Friday, October 07, 2005

Consider the Children

I have written before about the hidden cost of government programs that encourage mothers to work outside the home:
The twentieth century was a time of great material progress. And we know that there would have been significantly greater progress had the hand of government not been laid so heavily on the economy. But what we don't know is the immeasurable price we have paid -- and will pay -- for the exodus of mothers from the home. We can only name that price: greater incivility, mistrust, fear, property loss, injury, and death.
I focused on the economic evidence. But there's direct evidence of the harm caused by pushing mothers out of the home. First, there's this:

Researchers tracked the reaction of 70 toddlers in Berlin to their separation from their parents and homes.

They found stress levels were still raised months after beginning child care - even though outward signs of distress had stopped.

"For most toddlers the initiation of daycare is a major stress," writes report co-author Michael Lamb.

The study of children's reaction to leaving home casts light on a question that will have been asked by many working parents: "Do children really worry about being away from their parents?"

The answer from this study suggests that children do experience increased stress. . . .

And, more tellingly, there's this:
A study, the results of which were reported in The [UK] Independent yesterday, indicates that toddlers who are looked after by their mothers develop significantly better than those cared for by nurseries, childminders or relatives.

The report, presented by Penelope Leach, president of the National Childminders' Association and one of the co-authors, shows that toddlers given nursery care fared worst of all. According to The Independent these children "exhibited higher levels of aggression and were inclined to become more compliant, withdrawn or sad." Those under the care of relatives fared somewhat better.

The research, which involved 1,200 children and their families in the London and Oxfordshire area, showed that "youngsters looked after by childminders and nannies came second in terms of their development to those who stayed at home with mother."

The report confirms other studies that show that young children develop best when in the care of a parent, usually the mother, in a loving environment. The report also showed that institutionalized daycare, as proposed by many governments, is detrimental to the development of toddlers.

Society is nothing without civility. Government efforts to push mothers out of the home are nothing less than a crime against society.

(Thanks for my daughter-in-law for the lead.)

Related posts:

I Missed This One (08/12/04)
A Century of Progress? (01/30/05)
Feminist Balderdash (02/19/05)
Libertarianism, Marriage, and the True Meaning of Family Values (04/06/05)
Judge Roberts and Women (08/19/05)