Folks!Â I have Â a new theory: Don’t trust anyone who claims that “children are our most valuable/precious/vulnerable…” anything. They are always out to sell. Like this one. — Â L.
Dear Free-Range Kids: I’m on a couple of e-mail lists for deal-of-the-day promotions. This one
showed up today.
Truthfully, when I think of Groupon and its brethren, I tend to think of, say, $24 worth of cupcakes for $15, Â not $240 worth of Â “Be Really Frightened and Overreact!” advice for $25.Â (Not to mention that an awful lot of the stuff mentioned in this “deal” seems to be stuff one could get for free with a little quality time with Mr. Google, but that’s another problem for another day.)
The deal is brought to us by “Kids Live Safe,” whose website is a shining example of the parent-frightening industry at its best (worst).Â Everything we see could be part of a checklist right from the Scare Parents Into Buying Something Unhelpful That Will Make Them Feel Better But Not Help Their Children:
Â Â *Photo showing vulnerable child (extra ten points for female child) embraced by loving mommy? Check.
Â Â *Lots of Unnecessary Capital Letters on Frightening Words? Check.
Â Â *Promise of lots of technology to show how up-to-date and cutting edge the service is? Check.
Â Â *Unintentional grammatical errors unwittingly demonstrating how stupid the whole thing really is? Check checkity check!
The one item in the package that many people might truly benefit from — the FBI crime statistics — is, I suspect, the one item they’re going to look at theÂ least.Â But, as you’ve said repeatedly, if folks DID take the time toÂ look, they’d discover that the rate of truly nasty crimes has been dropping in recent memory.Â It’s our culture’s relentless quest to keep children perfectly safe (impossible this side of heaven!) that’s been spiraling out of control, not crime.
So just wanted to say: Keep up the good fight. — Dairy State Mom
Am I the first to comment?
Besides the obvious tackiness of companies exploiting fear to sell, there’s this opinion I have: where did we get the idea that children are more important than adults? I’m a parent, & I don’t even think that. Like when you hear the news reporting “9 people died today, 5 of them children”–as if the 5 children dying is worse than the 4 adults dying. I don’t believe that for a minute. This angle would so NOT work on me.
I mean, really. Where is it written that, somehow, upon turning age 18, you’re not as important anymore? And don’t get me started on things like parents spending tons of money on children for Christmas but buying each other almost nothing, or the parents who will buy clothes for themselves at Goodwill but insist on brand-new brand-name clothes for their kids? Why should I allow the kids to blare “Teletubbies” or whatever in the family TV room if the noise is bothersome to me, especially after a tiring day? Why is my need for peace & quiet regarded by some as less important than a child WANTING to get “telly tinky winky” or whatever on the boob tube? Hell, it’s MY HOUSE, not theirs. How backwards is that?
Don’t get me wrong, we love our kids & sacrifice for them, and we play with them and get them things they like–but the idea that children are more important than adults is totally not the truth. It only leads to children who are spoiled & think the world revolves around them & their parents’ concerns (especially ones regarding their marriage) are subservient to their whimsical desires. The way I was raised–we love you, we take care of you, we give you SOME of what you like, but ultimately, you get to get what you like once you GROW UP and make the money yourself, and you will respect the rules of this home which is the parents’ house, not yours–you just happen to live here as the result of being our offspring.
Like I said, I’m the LAST person this would work on.
Plus, this same information is public information and can be obtained for free. No need to pay even a dollar for it!
Was just sent here via Crappy Pictures. I’m so happy to have found your website.
“We’ll do everything possible to save the children!” …if you pay. For things that are free. Sigh.
“If you don’t spend money on useless crap, your child will DIE!!!!!” (Note the multiple exclamation points.)
There’s another factor. How many “registered sex offenders” started out as eighteen-year-old boys with sixteen-year-old girlfriends? It has happened that an overanxious parent has had his daughter’s boyfriend arrested for child molestation. Boom–kid ends up on the registry.
As a parent, I have been shocked and appalled at how much stuff is sold to the “scared parent” market.
