Daycare Stunts Development of Mothers

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007
Daycare Stunts Development of Mothers
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Mon, 12-10-2007 - 6:38pm

In There’s No Place Like Work: How Business, Government, and Our Obsession with Work Have Driven Parents From Home, author Brian C. Robertson concludes that children who grow up in daycare “exhibit some of the same debilitating emotional, psychological, cognitive, and even physical problems displayed by children adopted from Romanian orphanages.”


And in Raising Babies, expert author Stephen Biddulph writes that the higher cortisol levels found in babies and children in long day care are known to cause permanent brain changes that will have an array of life-long consequences:


"Significant among the reams of research are the so-called cortisol studies, which measured the presence of stress hormones in young babies and consistently found these levels to be higher in children in long day care. These have been linked with greater aggression and anxiety found in older children in long day care but are also known to affect the development of a range of neurotransmitters, whose pathways in the brain are still being built. These permanent brain changes are now thought by scientists and psychiatrists to affect the way the child will react to stress, anxiety and negative feelings in later life."


These children

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2007
Mon, 12-10-2007 - 7:05pm
What is your opinion of the article?
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2007
Mon, 12-10-2007 - 7:17pm

IT'S A tough call and one that no working parent will want to hear: child care used "too much, too early, too long" damages babies' brain chemistry and affects their social and emotional development.


But when the warning is delivered by a parenting guru and psychologist with 30 years' experience - and 4 million book sales under his belt - ignoring the message may not be an option.


Previously an advocate of quality child care, author Steve Biddulph has spent the past five years examining and distilling the results of national and international studies of infants in long day care.


In a new book, Raising Babies - Should under 3s go to Nursery?, he argues that this growing international body of work combined with neurobiological research clearly suggests that at least during the first two years of life, brain development unfolds at its optimum with one-to-one care. This care could be from mother, father, a loving relative or, if necessary, a single, attentive paid carer.


Significant among the reams of research are the so-called cortisol studies, which measured the presence of stress hormones in young babies and consistently found these levels to be higher in children in long day care. These have been linked with greater aggression and anxiety found in older children in long day care but are also known to affect the development of a range of neurotransmitters, whose pathways in the brain are still being built. These permanent brain changes are now thought by scientists and psychiatrists to affect the way the child will react to stress, anxiety and negative feelings in later life.


"This book presents much objective evidence, but it also carries a strong professional opinion for which I don't apologise," writes Biddulph. "It is likely that some people will feel angry after reading this book and it will be unsettling for those who feel trapped by economic circumstances into placing their babies and toddlers into nurseries when they would rather not. But my responsibility as a psychologist and educator is to be honest, and convey current findings and knowledge without gloss or deception."


However, the new book, which has just been published in Britain, will not appear in Australian bookshops. Biddulph told the Herald this week there were no plans to publish locally for now.


In his author's foreword, Biddulph writes he was initially "afraid to release this book … Its message was so confrontational, so against the tide."



But when his own and fellow psychologists' disquiet began to be matched by research and this was coupled with the burgeoning trend towards corporatisation of child care and the imposition of profit over quality, he decided it was time to speak up: "I had started out as a believer in the ideal of quality nursery care and the role it played in allowing women to broaden their lives … but the more I saw of the reality of day-care centres and nurseries and the more conversations I had with parents and carers, it became clear to me that the reality never matched the fantasy.


"The best nurseries struggle to meet the needs of very young children in a group setting. The worst were negligent, frightening and bleak: a nightmare of bewildered loneliness that was heartbreaking to watch.


"Children at this age - under three - want one thing only: the individual care of their own special person. Even the best run nurseries cannot offer this." Biddulph says the invention of child care has been necessary, thanks to the harried nature of modern life. Whether motivated by idealism or corporate greed, it aimed to "slot messy and needy young children into the new economic system, while at the same time reassuring us that it is good for them, socially and educationally".


Child care is now so well marketed, he writes, that even parents at home have begun to feel that they might not be as good for their babies as the "professionals".


"The critical, rarely mentioned core of nursery care is that our children will be looked after in bulk - on a 1:5 or 1:8 ratio, compared to 1:1 at home. Like McDonald's fast food, we can enjoy the convenience of drive-through, ready-made, fast-parenting; through the miracle of mass production."


Biddulph believes the rapid adoption of child care in the early years has been a huge social experiment, a gamble by parents that "everything will be OK". But the results of that experiment are now emerging and the worldwide epidemic of teenage depression, anxiety and substance abuse suggests all may not be well.


"Society has become more materialist and fatally neglected the place of caring … Governments have failed to protect families from corporate pressures and many people can no longer afford to care for their own children," Biddulph writes.


"Quality care appropriate to very young children does not exist. It is a fantasy of the glossy magazines. If your heart has been uneasy about these things, it is probably right. you can find a better way."


Care options in order of preference

1 Engage a close relative or friend who you trust and who loves your child.


2 Employ a trustworthy family day carer you know personally.


3 Find a quality day-care centre with stable staff you can get to know and about whom you feel comfortable.


What's best by age
0-1


No child care at all. Keep baby with parent, relative (or trusted babysitter for short breaks).


1-2

One short day with a trusted carer. Ideally a one-on-one carer-to-child ratio; one-to-three at most.


2-3

Two short days a week with a trusted carer. Building up to short days in a quality centre but only if the child settles well.


3-4

Up to three short days or half days in quality care.


4-5

Up to four short days or half days in quality care.


Raising Babies - Should under 3s go to Nursery? (Harper Thorsons) is available via the internet.


Here is the actual artical.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2007
Mon, 12-10-2007 - 7:54pm

"eurobiological research clearly suggests that at least during the first two years of life, brain development unfolds at its optimum with one-to-one care. This care could be from mother, father, a loving relative or, if necessary, a single, attentive paid carer."

