When parents follow their gut, they nurture and practice Attachment Parenting. I realize that there are things in our own life that can mess that up — but that’s the thing, it is either abuse or experiences that have messed us up and that interfere with that.
Otherwise, the intuition in a mama says to respond to cries, have baby near, nurture at the breast, etc. If nothing is interfering, that is what we do.
Regarding discipline: the thing that causes punishing and spanking is anger. Left to ourselves, without interference, we are tender to our children — until our own sinful rage is stirred. And when we punish, we feel guilty. Everyone does, unless they were taught otherwise.
Again, there are experiences we may have endured that mess that up. But the overwhelming evidence is that children who were abused don’t want to abuse and are terrified of abusing. They know what they endured is not good.
Did God REALLY say…?
So the only people who are convinced that the opposite of AP and the opposite of gentle discipline are *good* are the ones who have been told and taught and convinced by an “expert”.
It’s sort of like in the Garden when the serpent said, “Did God REALLY say . . . ?”
What Eve was deceived about was *not* the words of God — but about the CHARACTER of God. When she was convinced that God was an angry, mean God who was trying to keep the best things from her and Adam, she acted in a way to try and take those good things she was convinced He was keeping from her.
Good things like, perhaps, being confident that if the parent just does things a certain way they can *guarantee* their child’s salvation; or at least they have a guarantee that the baby will sleep through the night (Why would God not tell us how to do that in His Word? How mean is He that He keeps such secrets from us? Thank Him for the experts who can tell us how!), or how to have children who won’t ever have to cause our pride to stir–because we are such lovely people when no one contradicts us . . . isn’t that a better testimony???
We really are that dull!
I tend to believe that God puts people, even children, in our life to sharpen us. And, yes, we really are that dull!
If we listen to our intuition and respond to our babies, and restrain our anger and pride so that we are challenging ourselves with parenting gently, then we are growing and maturing in the things that God says are valuable and important to us for life in His Kingdom.
If we trust His Character then we will embrace these challenges of children that mature us. It is only if we doubt His character that we will seek out experts who can tell us what the Bible does not make clear. Perhaps it is not made clear in Scripture because it is not what God said.