When my daughter was too little for a bike helmet, but we wanted to start riding around with her in the bike trailer (we are car-free), I was worried about possibly running a stop sign or something and getting pulled over and then ticketed for having a kid not in a helmet. When I googled “bike helmets for babies” to see if anyone was selling helmets smaller than toddler size, I found:
And I couldn’t believe it! Though I think those helmets probably would have kept me “safe” from the law if I had been pulled over, I refused to buy one because I would NOT support that fear-mongering company.
I ended up putting my older son in the bike seat and just fitting the whole dang carseat in the trailer for my daughter, which was inconvenient, but I figured that no one could argue for a helmet when she was in a “child safety seat.” I stopped doing that though once she was about 9 months old, and guess what, she’s still alive at 18 months!
Anyway, if this marketing works every non-free-range parent might have their kid wearing a Thudguard Safety Hat around their house!
Dripping with sarcasm…. LOVE IT!!!
The title of this one reminded me of a quote from Utah Phillips (labour organizer, hobo and folk singer) from the song “Natural Resources” on the album he did with Ani DiFranco called “The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere.” This is something he said to a young writers’ conference he was invited to address:
“You are about to be told one more time that you are America’s most valuable natural resource. Have you seen what they do to valuable natural resources?! Have you seen a strip mine? Have you seen a clear cut in the forest? Have you seen a polluted river? Don’t ever let them call you a valuable natural resource! They’re going to strip mine your soul. They’re going to clear cut your best thoughts for the sake of profit unless you learn to resist.”
Lenore, thank you again for keeping sanity in the picture. It is so sad that so many parents continue to fall into the trap of “I must do everything in my power to protect my children from the horror of this life, even if I must take a bullet (or more likely, support fear mongering “if it protects one child, it is worth it “(even if it throws hundreds of thousands of other children under the bus ) organizations
Check out this post. She cites Lenore at the end. This girl is usually really funny, and hopefully she’ll give her kids more freedom as they get older (I think her oldest is 5).
I loved this picture in the British Daily Telegraph yesterday:
It shows a bunch of kids crossing a broken suspension bridge in order to get to school. It shows 3 things:
1) The importance of school, that kids will do this instead of staying home.
2) That other parents aren’t as freaked out as paranoid first-worlders
are about their little darlings. And
3) That kids are a heck of a lot more capable, brave, and strong than we ever give them credit for.
My husband and I are trying very hard to give our children (ages 7 and 9) the same free range experiences we had as kids. Most of our friends think we are nuts, but we’re still trying. Even with all their hovering, I cannot imagine anyone I know actually buying information that can easily be obtained for free on the internet. But I clicked through to the company website anyway just to see what they were really selling. I was surprised to see a page titled Disclaimer – this is what I found –
Ok, me again. If you can’t rely on the information they are selling why would you ever pay $250 for it?
Good heavens, smart parents can be so stupid.
Sheri O…Was there supposed to be a link to the Disclaimer Page in your post?
Wow, I already signed up years ago for a free service (from the government) that tells me where sex offenders are and alerts me when one moves in near me. What’s the $240 for?
Joyanna, I loved that “thudguard” site. Fearmongering: A+. I clicked on the video (“see the product work!”) and noticed that there was not one moment where either of the twins (who look around 1 year old) came close to banging his/her head. I also liked they way they said “protect your child’s brain” and then showed how the child tries and tries to shut a door but can’t make it work (thanks to a safety device). Wouldn’t a house full of those things make a kid dumber?
You can buy one as a gift, too!
I like how the last line says “This is one deal you owe to your children”. I’m pretty sure the only things I owe my children are a roof over their heads, good food to eat, and the know-how to survive on their own. That being said, I refuse to teach them that everyone out there is a potential sexual predator looking to hurt them. Instead, I will teach them that in the off chance someone does try to snatch them, to kick, scream, and go for the eyes. These techniques will be useful for the equally unlikely the monster under their bed tries to take them too.
SKL, yes I noticed too that the “Thudguard in action” did nothing to protect the kids, who didn’t even fall down or bang their heads once!
Which again shows that many safeguards are guarding against things that don’t happen very often and in this case, are not really harmful even if they do!
