to her parenting style. She admits that she parents her children using the attachment parenting technique. Attachment parenting aims to promote the attachment between the mother and child. It involves maximizing the bodily closeness and attachment between mother and child. To provide people with an insight into how she raises her children, Mayim published a book entitled Beyond The Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way. In this book, she explains the reasoning behind why attachment parenting works and how your children can benefit from it.
Using the attachment parenting technique may not be for everyone, however, there are some aspects that are worth trying. Here are 10 things we would try and 10 things we would avoid.
20 TRY: At Home Natural Birth
With the assistance of a midwife and three hours of labor, Mayim’s son, Fred, was born in their living room. Mayim felt like giving birth at home was what she felt to be most comfortable. She believes that a woman's body is meant to give birth, therefore, she had faith that an at home birth was the most reasonable way to have her baby. With her son, Fred, she did admit that despite a three-hour labor, the delivery part was easy and quick. Home births are not for everyone and sometimes they can be very dangerous. It is important that when giving birth at home the couple is equipped with everything they need and know what precautions to take if things take a bad turn. Home births are not unheard of and are actually some mother’s first choice when giving birth.
19 AVOID: Child Attending Home Birth
Not only did Mayim give birth at home, she also gave birth in front of her then-husband and their oldest son. When Fred made his grand entrance into the world, Miles was there, watching in his highchair. To welcome his new brother, he was taken from his highchair and brought to Mayim where he was then told to cut the umbilical cord. Mayim admits that seeing a little blood did freak her son out and he asked that his father finish the job for him. Having your young child witness childbirth can be a little strange and for some traumatizing. This is definitely something most parents do not choose to do. They do not want their other children to witness their sibling coming into the world. Giving them their sibling after they are born, cleaned off, and wrapped up in a blanket is the more popular way.
18 TRY: Must Attend Child When Crying
Mayim stated that you should always attend to your child when they are crying. She believes that when you are sleep training your child and you do not attend to them when they are crying, it goes against "natural mammalian wiring." When you become immune to those cries, you are pushing down strong hormonal instincts to protect and help your child. It is in our nature to help our children when they are in need and a cry for help, it means that they need some attention. Her reasoning for always attending to her children when they are crying is to ensure that they know if they are in need, their mother will be there to help and protect them. She does not want her child to feel like their mother does not care and ignoring their cry could make them feel that way.
17 AVOID: Extending Breastfeeding Past One Year
Breastfeeding is a major topic when it comes to raising children. Mayim opted to not feed her boys any solids until they were a year old. She stated that she nursed her son, Miles, for 26 months. Her youngest, Fred, is now three and she is still breastfeeding him and does not plan to stop anytime soon. She says that breastfeeding her children allows her to make sure they are receiving everything they need immunologically, nutritionally and emotionally. By breastfeeding, she says that it allows the baby to know that their mother knows what they need and it is something seen as valuable for when the child is older. She does not agree when doctors tell mothers that they should give their baby formula at a certain age. Breastfeeding your child when they are no longer an infant is definitely not popular with most mothers.
16 TRY: Wearing Your Baby In A Sling
When it comes to wearing a baby in a sling, Mayim in no stranger, as she is often seen carrying her baby in one. She states that babies want to be held, however, mothers have a life and things to do. To meet everyone’s needs, carrying your baby on your body makes a mother’s life easier. They can have their baby near while going about their day. Mayim believes that it is also the best way for babies to get to know their surroundings. They are given the chance to be aware of what is around them without being confined to a stroller. Another perk of wearing a sling is that they are a lot cheaper than buying a stroller, which these days are becoming so fancy and expensive. However, it is understandable that not every mother is capable of wearing a sling for various reasons.
15 AVOID: Sleeping In The Same Bed
Since the birth of both of her boys, Mayim shares the same bed. With co-sleeping, Mayim believes that mothers are able to get more sleep because if you are breastfeeding your baby or if your baby needs you, the baby is right there for the mother’s convenience. However, sleeping with your children can be very dangerous, especially if the child is an infant. When an infant sleeps on something that is not designed for them, there is a chance that they can become trapped and suffocate. Therefore, when an infant sleeps on an adult mattress, they are at risk of suffocating. The safest places for infants to sleep are in something that is designed for them, such as a crib or bassinet. There is nothing wrong with sleeping with your child, however, it is not recommended.