What if one has twins? Should both parents stay home? After all, only one parent at home with twins is not "one on one" care.

Several of us on this board, myself included, have/had children in childcare centers who are doing wonderfully in all aspects of life. How we are supposed to believe some article over what we see day to day in our own children is beyond me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007
Mon, 12-10-2007 - 8:38pm

Mom2ajoy asked: "What if one has twins? Should both parents stay home? After all, only one parent at home with twins is not "one on one" care."

Your narrow interpretation of "one on one" is a straw man argument. Having said that, however, I'll rise to the bait: As a father of twins, and as a work from home dad, I can say the answer is, if possible, absolutely. It takes very little experience to realize that the more children one is responsible for, the less individual attention each child receives, and the worse off they are for it. The fact that it's rarely ever feasible has as much to do with it as simply willing yourself not to have twins!

Mom2ajoy stated: Several of us on this board, myself included, have/had children in childcare centers who are doing wonderfully in all aspects of life. How we are supposed to believe some article over what we see day to day in our own children is beyond me.

Your definition of "doing wonderfully in all aspects of life" is certainly impacted by perspective. It must be reasoned that any time you (the only mother this child will ever have, and the person who will love them most in their ENTIRE life) were not directly providing loving, caring, attentive support is certainly NOT the ideal situation. Whether or not you chose to "believe some article over what (you) see day to day in (your) own children" seems to be far from the issue... Rather, read what the author has to say about the situation: "The studies found that one of the dangers to children was that too early, too much, and too long use of nursery care could weaken maternal sensitivity - or rather, prevent it from developing." Wouldn't then a lack of maternal sensitivity lead one to believe that a child is "doing wonderfully in all aspects of life" but simply be missing out on a greater perspective that may lead one to believe something different, or at least one that may add depth to your perception?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007
Mon, 12-10-2007 - 8:51pm

<>


Interesting that you bring up twins.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2007
Mon, 12-10-2007 - 9:03pm

::::yawn::::

And we're supposed to give a flying rat's butt about his opinion because....why again???

I especially like how it's all Mom's fault. Still. Again. Some more. When you have a penis and testicles, your existence is totally without any meaning or influence.

They....all those meaningless men....sure are amusing, bless their ridiculous little hearts...

~~~~~~~~~

Kitty

"Armour.com also has some wonderful tips for emergency preparedness, which include laying in a big supply of canned meat products. When the end comes, you can ponder whether you've been eating the Four Horses of the Apocalypse."--Moon.Pie.Zappa


Click on the Virginia Rescue Center and search for Roxey, VA5165

~~~~~~~~~

Kitty

"BTW, I hate Lifetime. Their movies will suck you in and all of a sudden you've watched 3 in a row, used every tissue in t

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2007
Mon, 12-10-2007 - 9:07pm

It must be reasoned that any time you (the only mother this child will ever have, and the person who will love them most in their ENTIRE life) were not directly providing loving, caring, attentive support is certainly NOT the ideal situation.

Well, I guess since you're allegedly a dad, your kids are just as bad off as her kids. How do you live with yourself? :::eyeroll:::

~~~~~~~~~

Kitty

"Armour.com also has some wonderful tips for emergency preparedness, which include laying in a big supply of canned meat products. When the end comes, you can ponder whether you've been eating the Four Horses of the Apocalypse."--Moon.Pie.Zappa


Click on the Virginia Rescue Center and search for Roxey, VA5165

~~~~~~~~~

Kitty

"BTW, I hate Lifetime. Their movies will suck you in and all of a sudden you've watched 3 in a row, used every tissue in t

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2007
Mon, 12-10-2007 - 9:15pm

"If you can't think of anything that your kids need help with, maybe it's because you aren't tuned in to them the way nature inteded for mothers to be tuned into their children."

You are very wrong. I can think of a lot of things my dd needs help with. That is not what I said. I said that she is doing well in every aspect of life. You are putting words in my mouth. My dd is happy, healthy, very loved and knows it, and very attached to me and my husband. I wish you would get to know her before making such rash judgements about her and my family. I wish you'd get to know me as well, before making judgements about me and the love I have for this little person. I wish you could understand how strongly I feel that having her was the best thing in my life, ever, and that I could never be complete without her. You have no idea how I feel about my child. You have no idea what kind of relationship I have with her. Spend one day in my home, seriously.
I know several sahms irl, and not one of them seems to have a very positive relationship with their children. Every single one (yes, EVERY single one of them that I know irl) in my family or circle of friends and neighbors, seems like every time I converse with them, they are complaining about their children. In fact, I just got finished with a conversation with my neighbor, the millionth of its kind, saying how her kids drive her crazy, she can't get a moment alone, her children are "bad" and so on. I came in with my daughter, and had a blast with her, just playing on the floor, laughing and being very thankful that I have her in my life. My dd needs a lot of things. I am aware of them. I don't do everything perfectly, and neither do you, but the greatest gift that we can give our children is to be happy that they are in our lives. NOT to see them as a bother, someone who "drives us crazy". I have yet to meet a sahm who is as happy as I am to be around her kids. The kids pick up on that. I feel that the reason why my dd is so healthy, happy, alert, developmentally advanced, etc, is because at the end of the day, no matter what, she knows I love her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2007
Mon, 12-10-2007 - 9:16pm

"And we're supposed to give a flying rat's butt about his opinion because....why again???"

I agree. I give a rat's flying butt about my child, and no one else in this matter. I pay attention to her. Not to someone that doesn't even know us.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2004
Mon, 12-10-2007 - 9:38pm

"And we're supposed to give a flying rat's butt about his opinion because....why again???"


Because he is a "child expert!"

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