Emotional blackmail is the tool-of-choice for fearmongerers. In a similar vein: be very suspicious of politicians or safety campaigners who say things like “if we save one child it will be worth it” or “this must never happen again.” It almost always shows – at best – a complete lack of proportion at best, and – at worst – naked self-promotion.
As AztecQueen said above, how many of those sex offenders are real pedophiles, molesters or rapists? Most so-called sex offenders are 19-year-old guys who had sex with their 16-year-old girlfriends, people caught urinating in public, streakers, and people who were mooning. Unfortunately, sex offender registries don’t distinguish between repeat child molesters and drunken teenagers who peed on somebody’s lawn one time but have clean records otherwise. When a parent sees the number of “sex offenders” in the neighborhood, it sets of internal alarm bells. But if they took the time to find out what the offenses really were, they would be relieved to know how few of their neighbors are real sex offenders.
It’s amazing that using language about our children being our most precious or vulnerable anything will turn an otherwise educated and discerning parent into a gullible wimp. Why else would someone pay for information that you can get free of charge?
The site is suspiciously unprofessional looking for one selling information. And Net Nanny is well known software, not theirs as they claim.
I knew a family where the kid got organic food, while the parents ate “normal” food. And to them it was totally normal…
My best hated sentences are: “I would do anything for my child” and “For my child only the best is good enough”, because in reality they say: “See, what good parents we are”
Any type of fear sells. It doesn’t have to be fear of injury or predators. Another big fear that parents in the States have is that their children will be behind their peers and won’t get into the “right” preschool, elementary school, high school, or university. Toy makers do a great job of exploiting that fear. They basically tell parents that if they don’t buy a certain toy, their child will be sitting in the corner wearing a dunce cap in his classroom. Think about all of the Baby Einstein (I personally hate that name) videos or other toys that are now practically mandatory to buy for your child. If you deny your child all of those educational toys out there, he will end up cleaning toilets for a living instead of becoming a doctor. At least that’s what the toy marketers want us to believe. It’s amazing how many parents buy into the idea that their child will fall behind and be forever unable to catch up with the others if their children don’t have a certain toy. They’re the same crowd who will pay for a service to monitor neighborhood “sex offenders.”
When an airplane is in trouble, you are told to put on your own air mask before assisting the children. If I put myself in the poorhouse, and sacrifice to the point I’m unhappy and resentful, and ignore my husband and our marriage in order to put Children Uber Alles, the result will be spoiled, unhappy kids. If I really want my kids to be happy successful people, I need to put on my own oxygen mask first. For example, there was a time when my kids wanted to do martial arts, like I did. We didn’t have the money for all three of us to do it. So the kids had to wait a couple years. They had to understand that Mom needs this to stay in shape and have an outlet, we can’t afford this for you right now, you have scouts and band to keep you occupied, so tough toenails, kiddo.
Yeah, the ‘children are the most wonderfu/precious/blah blah’ crap doesn’t work on me either.
If you click over to the crappypictures blog (linked by Cynthia), don’t read the comments. A very few are sensible, but many are like this (parents talking about things they did as kids that they won’t let their kids do):
“…I also swam in a ditch/canal (a slower moving one, not those deathtrap kind) ran around 13 acres of farmland barefoot, ran around my neighborhood until dark (from the age of 10 on) and did so many things wrong. I really dont want my daughter getting into some of the trouble I did. The kids can still do those wonderful things, they just should be supervised by a responsible adult. Go exploring WITH your kids. Be silly. Build communication. They can still be kids and be safe.”
Siiiiiiiiiigh. Yes, running around barefoot is WRONG! Shame, shame, shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame!
Sorry I made you read that tripe, but I saved you from reading a lot more like that, right?
Caro, I agree. I clicked over there and nearly cried at some of the comments. Normally I like her blog, and find it amusing, but nothing like furthering the fear.
“Wouldnâ€™t a house full of those things make a kid dumber?”
OF COURSE IT WOULD. How is a child ever going to learn not to pinch himself if he can never close doors? Not to make a mess in the cupboards if they’re all locked? Not to run into things if everything’s padded?