14 TRY: Always Listen To Your Child
According to Mayim, listening to your child is very important because it allows them to know that their voice matters. Many people can agree with this statement. It is important for a child to use their voice and know that if they express something, their parents will listen. This will allow for a child to be comfortable with communicating things with their parents without the fear of being shut down or not listened to. It opens the line of communication, which is very important for their relationship. Listening to your child at a young age will allow them to learn that when they are older, they will be able to go to their parents and know that their parents will listen to them. Children need to know that they have a voice and that their voice matters.
13 AVOID: Refuse Child Medicine and Antibiotics
Mayim admits that her children have been sick, however, they have never been given any antibiotics. She also has never given them any type of antihistamines, acetaminophen, or cough syrup. She believes that these types of medicine do more harm to children than good. She has also spoken to many other mothers who have taught her other ways to help cure a child when they are sick. She opts for home remedies and more natural ways to help her children when they are ill. Mayim explained a time when one of her sons got sick and to help him get better, she would breastfeed him four times a day. When giving your child medication to help them get better, mothers are always making sure they are safe for children. No one wants to give their child something that can harm them, but sometimes something must be given to make the matter better before it gets worse.
12 TRY: No Day Care or Nannies
Welcoming a child into the world means that as a parent, you are going to be a caregiver for your child. Mayim believes that being a caregiver is a part of the job description of being a parent. It is also a part of being a mammal. With this being said, Mayim does not believe in putting her children in daycare or hiring a nanny to take care of them. She admits that it is hard to be a working mother; therefore, sometimes putting your kid in daycare is the only option. She was fortunate enough that her then-husband would take care of her children while she was away at work. She also believes that putting your child in daycare or hiring a nanny takes away the time you can spend bonding with your child. In recent times, many mothers opted to not be with their children every second of the day and they do not mind having a nanny or sending their children to daycare.
11 AVOID: Everything You Need For Your Child Is In Your Heart
In regards to the notion that Mayin does not give her children any medicine when they are sick means that she opts for home remedies to provide a cure. She believes that everything you need for your child is in your home and your heart. There may be some truth to this, however, there are times when medical help is needed. Not everything can be cured by a good nights sleep and sometimes, over-the-counter medicine can help avoid situations before they get worse. It is understandable to believe that some medicine can harm your child, however, in their time of need, something being done is better than doing nothing. There is a good chance that if it is not safe for your child, a doctor would not recommend it and if a doctor is recommending it, then it must be necessary. Giving your child love when they are sick only helps half the battle.
10 TRY: Use Gentile Discipline
When it comes to disciplining their children, Mayim and the children's father opted for a gentle approach. They do not yell or scream at their children when they misbehave. They believe that using the gentle approach is more beneficial for the child in their adolescence years. If you yell or scream at your child, your child will grow up resenting their parents because they feel that they were mistreated. If you take the more gentle approach your child is more willing to correct their wrongdoing, thus, never repeating that action. Mayim also does not put her children in time out or does not spank them. She believes that these actions do not help the child in any way and does not correct the child's behavior. This gentle approach does not sit well with most parents and some parents believe a little force does not hurt.
9 AVOID: Child Is In Charge
One of the most criticized aspects of attachment parenting is that the child is in charge. Mayim has developed a child-centered philosophy for her household. She says that parents today have been raised in a world where parent's needs and happiness are put on hold when they have a child. Mayim wants to make it known that just because her household is child-centered and the needs of her children come first, does not mean that her children run her house and she still has a life. Letting your child be in charge is about being near them all the time and not encouraging early independence. Instead, allow your children to grow and embrace natural progression. It is important that her children always feel like their needs are being met so they do not go elsewhere to satisfy those needs.
8 TRY: Diaper-Less Potty Training
This may sound like a lot of work and a lot of cleaning up, but diaper-less potty training is definitely worth trying. Not using diapers when potty training your child makes them know that they can no longer rely on a diaper to keep everything contained in their pants. If your child is not on a potty than there is going to be a huge mess to clean up. This allows for the child to understand the concept of using a potty a lot quicker. Children who are used to wearing a diaper are a lot less willing to use the potty because they feel like there is no need to. This method of parenting can be portrayed as unconventional, however, it is a huge part of attachment parenting. There is no right way to potty train your child and it has not been proved what is the best way. Trying diaper-less potty training is worth the try. A perk is that it helps the environment because it means using fewer diapers and producing less waste.
