So, your teen is hanging out with his friends. Can you tell who was breastfed and who wasn't? Is it obvious who co-slept with her parents and who was Ferberized? Read one mom's take on whether attachment parenting was worth it... 14 years later.

My baby boys aren't babies anymore — they're 14 and 11 years old. Sometimes I wonder if how I parented my kids as babies really matters?

I don't like anything too militant, especially parenting styles, but I found myself gravitating toward certain aspects of attachment parenting, mainly breastfeeding on demand and co-sleeping.

My take on AP all these years later is that it worked... 14 years later

  • My teenager flops down in my bed just to hang out. We don't need to talk about anything, just be together.
  • I get unrequested hugs. They are few and far between lately, but I still get them.
  • My kids know they can talk to me about anything, even the tough stuff.
  • They are independent free range kids in a big city.
  • They know it's okay to cry and be angry sometimes but my husband and I love them unconditionally.

I believe our parenting style had benefits

I believe that my singing and my husband making up wonderful stories for bedtime made our kids independent young men.

I believe the hands-on parenting style my husband and I chose from day one benefitted our kids in a huge way. Trying to let my son cry it out just made me cry. I felt better nursing him to sleep even though I was warned he would "never sleep on his own." Yes, he was a lousy sleeper for years but now that he's a teenager, it's hard to wake him up! I believe that my singing and my husband making up wonderful stories for bedtime made our kids independent young men. They told us when they no longer needed or wanted these things. Of course they don't need us for bedtime — and haven't for years — but not an evening goes by without them saying "goodnight" or "I love you" before they go to their rooms. Even if it's been a day full of teen angst.

That said, I see my teen's friends and I have no idea who was breastfed, formula fed, co-slept, put in a nursery right after birth, born at home, born via cesarean, induced or not. His friends are all smart and talented. Period. Even my kids — parented the same way by the same parents — are very different from each other.

Parenting a teen is tough

There are moments I wonder how I can butt heads with this baby I nurtured so much. Here's the thing — all the nursing, slinging and co-sleeping in the world doesn't guarantee a perfect relationship as kids grow older. All kids — and parents — struggle with something. We don't get any parenting do-overs — but we can learn and grow, along with our kids.

Bottom line^ What matters is parents who love them, guide them and nurture them to become strong, independent adults. For me, AP went a long way in my babies becoming the young men they are today.

Read more about attachment parenting

Warning, this is not your mother's baby
Can your parenting style destroy your marriage?
How co-sleeping can save your baby's life