I’m not even saying that everything has to be learned by “hard knocks” or that you have to leave your cleaning solutions in the toy box, just that if there’s no incentive at all not to be incautious and mess with things, how is a child going to learn how not to do dumb/dangerous things? I’d think the human race would have learned by now that people aren’t real good at learning theories that they can’t connect to any practical application, and “don’t run in the living room” is an impractical theory if everything is padded.
Pentamom, you’re right, but I was also thinking about the other side of it – how will a kid learn how to do even smart things if everything in his environment is jimmied to not work the right way? I mean, that child who was trying to close the door in the video was using his God-given brain to make an ordinary thing happen, and his brain was getting all kinds of stupid feedback which will now become part of his problem-solving toolkit. I could see having one no-no cabinet and even locking it, but a house full of devices designed to make A happen when B is attempted is not the way to “protect your baby’s brain” in my opinion.
This is just another example of adults’ “me, me, me” attitude. Let’s face it, we all have learned to grow up thinking about ourselves. Consciously or subconsciously, out initial reaction is OUR own needs. Some more than others, some more ignorantly than others. I/we are no exception. But the difference with us is that we use logic and reason to make our decisions (and I’d like to think there are more than not that do). Hence why, ultimately it doesn’t become about us, but those that really are the subject of attention.
Companies understand this psychology, and they use it to sell their products. Example: The Health Food and Supplement industry show pictures of hot fit models beside fat, unappealing individuals. Saying you can look like models too if you take their products. Or buy that exercise equipment to get lean and buff, women/men will flock all over you. They “prey” on people’s insecurity. And there are many, many insecure people out there. Cosmetic industry, play on people’s desire to look younger longer. Fashion industry, use celebrities and models to sell their products. If you look like this, you will be considered cool and become more popular. Even social sites pray on people’s psyche. Facebook is genius for this. People feel the need to be wanted, appreciated, admired, and recognized. Facebook allows them to do just that. The industry for children’s safety, well-being, clothing, entertainment, etc… is no exception. Now I’m sure their heart is in the right place. But that is only secondary to what their primary goal is…making money. And just like all these other industries, they attack the fear aspect of parents mentality. Fear is powerful emotion. Powerful. Like crack or meth for drug addicts. It’s also the easiest to succumb to. And these companies are very aware of this.
But at the end of the day, it’s really all up to us in how we perceive these ads, warnings, and admonitions. We all have the one thing that can help us make the right decisions for our children. It’s available to us 24/7. It doesn’t run out of batteries. You don’t need a manual to use it. Even children can be experts in a very short period of time. And best of all…it’s FREE. It’s called COMMON SENSE. And like the author said. Many of these Parenting Guidance places and books, can easily be found just by Googling the information. Parents just need to do their research. I’ve never had to read any self-help books. Everything I’ve learned and teach my own kid, is my own experience growing up, and trial and error. Worked for me and my siblings, and friends I’ve grown up with. Not any different now. And I’m most certain, for every bad thing they read, they will find many positives that contradict them. They just have to decide which they want to believe.
Anytime an advertiser tells me how I should feel about my loved ones, anything he says after that goes in one ear and out the other.
I mean, really, you need to tell me that I should care about my kids? Someone is paying you to tell me that? Oh, sure, I’m all ears. Wonder why I never thought of that myself?
My favorite is the life insurance companies. “What would happen to your children if you died?” (Along with a photo of a helpless mama and her sad darlings hugging.) Well golly, I might have already thought of that before they were born.
One other extreme comment I saw recently was on a circumcision thread. (You know how those get, and I’m not trying to start that here. I personally believe reasonable minds can differ and thank God I have only girls.) One commenter’s biggest argument was “MY child is not going to DIE from a botched circumcision.” And she then went on to imply that anyone who circumcised her child obviously did not care if their children DIED. Another person said that more boys die from circumcision than from suffocation and car accidents combined (untrue). There are actually websites built for the explicit purpose of convincing parents that circumcision is a major risk of infant death. I don’t think they are trying to sell a product (though they do accept donations!). But they do get an A+ for Fearmongering.
