Sitcom star Mayim Bialik’s parenting practices are sure to raise eyebrows now that she’s out talking about a new book she’s written on the subject.
Among other things, Bialik, 36, is a proponent of sleeping in the same bed with her small children, breast-feeding until an advanced age (well, advanced for most moms), and remaining in close, physical contact with her children for as many hours as possible everyday. And her kids didn’t wear diapers.
She tried to explain how that works, and talked about her parenting approach (known as “attachment parenting”) on ABC’s “Nightline” Monday night.
Bialik’s book gets officially released to bookstores today (Tuesday, March 6).
It’s called “Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way.”
Bialik, of course, is the former child star who played the child version of Bette Midler’s character in “Beaches” and then starred in the title role of “Blossom” on NBC. Now she’s one of the resident nerd-geniuses on “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS — TV’s highest-rated comedy. In real life, Bialik’s a bit of a genius also; she holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. Specifically, she studied the relationship between hormones and parental bonding.
Her studies have evidently informed her approach to parenting. Under questioning by correspondent Juju Chang on “Nightline,” Bialik explained her approach to raising her two sons, 6 and 3.
On the subject of sleeping with young children, a practice known as “co-sleeping” that Chang noted has proven risky and even fatal to small children (they’ve been known to suffocate in a grown-up’s bed), Bialik was dismissive of the risks. Said she, “It is completely natural and normal to sleep near your child.”
On the subject of breast-feeding her youngest son, who’s 3-1/2 years old: “I’m meeting the needs of a child who’s almost done being a baby but he’s not done,” she said.
On the criticism of “attachment parenting” that it robs mothers of the freedom to live their lives: “I don’t see it as subsuming my life to my children,” Bialik said. “I’m happy because my life is rich with the love of two small people.”
Bialik also noted that she’s a vegan who’s raising her kids that way. She also home-schools them and practices so-called “holistic” medicine, which includes a unique treatment for the childhood malady known as Pink eye — a short squirt of breast milk directly into the child’s eye will clear that right up, she said.
When she’s busy at work filming “The Big Bang Theory,” the attachment parenting duties are taken up by her husband. On “Big Bang,” she’s playing Amy, girlfriend of Sheldon (Jim Parsons). We have two great clips of Mayim on “Big Bang.”