In the provocative new cover story of its May 21 issue, TIME Magazine taps into a two-decade-long parenting conversation that has boiled over in recent months.
In the article, Pickert explores who Sears is and why controversy surrounds his theories -- the biggies are baby-wearing, extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping -- but it's TIME's photographs of real mothers breastfeeding their toddlers that has everyone talking. The cover shows Jamie Lynne Grumet, a slim blonde 26-year-old California mom, breastfeeding her 3-year-old son. The usual questions that come up when mothers are called out for breastfeeding in public (which happens often) include: Is breastfeeding indecent?
Her point, in writing the in-depth profile of Sears, seems to be that there are many parents out there left wondering what's right, what's wrong -- and most important -- what makes sense for their families.
CAUGHT IN THE MIRROR of her parents' truck, 12th grader Amy "Dandilion" Olsen waits at a light in downtown Austin, Texas. THE CONCERT WAS UNLIKE ANY Austin Brown (center) had attended—a dance party called Dayglow where blasts of fluorescent paint rained down on crowds in downtown Austin. CRACKING JOKES IS PART of the daily repartee between Deborah Kipp and her daughter, Anastassia. Decisions, DecisionsCars and parties, first cigarettes and first dates, school demands and free time—teens encounter risks both large and small every day, and their choices can be puzzling at times.

ON THE RANCH OUTSIDE AUSTIN where he and his father planned a hunt, Spencer O'Loughlin watches fellow hunters clean and pose with a buck. Journalist Kate Pickert reports on the rise of attachment parenting, a set of techniques popularized by Dr. But, as Pickert points out, the women featured are at one extreme end of this always-controversial discussion. Think of it as an equation, says psychologist Laurence Steinberg, where consequences aren't given the weight they should be. Taylor Dicristofalo (at right) said she probably wouldn't have had her tongue pierced if her best friend hadn't dragged her along on an "exciting and scary adventure" in downtown Austin. Teens may choose to hang out with peers, but structured interactions with parents and other adults are also crucial.
Actress Mayim Bialik, who recently published her memoir "Beyond The Sling", is a vocal advocate for attachment parenting and recently came under fire for writing about breastfeeding her own 3-year-old. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all mothers breastfeed for a full year -- or longer if the mother so chooses, so how can we shame women who are just following the advice of the country's foremost medical establishment? At least one Friday a month, boys gathered after school in the backyard of Bryan Campbell (at far left) to wrestle and box.

O'Loughlin returned empty-handed after four days of waiting quietly with a bow and arrow in a tiny camouflage tent. While Bialik ignited big discussions about how much is too much when it comes to motherhood, TIME's story is elevating the conversation to a national debate. Viewed through the eyes of evolution, their most exasperating traits may be the key to success as adults. The boys often used phones to film their contests, posting the videos to a private Facebook group so more friends could admire their prowess. The rush of a headlock, a bond between friends—their fights delivered both excitement and social rewards.

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