My personal favorite is the “Lactation Specialist”. Wait, I can’t just give my newborn the nipple and allow him/her to suck? I have to be taught and then told I’m doing it wrong? When my second son was born, I threw the LS out of the room after she tried to convince me I needed “help”…Wow…wonder what all those women did for thousands of years without her. “Specialists” make people anxious. It’s their job. They serve no other purpose. Trust your instincts…..that’s what I tell the parents of my preschoolers. That’s what I did raising my own kids. I think all Parenting books should be banned! (LOL…no, I don’t really believe in censorship, but I do think parents should NOT read those books).
Gina, they asked their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc.
Unfortunately, we have replaced familial relations with commercial ones. We express love by spending money and we value commercial relationships over blood relationships.
Even the expression “my child is my most valuable” is assigning a commercial value to something far more important. It cheapens the truth by converting it to crass fiscal terminology.
Gina, personally I found the lactation specialist helpful with #1 and #2. I was 2000 miles away from family, and the close friend with a baby that I could ask was not a help because she had issues with her ducts that meant she had to pump or have her baby starve. With #1, it was because she was my first. With #2, it was because he was born with two teeth. Misshapen, sharp teeth. She helped immensely with the issues we had (either those teeth were on my nipples or he was cutting the back of his tongue with them.)
And with all three, I never had that beautiful nursing experience from the get go, that those books you want to ban say.;-) I had 2-3 weeks of pain until we all got used to nursing for each kid.
My step sister could have used a lactation specialist. She had a C-section and the drugs interfered things. Her insurance wouldn’t pay for one, and the hospital didn’t have one. I tried to help as best I could from 2000 miles away. Her mom bottle fed her, so no help there either.
Maybe it was just the hospital I was at, but their policy seemed to be that the nurse would suggest the person was there to help, but we had to ask to have her come and see us. No pushy stuff.
Cheryl–Always there are exceptions..but I was talking about for the most part. It just makes me crazy that so many parents are afraid of their own instincts BECAUSE they are “instructed” by “experts”.
BTW..I nursed 5 babies….the last three for over two years each..none had trouble latching and I STILL had pain in the first few weeks. I think that’s just part of it.
I’m glad you stuck with it… 🙂 I think a lot of moms don’t because the “specialists” tell them there shouldn’t be pain and they’re doing it wrong..
Gina, right, and then for those of us for whom breastfeeding was not a realistic option, there are the other fearmongers who imply that baby formula is POISON. Ugh!
Why is it so much a part of our society to use non-objective fearmongering to get people to do what we think is best? I mean, assuming it’s any of our dang business in the first place . . . .
I must be a dreadful parent; my sons bruises join together over the summer, although he never makes a fuss. My middle child (of 5) ended up in A&E (that’s the emergency room to non UK readers!) getting two large cuts on her head glued shut after she tripped and landed head first on a rock whilst jumping from one rock to another. My youngest child is a walking disaster area and always has scrapes and bruises. There’s only one play park here, but there’s deserted moor and shore, as well as an abandoned croft where they go build dens and stuff. They come back covered in mud and grass stains, bruises, scrapes and the occasional tick. We also take em to the beach on a regular basis, where they play in the north Atlantic and dam the burn and jump about on all the dangerous big rocks and play on the sand slide down the hill, which is about 50ft long/tall.
I think this is a better childhood – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150586552735646.671085.655295645&type=3&l=62a3910560
And I think that anyone trying to get me to fear is on a hiding to nothing 🙂
The fact that the $240 advice was 90% off that should give you an idea how much of little this advice has sold 🙂
PS: I was wondering what kind of training one must undergo to be a certified Lactation Specialist. I don’t see University of Phoenix offering it on their correspondence courses.
Gina, I disagree completely about the lactation specialist. I absolutely DID NOT know how to get my child to properly latch on. It is not instinct for most and never has been. Previous generations had midwifes, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc. to show them how to breastfeed. If I had not had access to a lactation consultant, I would have quit breast feeding before we even left the hospital. I detested it until I worked with the lactation consultant.
