There's quite the paradox in the way children are
cared for handled in Western society.
On the one hand, babies just can't be autonomous enough and have to be squeezed and pushed to become individuals right away (if possible the day the are born).
An entire set of training practices exist to ensure the autonomy and individualism of newborns.
- Having them cry it out in cribs in separate rooms, in order to have them finally be able to self settle. Just never ever ever put them in the bed with you, because you'll never get them out.
- The push for having them sleep through the night in early infancy.
- Don't pick them up too much, you'll spoil them.
- Don't carry them around, they'll get too attached to you.
- Leave them with a secondary caregiver as soon and as often as possible, because otherwise, separation anxiety will be hell and they'll be on you like a post-it.
- Ignore their crying, they're just manipulating you!
- Have them potty trained at 2,5 years old, have them walking and talking as soon as possible.
- Whatever happens, just make sure they're not behind (behind on what, one asks oneself).
- Please don't breastfeed them beyond six months, once they have teeth they are ready to eat solids, right. Nursing beyond one year old? Hey if they're old enough to ask for it, they shouldn't get it, and anyway, if you continue like that, they'll never wean.
They are to sit still, shut up, be quiet, don't mess around and be 'good' by the age of one.
All of this to make sure they're out of your hair as quickly as humanly possible (and preferably even quicker).
|Courtesy of memekode on Flickr|
Children are being babied way beyond infancy, into childhood and even into adolescence.
- They are being spoon and bottle fed way beyond a reasonable age.
- They get a pacifier jammed in their mouths and a blankie in their hands until they are off to primary school.
- They get mush for dinner and puree for lunch.
- They may not eat with decent cutlery, even in primary school.
- They are not allowed real scissors, real paint or art supplies.
- They are not allowed choices, responsibility or decisions and they are not to be trusted until they are out of you house.
- They have no rights.
- They may not speak when grown-ups do.
- They can't do anything unless it is age appropriate.
- They sure as hell shouldn't mix with anyone older or younger than themselves.
Now doesn't this strike you as odd? Why do so many fail to see the discrepancies in this way of child rearing? How do we expect these children to grow up responsible, secure and unique individuals? It's completely mind-blowing.