Children News & Commentary

When A Mother Abandons Her Eggs

"All you have to do is Google child care person arrested and you'll find, just like the Ostrich that walks away, you put your kids in danger of being trampled or crushed when you're not present. It doesn't happen all the time, but it's not in your control when it does and when it doesn't, is it?"

Job 39:13-18 says: “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, but are they the pinions and plumage of love? For she leaves her eggs to the earth and lets them be warmed on the ground, forgetting that a foot may crush them and that the wild beast may trample them. She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers; though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear, because God has made her forget wisdom and given her no share in understanding. When she rouses herself to flee, she laughs at the horse and his rider.”

This is an interesting passage, because if you read up about why Ostriches abandon their eggs observers note that they don’t actually abandon their eggs. They appear to abandon them, it looks like they are abandoning them. But really, the Ostrich leaves them behind for all sorts of other reasons, “good” reasons, “necessary” reasons. In other words, the Ostrich will sometimes abandon her eggs, but she “has her reasons”, which is how it is explained.

But to walk away from the young while they are still little, from the Scripture’s point of view, is still abandonment. Because while they are out of the mother hen’s reach, they are vulnerable to being crushed or trampled. That is why she deals cruelly with them. This doesn’t even have to happen every time, it just needs to happen some of the time to be true. 

The analogy with daycare is obvious. All you have to do is Google child care person arrested and you’ll find, just like the Ostrich that walks away, you put your kids in danger of being trampled or crushed when you’re not present. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s not in your control when it does and when it doesn’t, is it?

But for those of you who think it’s rare, note research shows, that in a different way, every kid put in daycare is being harmed:

Agression

The “Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development,” supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), said that children who spend time in day care may be more aggressive than children who spend no time in day care. According to the study, the number of hours a child spends in day care also affects his aggression levels; the more hours he is there, the more aggressively he behaves. However, some reject the statistical correlation as too small to be presumed a fact.”

Stress

In a study conducted by the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, children under age 3 who spend time in day care may experience more stress than children of the same age who are not in day care. Children in the study exhibited higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, when they were in the middle of full days at day care; the cortisol levels went down when they went back home. Those children were described as being more shy, a trait which could cause stress in a social environment. However, day care might not be the only cause of the stress; children inevitably must participate in some social environments once they reach elementary school-age.

Diminished Bonding

Young children who spend time in day care may bond less with their mothers than children who stay home with their mothers, according to the NICHD study. However, the results were preliminary, and the link may not be significant enough to necessitate parents being concerned about their children’s welfare. Researchers suggest that parents who send their children to day care should focus on finding a high-quality day care rather than fretting about diminished bonding.

Aggressive and Disruptive Behavior

Children who are in day care for a year or more have been shown to be more disruptive in class as long as into the sixth grade, according to a New York Times report on the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Even children in high-quality centers were shown to exhibit disruptive behavior. However, children in high-quality centers were also shown to score better on standardized tests. A study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, reported by CBS, also found that children who spend long hours in day care are at increased risk of becoming aggressive, in addition to developing other behavior problems.”

The article misleads people by noting you should choose better quality daycare. But the research did not distinguish between types of daycare, but the amount of time spent in daycare. 

As other research shows:

The raging debates around maternal guilt, work/family balance, money and childrearing often drown out scientific insights into the developmental impact of day care. But the latest findings, from a huge, long-term government study, are worrisome. They show that kids who spend long hours in day care have behavior problems that persist well into elementary school. About 26 percent of children who spend more than 45 hours per week in day care go on to have serious behavior problems at kindergarten age. In contrast, only 10 percent of kids who spend less than 10 hours per week have equivalent problems.

The worst part about this is that it is known that daycare has a bad effect on kids, and it has been known for some time. But this research is partially kept from mothers: 

Developmental psychologists are sweeping this information under the rug, hoping studies will churn out better data soon, argues Jay Belsky, a child development researcher at London’s Birbeck College and a longtime critic of his fellow scientists. He contends that the field of developmental psychology is monopolized by women with a “liberal progressive feminist” bias. “Their concern is to not make mothers feel bad,” he says…

…Belsky has been outspoken on the issue for decades. In the 1980s, his studies showed that children spending long hours in day care had higher levels of aggression than those raised by their mothers. Detractors excoriated him then for using bad science to criticize working women.

It is easy for data to be manipulated. But consistent data over the long term, which disagrees with prevailing public attitudes, and which I can anecdotally say has been observed by people I know is much harder to explain away.  

The article then notes that Belsky’s female colleagues disagree with him (obviously). But then notes this: 

Although Belsky’s harsh words haven’t won him many friends, some researchers think he has a point. Kathy McCartney, an education professor at Harvard and another NICHD day care researcher, concedes the aggression results are significant, but won’t offer cautionary advice without more research. “So far it is looking like he’s right,” says McCartney, who criticized Belsky’s claims in the past. “Long hours in child care are associated with behavior problems.”

This woman notes the solutions aren’t obvious. To which I respond: the solution is called mothers raising their kids in the home, like God intended. But you also need to mix this with rejecting avarice, greed, and covetousness. Because these are big reasons why so many women work. 

Many people say they can’t afford to live on one income. This is probably true for some. But for many what they really mean is that they cannot afford the house, car and lifestyle they want with only one income. In other words, they have “reasons”, like the Ostrich. 

Wow. Modern woman deals cruelly with her young. Note parents one day those kids will be deciding where you end up in aged care. That lack of bonding might come back to bite. I don’t think you need data or research to foresee that.