I disagree. I think it is instinct for MOST, but clearly not all. I wonder if the way mothers are programmed to believe they must LEARN how to parent from ‘experts’ adds to the anxiety that causes women to THINK they are not doing it right. That your child didn’t latch on in the hospital is NOT unusual…newborns need practice as do their moms. But the fact that you “detested” it BEFORE you even left the hospital speaks to the fact that we are being programmed to think that professionals know something we don’t. I respectfully think that had that not been the permeating attitude, you might not have hated it or thought it abnormal that your child didn’t latch on immediately and you might have kept trying even without the consultant.
That said, I do think that there are cases where intervention may be necessary..and certainly yours might have been one of them. And I also believe that there are women and babies who are not able to nurse. I do not judge women who bottle feed.
Interesting what you said about previous generations. My mother was the “anti-breastfeeder”. I had nobody around to teach me. But I never doubter for one second that I would be successful at nursing.
No, I hated breast feeding because it was painful and my child was screaming because she wasn’t feeding properly. And I didn’t “think” I was doing it wrong. I WAS doing it wrong. I was allowing my daughter to suck on just the nipple – the biggest no-no in breast feeding.
I’m sorry that you experienced some permeating negative breast feeding vibe but it certainly wasn’t at my hospital. My hospital was very encouraging and empowering. Nobody told me that I was doing it wrong, like you seem to think (until I asked). No lactation consultant walked around seeking to advise patients. In fact, you had to make an appointment with the lactation consultant if you wanted to see her. My hospital assumed that everything was fine unless you asked for help.
“That your child didnâ€™t latch on in the hospital is NOT unusualâ€¦newborns need practice as do their moms.”
I find it interesting that you admit that breast feeding issues are common in the beginning. That it’s not unusual for mother and child to need “practice,” frequently leaving the hospital without the child correctly latching on. But then boo-hoo on people who say that a lactation consultant helped them with these issues that you admit are common.
I suppose that you are correct. I could have insisted on going it alone on principle. We both probably would have figured it all out eventually and, if not, there’s nothing wrong with formula. But why exactly am I doing that? Why exactly am I putting myself through more pain and my daughter through more hunger? Just because lactation consultants didn’t exist in previous generations (when actually they did in the form of elders and midwifes, often directly and almost always indirectly through years of watching the women in her family breast feed her siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews)?
In one visit, the lactation consultant fixed our latching issues, showed me how to unlatch my baby when she was playing with the nipple, showed me many different positions to try and gave me fabulous tips for soothing my horribly painful nipples. All for FREE!!! I’m not sure where the negative is. Yeah, my daughter and I are both smart girls and probably could have figured it all out eventually on our own, but I’m not sure what the point of muddling through on your own in pain for days and weeks is. It can certainly be done, but why if help is available (and free in my case)?
Yes, it would have been nicer to have had my mother give me tips, but she was on the other side of the country undergoing chemo and didn’t even get to see her granddaughter until she was several weeks old. We were long passed mastering breast feeding by then.
smeesue, I joke with my mother-in-law about one day someone is going to call the authorities on me because of the bruises, bumps, scrapes, etc on my kids. At 2 1/2 my son’s bruises do the same as your child’s. He is so adventurous and active, and his 10 month old sister seems to be even more so, I couldn’t tell you how specific bruises happened. It seems to be inherited. When I was a kid I was more adventure than grace and wound up with all kinds of wounds. After a while my pediatrician taught my mother how to do stitches at home because we would have gone bankrupt on the ER copays alone. Thankfully their pediatrician believes in active, outdoor childhood, though I don’t think he’s going to teach me to suture my own kids.
Lists that identify child sex offenders are unhelpful in so many ways. As has been said, there doesn’t seem to be any distinction between an underage teenage romance and someone who preys on random kids. But also, what use is it really beyond the usual advice? Teach your kids not to go off with adults (strangers or known), without your permission and they’re as safe whether or not you know where offenders are. And if these offenders are going to ‘hide in the bushes and snatch kids’, they’re not going to do so round the corner from their house!
In fact, these kids probably make kids less safe, as they mean parents practice avoidance of all danger rather than teaching their kids personal safety skills.
