Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some ironies.

A famous chilldrens' author stirred things up in Australia not long ago. She said that putting children into day-care from a very early age is a form of child abuse. This society will look back on it, she says, and wonder how the people of the time could do such a thing. Mem Fox is her name. She wrote a childrens' story called "Possum Magic". Predictably, some commentators went for her like attack dogs. She questioned one of the critical claims of feminism, namely, that there must be a way of having children without having to care for them all day yourself.
I know it's not for me to tell everyone else their conscience, but what she says seems right to me. The idea of having someone else effectively bring up your child for you is just like what aristocrats and wealthy people used to do in the past. They had nannies for them, and the parents got on with their elite society lives while a hired woman cared for and nurtured their children. So while people today despise the idle rich or unjustly privileged 'nobles' of the past, some of them are doing just the same thing that those people did: hiring others to raise their children.
Doing that can have unexpected consequences. There is a story about Winston Churchill, Britain's famous Prime Minister during World War 2. Young Winston was cared for by a nanny, like most children of his class. Years later, when his mother died, it hardly affected him, and he was appalled at himself for not feeling more grief. Then shortly afterwards his old nanny died, and then he grieved!
You see the point? Winston's attachment was to his nanny, not his natural mother. The reason was, his nanny had given him the moment-by-moment attention and mother-type love that a child needs. Hence, it was her he was bonded to.
This is an age when parents like to talk about giving their children everything. Yet something they don't always give is themselves, because they are too busy having 'careers'. I'm not just talking about mothers here, it goes for fathers too. Bringing home the pay packet is important, but so is being there for your children.
And here's another irony. Just as socialism is losing ground in the world, fewer nations call themselves communist or socialist and run their economies that way, a socialist idea is becoming widespread. A major socialist aim is to diminish the family as a focus of loyalty and attachment. Get people away from their families, and the influence of parents, because their allegiance should be to the state. The Marxists specifically critisize the family as a unit. If people draw support and comfort from their families, and are influenced by them, they are less attached to the state and less obedient to it. When the communist Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia, one of the things they tried to do in 're-education' camps was sever children from their families. Since the socialist state wants the complete obedience and commitment of all the citizens, it gets very jealous if people put other people before the demands of their political leaders. Whether it's Mao, Stalin, Big Brother or any one else, the socialist-communist state wants to be Number One to all. And a person's attachment to their relations compromises that. A socialist objective is to get children away from their families as much as possible. It's best if they do most of their living outside the family and home. Hence it is a socialist approach to have early day-care, long day-care, preschool from an early age, and getting the school to do as much as possible for and with kids. That way they are away from home and parents, and (the socialist hopes) under the influence of adult instructors and supervisors who can direct their development. So how ironic that some of the most capitalistic anti-communist societies in the world are doing just the same: getting their children involved in things outside the home as early as possible and as much as possible. I can see exactly why some parents home-school their children. That way the kids know exactly where they belong, and who is there for them. That way parents can stop someone else from taking over their children and undermining the parents' values. I can see why the Christian churches run schools. They support the parents' beliefs, and teach children that there is something much bigger and better than 'the state' to put their trust in. (Thankfully!)
It's not for me to tell people their conscience. I know some people put their children in day care because they are struggling to support them, and need to work. But there could be something wildly and badly wrong with what some people in western society do with the very young. It is assumed, according to humanist/socialist theory, that a secular and materialistic approach to childcare is adequate. The future will show what the results are, but by then it could be too late.


Randi Jo :) said...

WOW --- I never saw that link but you're so so right. Getting people out of their home/families influence is the best way to influence the next generation isn't it? Undermining the parent's authority/role. Wow

Well in America today --- the government is doing the raising of children and it's so so sad.

People always ask us why our son isn't in day care or preschool --- and my answer right now is that... I'm not in a rush. It seems to me we're keeping kids in school longer but they are gtting dumber. :)

Of course some like you said are in a situation where they have to find care for their children and we just have to pray they will find a good, godly place to take them --- but just to keep up with the Jones' is not a good reason.

another sad movement that is affecting the amount of kids in daycare is the amount of single parents there are. people are having more and more children out of marriage or marriages are breaking up so kids only have one parent - who has to work.

I feel so thankful that I can stay home with my son. He is going to have such a different foundation than his peers....

God bless them all :(

great entry Andrew, thank you! :)

Farrah said...

Amen!! Amen, Amen! Amen! :-)

One of the liberal efforts here right now is government funded preschool. They think it will help kids to be educated sooner. Yikes! How about helping kids to spend more time with their parents? I've read lots of stuff on parenting, and one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that KIDS DO BEST WHEN THEIR PARENTS SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH THEM. The more the better. It's what children WANT and NEED more than anything (other than God!). Their relationship with their parents (both Mom and Dad) will influence so many things, their future relationships, their success in life, even their view of God. These kids don't need more school, they need a healthier home life!

Ladyoflaurion said...

I must heartily agree Andrew. I never ever wanted my children to grow up in a home without their mom there for them. But divorce left me little choice in the matter.

Thanks be to God, i was supported by brothers and sisters in Christ to not have to go back to work until my children were a little older, first getting a 2 year degree from the local community college over a three year period. Then my children were watched by my sister and my mother until they were school age. After school they went home some days with members of my church group who treated them like their own. I still wish that my kids could have grown up in their own home playing in their own yard with mom there for every skinned knee and stubbed toe. But some things must be left in God's hands.


CooksonMom said...

We definitely home school our kids for these reasons.