Amerika

Modern child rearing

Our modern world is a bombardment of distilled ideas and polarizing opinions, so it’s no surprise when well-intentioned parents become confused a month or two after leaving the hospital.  Parents are overloaded with too many books to read, too many opinions, too many new “studies” showing what one should and shouldn’t do with, or feed to, the child.

The confusion arises from the big-media image of the happy, slim, smirking moms in commercials about anything from high speed internet to a better mop – smiling moms or families with not a care in the world – which contrasts with the aforementioned bombardment of external advice, along with the general hectic nature of life with a newborn.

Since most new parents know nothing of the world beyond their own experiences, suddenly the books, media images, and clinical trials crowd out the old-fashioned methods of dealing with children.  The more strict, disciplined methods get lost and sage advice from grandmothers and grandfathers just becomes another opinion.  Never mind that if you turned out okay to begin with, you owe a lot of that to your own parents, so they are probably a better source of advice than, say, a television.

But new parents should also know themselves well enough to cherry-pick advice even from their own parents, especially those who have become parents in the last eight or ten years, as they are the children of Baby Boomers.  Here’s a generation which, when they entered child-rearing years in the late 1960s & early 1970s, were told by nurses to pump and throw away breast milk in favor of baby formula, and that holding a child too much or sleeping in the same room as an infant was akin to spoiling.

Finally, after years of this nonsense, nurses and doctors pulled back and realized that breast milk is the only food an infant should eat if available, and that it’s impossible to spoil a child under a certain age.  Surprise; infants need the touch of their mother and the love of both parents!

Still, some are repeating the mistakes of the Boomers on the one hand, while realizing that a “free” society which essentially mandates two-income families is backward on the other:

…once it became acceptable for married women who didn’t “have to” to take jobs outside the home, it soon became a stigma not to do so. Being “just a housewife” was not something a bright, educated woman should settle for. And, once “allowed to” became “expected,” the lifestyle expectations shifted because people began comparing themselves to two-income households.

Of course, this changes the supply and demand curve.  Most notably, it doubtless contributed to the most recent housing bubble.  People could “afford” to mortgage a million dollar home because they had two incomes and this drove up prices, making it harder for single-earner families to keep up.

[+|Outside The Beltway]

In this way, modernism hurts us all, but in particular families who want to be families instead of bags of cash for day care providers.  How silly and backward we must be, to believe that a huge company taking money to watch our kids every day is worth what we lose.  Go ahead and take the two incomes, and ignore the fact that your slightly larger and slightly nicer home is empty from the hours of 9am and 5pm so Mommy and Daddy can bear the brunt of corporate prostitution.

Meanwhile, impressionable young children feel dumped by their own parents at far too early an age, so “work” becomes a bad word, which prepares them perfectly for the bureaucratic hole of modern education.  Brilliant!

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