Sex offender registries also give a false sense of security. Everybody is so concerned with the “demons” on the registry. They fail to understand that someone has to be convicted at least once to get on the registry. That means that a large number (the vast majority actually) of sex offenses are committed by people NOT on the registry. When I worked back in the states (things are different on a small island), it was extremely rare for our sex offense clients to already be on the registry. For most this was the first prosecution. If your child is going to be molested, it is far more likely that s/he will be molested by someone NOT on the registry than someone on the registry.
In addition, I think registries actually make us less safe in general. It is becoming increasingly difficult for sex offenders to find places to live and jobs. More and more of them are living on the street or in tent cities. Tens of thousands of people roaming around with no jobs and money and nothing to do all day is not conducive to positive living. This is why so many sex offenders get rearrested for other things (and those statistics are then manipulated to make it appear that sex offenders reoffend at a high rate). Drugs, stealing, panhandling, etc. become a way of life for people on the registry who could have otherwise been contributing members of society.
Heather. My parents were 1 family psychologist visit from having “childrens services”* called on them. i was pure free-range** when I was young and was bruised all over.
5 minutes of the doctor watching me run around debased him of the thought that I was abused.
* When I was 7 I rode my bicycle about 1 mile to Coney Island. When I got a flat, I was able to get to the nearest police station, and got a lift home from them. My parents were in turn relieved, chagrined, surprised, and not surprised. I’ve always been the independent one 🙂
Gina, the “specialist” that told me there should be no pain and all would be wonderful were those stupid books and magazines. Mostly the magazines that said I needed $2000 in supplies just to bring baby home. (I paid about $200.)
I did have experts teach me how to parent though. Those experts are my mother and grandmother. They were excellent examples, and trained me from a young age. I thought it pretty strange when my aunt used disposable diapers – my siblings all used flat diapers with pins that grew with baby, and doubled as burp cloths. I still follow some of the things my mom did, like no preschool, fighting with schools, standing up for my kids when they need it, and telling them “GO OUTSIDE, NOW!” when I need a break from them. My mom was great, but like many, many other women in our society these days, we don’t live near our moms. Too many of our moms also fell for the idea of formula and bottles, so they are no help for a new mom who needs help.
As I see it, the lactation specialist is a sign of our mobile communities, and the fact that bottle feeding was touted as the way to go in the 70s and 80s. I hope though, that like you say, they become largely unnecessary, but I have my doubts based on our mobility as a country. Until then, I think they are helpful if they are not intrusive. Not all are intrusive. Who knows, maybe YouTube will replace them! I go there to look for everything else I need to know, from how to place the mouth on a flute to clipping wing feathers on chickens so they don’t fly the coop!
As an adoptive parent, I always get a little irritated at the ‘Breastfeeding is the only way to feed your kids and if you don’t you’re a horrible parent’ crowd. I dunno, my kids seem to have done fine on formula. So if it’s ok for us adoptive parents, it should be okay for those parents who can’t or don’t want to breastfeed. I suppose you should if you can (and by the time I got done paying for all that formula, I was certainly wishing I had a free source), but I don’t think any mom should beat herself up, or let others beat her up, for bottle feeding. The kids won’t die from it.
BMS, I read one of the stupidest things I think I’ve ever read today. My daughter loves Ramona books so I was looking at some other Beverly Cleary books on Amazon. Someone actually gave “Socks the Cat” three stars and took the time to write a review that said nothing other than: “Sadly, the book is a reflection of the times in which it was written, and the baby in it is exclusively formula-fed. Why Cleary got so much flak for mentioning spaying pets to prevent overpopulation, and none at all in this day and age for setting formula feeding on par with human milk, and presenting that to her young target audience as a harmless choice, I’ll never understand.”
I think some take breast feeding a little too serious when they start advocating either rewriting or banning books (or whatever this reviewer expected to accomplish) written in the 70’s to conform today’s parenting agenda.
Good freaking lord.
It’s breast milk, people. It’s not Super Power Juice like in Captain Underpants. Yes, it’s good for babies. But for the love of God, formula is not rat poison, and breast milk does not convey superhuman powers.
“a MUST before Trick or Treating begins!” Ugh!
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