Monday, February 13, 2006

The Cruelty of Non-Parental Care

Whilst Penelope Leach was always pretty much of the opinion that infants need attentive and sensitive care from their parents, other childcare gurus weren't so sure. But times are a' changing in this area too , (see post below). Steve Biddulph, author of books about raising boys has revised his previous opinion that it is perfectly OK to shove your children into nurseries. According to the Sunday Times, he is now certain that nursery care is significantly damaging and he points to studies which suggest that such children abandoned to the devastation that is their experience of nursery life are more anti-social and prone to aggression.

Whether or not this observation is correct, it seems so desperately sad that we have taken so long to wake up to the simple fact of listening to the child. It isn't as if the evidence was in some way obscure, for there can be few parents who have treated their child reasonably well, who have not ignored the patently miserable cries of their child as they walked away and out that nursery door. How can we have lacked the intelligence to ask ourselves "why is it unacceptable to torture another adult this way and yet apparently OK for me to cause such devastation to my child? Huh???

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant news! One of the most traumatic of potentially every day experiences is to go and spend a day in a nursery - however good it might be. Thank goodness the message is getting out.

Not only does it damage the baby but it must inevitably damage the parents and the nursery workers. The very fact that they must become hardened and immune to suffering and that they can then say 'my baby/the baby is happy in nursery'. Only of course once the baby has given up.

D

Mrs Loveday said...

Great news..
I do remember sobbing when i left dd1 at a nursery she had been at for about 4 mos ( she was about 20 mos at the time) when she was she had to be peeled limb from limb away from me by a caring helper!
i had just paid some huge amount of money for terms fees and went away to tell dh that I was not going to do this anymore.
I picked her up later that day never to return..the experience has never left me and I am so glad I didn't persevere hoping she would settle down...she was obviously telling me that she didn't want to go anymore!

Carlotta said...

I think those who manage to see that the prevalent meme (that it is OK to leave your infant in the care of strangers) is pure bunkum, are doing very well indeed, considering the appearance of knowingness and moral superiority with which this meme is often applied.

The more this meme is challenged the better, imo.

Next stop: Tanya Byron, Supernanny and any other proponents of behaviourism who are still out there.

Leo said...

Children might want to go to nursery. They can be fun places if the workers are good people, with creative play ideas.

If there was a formula to turn parents into superparents that never get exhausted or never have to work it's ok to bash all the social resources that exist in society to help with child care. Truth is, parents are falible.

Also think: What would be better for a child? To stay in a mainstream nursery where there are loads of toys and friends to play, or have the Pearls as home-educators?

Anonymous said...

Lol! A good point! Only, the nursery attendee with the Pearls as parents would quite probably be dishing out corporal punishment willy nilly to the other children: a mini terrorist!

D

Leo said...

A daughter from the Pearls would become a wife and a mother, never a nursery worker. I think nursery workers that spank come from other convictions and probably don't even admit they spank.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leo,

I wasn't clear in my message. When I said the 'nursery attendee' would be terrorising the children at nursery, I meant the little 3 or 4 year old child of the Pearls, not the nursery worker!

However, I actually know a lady who had parents very similar to what we know about the Pearls, if not more abusive, and who eventually chose to work with children and today owns her own nursery for children. Needless to say, love for children is not a motive or one of her priorities.

D

Anonymous said...

Here's an anti-daycare website with a similar opinion to Mr. Biddulph...