Originally Posted by Karamom
This is probably going to get me flamed but don't you think young children need to be with there primary caregiver (usually mommy) most of the time? Believe me, I really really understand the need for a break but isn't more than an hour a week with non-family and large child to adult ratio excessive?
I feel like this is part of our culture's overall problem of pushing kids to grow up and be away from their parents to fast. Also I really dislike how there is a special class for children and adults go do something different. Children need to stay with their adults as we go about our day so they can learn from us how to be an adult. I think if you need a break it would be better to leave them with daddy or grandma or a good friend for a bit so they still get that interaction with the adult world. I apologize if I have offended anyone but it really makes me cringe sending children to daycare, preschool, even elementary school. Now flame away.
Well it really depends on whose book you're reading.
My perspective is that the importance of the primary caregiver (mother) has been completely overstated since the artificial era of the 1950s nuclear family - a VERY brief period of time. I honestly think that while AP certainly challenges us to be present for our kids and recognize the importance of a breastfeeding relationship in the first (and beyond) year that the emphasis on the mother as sole caregiver is actually a kind of feminist backlash movement that comes out of the societal trend to isolate mothers and families.
And I actually think this is very very much a consumer-driven trend because a solitary mother is much more likely to spend on consumer goods to entertain baby, to make her sacrifice worthwhile (from electronic toys to expensive Waldorf-type goodies), to keep her home immaculate, etc.
In the past young babies would likely have been cared for by in poor people's cases the extended family - aunts, grandmothers, older siblings - and by servants in the upper classes. Going back further I think Sarah Hrdy makes a really good case for alloparenting in primates.
When you talk about family I think you fall into the "I could never leave my child with a stranger" fallacy. There is certainly substandard care out there but I honestly think from my experience and from others' that someone who is trained to provide care, motivated to choose
childcare as a profession, and who is educated and experienced in childcare -- plus has good qualities which is where selection comes into play -- is probably a much higher-quality caregiver than a lot of family members might be.
Sure, we pay them. But anyone who's had a great paid caregiver knows that just because someone is getting paid doesn't mean they care less about our kids. And sometimes it's really nice because they also follow instructions to keep our kids' food, etc., more consistent.
So...no, if you're asking does everyone in the world believe that is a proven fact? I don't. I say that from Canada where I have the luxury of mat leave for a year, which I think is a good length of time to work these things out. But really I don't think it's given that 23/7 with mom is always the best, no. I think we completely miss the boat on what "attachment" means.
Now obviously we can point to extremes - and there are bad/poor care situations, long long hours in care (like 12 a day), etc. But I could also point to extremely poor SAH care. So I try not to. I also don't find studies that conclusive - most have shown it's a wash entirely dependent on quality of care.
IMO a good bond with mum and dad AND good bonds with other people makes for great attachmentS. For me it's like how you tell siblings "love is not a cup of sugar that gets used up."
ETA: Just wanted to add that I don't think being home with mum is a bad idea either. To me it's like being an only child or being 1 of 8 - different families, same growing up.
It's more about what works for that particular family.