A swing away from the Cult of Expert.

Many people of a certain age will speak darkly of the 1960s and the culture of “finding self,” “Doing what feels good to Me,” and just the general Me-Myself -I unholy trinity approach. It was the time of Rogerian therapy with his mantra of “How does it feel for you?” along with Maslow’s “self actualisation.” Many adults who had to grow up in that climate found that while their parents were doing what felt good to them and seeking their self actualisation, that the children’s needs were neglected and they were left to grow up without love, support or guidance. On the worst end of it was rejection and abuse.

Is that why attachment parenting is now the new approach? Is it a reaction to the lack of care so many received in the 60’s and 70’s even into the ’80s? Could it, in some forms be an over-reaction? I don’t know, I’m no expert. But I am curious.

The 70’s and 80’s were the time of femism and not just the good stuff of remembering women and girls have rights too- but the stuff that ripped away the rights of little girls and wives and mothers. It is something many women have had to survive or recover from. But I think things have improved for mothers these days quite a bit. It is no longer quite so prevelant to see mothers as non-persons who have betrayed their sex. It isn’t quite so acceptable to put the needs of children someway down the list after “how does it feel for me?” and this has given real freedom to mothers again.

Mother’s are not just gudgingly allowed to breastfeed, so long as no one knows about it, we are encouraged to do it for our own health and the health of our children. Even the World Health Organisation has caught up and now recommends that children be breastfed for at least two years.. We are now encouraged to co-sleep as research shows this actually helps infant health and can prevent cot-death.

On SIDS (cot death) we haven’t quite shucked off the “mothers are dim/mad/bad” views as any parent who has lost a child to SIDS will find social workers and police investigating them.- and not always neutrally or even with much sesnitivity. But perhaps the fact that one doctor has been struck off for his false allagations against mothers, based on his overbearing arrogance, is a good step forward.

Apparently, Badman excepted, we have also moved so far from the dubious diagnosis of Munchousans by Proxy that most medics wont go near it. But getting a doctor to listen to you when you are just a mother is still a massively uphill battle.

More and more research is coming out that backs up what ordinary families have known for centuries; children need a mother and a father who love them and are there for them. They need a mum and dad who love each other, even when it’s hard.  More research still shows that younger children do better physically, emotionally and mentally if they stay with mum for the first years of life.  But the needs and genuine rights of children are unimportant when clashed with the cultural push for two incomes per family and adults being allowed any kind of lifestyle they choose-and the children had better like it or lump it.

Of course research is a strange thing. If it says what people want it to say, it gets accepted and even pushed onto the population. Flaws in the research are ignored or explained away, IF the research says something politically or culturally convenient. If it says something dreadfully unpopular such as the research that shows children survive better in families where a parent dies (suicide excepted) than where they divorce, then who ever gets to hear of it? The MSM ignore it, and people who work with families only whisper about it in dark corners. 

Charlotte Mason was horrified at the growing trend of putting children into schools or other institutions before they were seven years old and pointed out that even the Spartions who removed boys fromt their families for boarding schools to learn to fight, did not do so until the boy was seven- and even that system failed.

I am not sure if she ever wrote her views on compulsory education which had only been in law a relatively short time when she was at the height of her career. But her love of children and how they learned would, I am sure, have made her horrified at the vast factory like secondary schools of today.

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5 responses to “A swing away from the Cult of Expert.

  1. Oh my goodness, someone who says what I think out loud. I never thought I’d see the day. I feel like Winston in 1984 when he picked up the Notebook.

    Thank you for this wonderful post. I have a feeling that as I riffle back through your work I am going to have a rather good time. I work three days a week, but I don’t want to. I want to be with my children. Just as much as they need me.

    Its a bit tangential, but the teachers at my school have been receiving training on something called Big Writing. It’s the new big thing. Everyone’s very excited about it. And what is it? Writing a whole piece in one form, at one sitting. Revolutionary, isn’t it?

    Apparently the reason big writing has come in is because childrens’ writing in schools is not always of a great standard. And the reason for that, our trainers told us, is that while households are wealthy, they are time poor. No-one talks to kids nowadays, it seems, so their written language reflects that.

    How sad is that?

    You are so right. Children need mother and father, present in body and spirit( not on the laptop…).

    • Hope you find other stuff you enjoy 🙂

      I can relate very much to the working because you have to and not because you want to thing. I had to for so so long.

      Big writing and NEW idea. ROFL. Sadly though I think the poor vocab because of poor adult relations and interaction is true. I worked in primary school, taughted in FE and HE and can say even at HE in what is thought of a a “good” Uni I was shocked at the poor language skills of the students. This hampered them learning the language I was teaching them quite a bit.

      I hope you get your wish- to be home with your children. I know it’s very very hard when you are paying bills, but I truly hope you manage it one day.

  2. My mother works in an “after school care” program attached to her church… and the bulk of her children are 3 and 4 years old… some of them just barely 3! I can’t imagine how hard that must be – to be away from your mother and your home all day when you’re so little – some of them are barely potty trained! While I can understand that many parents have to have two incomes, and if you’re going to be paying for childcare I can see the idea of a “school” environment being tempting – it’s just so sad though. They’re so little to be put in an institutional learning environment – (not that I agree with institutional learning at any age though) :). Some of them cry for mommy the entire time they’re there… heartbreaking, and yet, it’s not like they get any special attention for it – there are many other children to be watching at the same time. The caregivers do what they can, but there are ten kids for every one caregiver… and it’s not like in a large family… all these kids are the same age – there’s no one to lend a hand to someone younger than them. It’s a strange way to grow up – at least historically anyway. I’m grateful that even with all my health struggles I am able to be home with my boys – educating them and enjoying their childhood. We are very blessed, and we know it.

    • I too am so grateful I can now be home all the time. The working trap is a difficult one. I paid over half my earnings to the child minder but we still needed the other bits to buy shoes and clothes and pay some bills. When I became too sick to work (I lost three jobs just like that) we had to really readjust our spending. We do without a huge amount and that’s ok- but even now it’s hard to live and stay out of debt.
      We would be in a terrible finacial mess if my dh hadn’t got his promotion so soon after I became ill.
      But God does provide. We share so much and get given so much and pass on to others who struggle too. There are ways and means.

      I hated leaving my oldest in a nursery. I just hated it and so did he. Of course he’s a huge bearded wonder now, and doesn’t remember, but I do.

  3. Pingback: Confessions of a working mum « Thinking Love, No Twaddle

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