not hothead (not_hothead_yet) wrote,
not hothead
not_hothead_yet

I will say it again because I like to have other people comment

there's a huge industry based on profiting from parental guilt.

In this society, the fact is, most cannot realistically have their baby and feed it too; going back to work and putting baby in daycare is a source of guilt and anxiety because it feels wrong to leave the bulk of care to someone else. Yet the aftermath of behaviorism is still resonating. Supposedly everything you do will have ever-lasting effects that could possibly scar your child for life. Saying "no, you must bow to the needs of the rest of us" feels wrong because its a baby and cannot understand but more importantly, it underscores the helplessness we all feel about our social predicament. We are mired in the constrains of our culture to over provide lest our shortcomings cause "irreparable damage"

The fact that so many children survive and thrive despite dire poverty, lack of cultural exposure, and undereducation and even sometimes abuse/neglect seems to have been swept under the rug. Of course the fact that a negative environment isn't guaranteed to damage is not an endorsement of same but turning a blind eye to that truth pushes the behaviorist agenda.

The true irony of the situation is that although Watson's dismal failure with his own children helped loosen the iron grip of regimented childcare, the leaning of "nurture" over "nature" had become entrenched. Dr Spock was considered "soft" in his day because he advocated for parental instincts overriding scientific assertions and contended "you cannot spoil a baby" - a direct contradiction of behaviorists even as it agreed with the basic tenet of "what you do affects your child greatly"

So although today's modern child psychologists do not agree with the originators of behaviorism it is not that they disagree with the "whether" you can permanently indent your child, but the "how" you do so.

The very notion that children are resiliant, adaptable and have their own individual natures predisposed seems to still be ignored despite major advances in evolutionary pschology. Its astounding how far behind sociology and adult psychology child psychology lags but it does and always has.

Parenting brings a lot of guilt and anxiety as it stands in our culture and rather than find ways to mollify this negativity, science has capitalized on it and deepened it.

I'm sure a large part of that stems from the atomic age as well. Living under such a dire threat that creates a sense of impotence will turn any person,, no matter how secure and serene towards that which is controllable. and in the end, the one thing that is ultimately the most controllable aspect of life is parenting. Parents were clamoring for ways to "modernize" parenting in the atomic age and they got it. In order to circumvent a parents natural tendancy to use instinctual methods and build upon familial history, science became "authorities" on child-rearing (and childbirth even! ponder that for a second) and used natural basic guilt and anxiety (two tools "designed" by evolution to keep parents on-the-job and aware of their actions thus creating mindful parents that evolve as well) to push their theories and modes upon everyone.

Its everywhere; the media plays upon it, entertainment plays upon it, professionals play upon it, even legislators play upon it. Everyone is ready to tell parents how to "not fuck up their kids" and everyone is figuratively sitting in the wings ready to inject more guilt and anxiety at the slightest sign of parental infraction. And parents, true to their nature, fall for it because evolution has conditioned them to do so.
Tags: fun rant, what do you have to say?
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