Children Matter, Families Matter, Home Matters

“Too often, children today spend their days in impersonal, regimented environments where they are just one of many children being cared for by people who don’t love them."

“They are taught to conform to group behavior before they develop their individual sense of self and their own interests.
We have expunged play from our children’s lives. They never, from the time they are born, have time for simple, puttering, self-discovering, self-actualizing play.”

"A critical secondary component is that today’s children spend almost all their growing up with people who don’t love them. No matter how dedicated a teacher or a day care worker may be, they have lots of children to manage, and they can’t love them in the way a parent loves.”

Rebecca Hamilton’s analysis in the National Catholic Register of the state of childhood today seems on the mark in many ways. It doesn’t reflect my own childhood because I was a child at a time when children were allowed to be children. On the other hand, many of her readers might have experienced childhood in the way she describes, but their reaction might be “so what? That’s just the way things are. Nothing unusual about that.”
What kind of childhood did you experience?

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I was lucky that my mother was able to stay home with me and that I will be able to stay home as a mother. A lot of women are very financially pressured to go back to work and many jobs aren’t suitable for part time hours. Many households need both parents to be working.

I don’t think doing 50+ hours per week in nursery, barely seeing parents during the week and only eating meals with them at the weekend is good but a lot of parents don’t have a choice.

I was in preschool. Both parents worked. I still had a fun childhood because I had siblings and my parents did spend time with me when they were free, so I don’t really get why childcare in general is demonized. I could have been an easier child though, I was perfectly okay with coming home to my grandma, the TV and my huge collection of toys. It was only when I grew older (10 ish) where I started to feel that I wasn’t as important as the rest of the family, but it was more about how they treated me when they were at home, not because both were busy with work.

Good childcare is important though.

I’ve never really experienced this. We had a lot of play here. I think parents needs to choose their child care arrangements very carefully. At the same time, parents tend to think that getting your child to sit still quietly is awful and that your children should always run around freely, which is a little weird because child psychologists would point out that self regulation is a very important thing to cultivate at a young age or else you’ll get a truckload of problems. I suspect that’s what some preschools are trying to do here?

I agree with some points though. I’m live in a country filled with very stereotypical Asian moms who send their kids to piano lessons, tuition etc etc. Sometimes what the kid needs is quality time with his/her parents. Also I guess children is general are not as valued by society.

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