7 AVOID: Do Not Encourage Independence
Mayim believes that you should never encourage independence and that you should let that independence happen naturally. You should allow your child to want to need you for as long as they'd like. Attachment parenting allows for children to want their independence on their own time, rather than being pushed. Since it is so important to always be near your child in their development, you do not want to encourage early independence. You also would not want to encourage your child to be independent if they are not ready. Every child is different, so it is safe to say that every child wants their independence or feels ready to be independent at different times. Even though this might sound like a good idea, there is also a chance that if you do not encourage independence then your child will never feel like they have to, thus, always relying on the parents. Being independent is important to an individual's growth.
6 TRY: Child Should Be Home Schooled
Homeschooling a child is nothing new and has been around for many years. However, there are many different thoughts and opinions when it comes to the matter. Since Mayim believes that you should spend as much time as you can with your child, she opts for her children to be homeschooled. She also does not want any outside influence on her children. By having her children homeschooled, she is able to monitor what they are learning. There is nothing wrong with trying to homeschool your children, the only downfall is that your child lacks social interactions with other children their age. A lot of parents do not like to homeschool their children because they are not able to socialize with other children. Despite not being able to socialize with other children, there are other ways to have your child engage in activities with other children their age.
5 AVOID: Do Not Teach Your Children Manners
This does not mean to let your child do and say whatever they want because manners do not matter. Mayim believes that positive modeling is very important. Children learn by seeing other people do things. If your child sees you saying "please" and "thank you," they are more likely to do the same without the parents having to tell them. She believes in teaching natural expressions of appreciations. On their own time, the child will develop age-appropriate manners. Since it is expected for your child to have good manners, Mayim states that you should talk to other family members about lowering expectations of when they will develop these manners. If the parents are displaying these manners, then their child will learn by example and pick up those manners. However, giving your children reminders to have good manners is never a bad thing. Sometimes children need to be reminded.
4 TRY: Do Not Spoil Your Children
When your children are behaving well, it is a parent's first instinct to spoil them and give them gifts for their good behavior. Mayim does not practice this tactic. When you spoil your children, they only do things because there is something in it for them. For example, a child will only do something because they will get a gift out of it. If you do not spoil your children, then they are more likely to do things because they are deemed necessary. For example, your child is more likely to make their bed in the morning not because they will get a gift if they do, but because they know it is necessary to do so. If your child is not spoiled, they are also more likely to do things for themselves. They are not looking for positive reinforcements or to be rewarded for their actions. Spoiling your children on special occasions can be more beneficial than celebrating every single event.
3 AVOID: Never Force Your Children To Do Things
In some circumstances, children need a little push to do things. If parents do not push their children to do certain things, they may never feel the need to do it. This is closely related to not pushing your children to become independent. If you do not push your child to be independent, then they may never feel the need to. Pushing your children can lead to an eye-opening experience and something they can benefit from. It is understandable, however, to never push your child into doing something they do not want to, but as a parent, you always have your child's best interest. Parents would never want to push their child into doing something that can be dangerous. Pushing your children in moderation is never a bag thing. However, Mayim believes in letting things happen naturally and if it is meant to be it will happen.
2 TRY: Bonding Is Very Important
The main objective of attached parenting is to spend as much time as you can with your children. This is because bonding with your child is very important. The moment your child is born, they require bonding with the mother. It is this bonding that allows the child to feel safe. This bonding also allows your children to never feel neglected and have a positive atmosphere that they are raised in. During this bonding time, you get to understand and know your children. You are given the chance to understand who they are as individuals. As they get older, these bonding moments are even more important because, since they are no longer spending every day with their parents, they partake in a lot of moments that their parents are not there for. This bonding time allows for the family to come together and keep everyone up to date on what is going on in each members life.
1 AVOID: Always Be Near Your Child
Mayim believes that it is important to always be near your children. There is nothing wrong with always being with your children, however, there comes a time when your child will want to distance themselves from their parents. Whether it's them wanting their independence or just a little space. If you are always near your children, they may feel like they are suffocating because they do not have the space that they want to grow as an individual. Your children need space to develop as individuals. Instead of always being near your child, it may be better to let your children know that they are there if needed. As a parent, you never want to be overbearing, but you also do not want to be out a reach for your children. Your children may be growing up, but they will always need their parents. A parent's job is never done even when their children become adults.