Infant Solitary Confinement is bad, mmkay?

For the first time in ages, I have time to sit and read. Read blogs, news sites, Facebook, etc. etc.  It is glorious. Informative. Thought-provoking. And sometimes, angry-making.

I came across an article during my breakfast bowl of Sriracha and chicken Ramen noodles (don’t judge) that infuriated me.  Not the article itself but one of the ideas it was debunking.

The implications of the entire article are interesting and something that I have slowly learned as a parent. Letting your kids roam is good for them. Letting them learn autonomy is GOOD FOR THEM.
But, and this is important, in order to do this – kidlets must, must, must (and I will reiterate this point a lot) know that they are being raised in a world by parents who will back them up.
One of the concepts that this article bashes is that of Ferberisation. A concept dating from the 1890’s. Haven’t we outgrown this bullshit?

“Parents are encouraged to schedule and limit the time they spend checking on the baby. Does the system work? Of course it does. That is hardly the question. The real issue is why would such a thing be promoted?”1

What the ever-loving fuck?  Why are parents being taught to put their infants into what amounts to solitary confinement? What the hell, people? Who thought this was a good idea?2

 “a famous British advocate of the system….[says] that babies who have been forced into a routine will later adapt easily to a school routine and, one presumes, be more malleable to a workforce system.”

Yes, by Gumby. Because malleable and easily controlled drones are exactly what the world needs right now. Yanno, instead of babies and children who know that their parents got their backs.


Now before anyone says anything, I totally grok needing a schedule for a child. I also grok that the needs of a hunter/gatherer tribe and an industrialized 8 to 7–er  are going to be completely different.  It is the price we pay for the privileges we have – running water, electricity, the internets, etc. etc.

However, and really why should I have to say this?, you adapt. You pick up your crying baby. You make sure that from an early age they understand that Mums and Daddums (or Daddums and Daddums, or Mums and Mums, or Mums and Mums and Daddums, ∞) are going to be there for them.  That way, later on, they will be able to roam with the sure and certain knowledge of parental backup.

1– Quotes are from here: which is, in turn, an extract from Kith: The Riddle Of The Childscape, by Jay Griffiths, published by Hamish Hamilton

2– Note, this is NOT up for debate. This is a rhetorical question. My blog. My rules. Keep in mind that I am the person who quietly barks at lax parents to “pick up your crying baby, you moron” while in public spaces.  You want to debate this, go to another forum where it is being bandied about. I am commenting on the absolute bugfuckery of this idea. BUGFUCKERY. >,<

3 – 9 to 5 has gone the way of the dodoes in today’s society.

5 thoughts on “Infant Solitary Confinement is bad, mmkay?

  1. The extremes that some notions are taken to are crazy. The child development classes I’ve taken always encouraged people to allow children to learn to self-comfort a bit, which reduces stress for both parents and child, but to not overdo that because it can lead to a lack of social ability. Plus, why WOULDN’T you want to hold your kid?

    Life is about balance, and there are a lot of unbalanced whack-a-dos out there. Perhaps they should have had Sriracha for breakfast?

    1. I’ve taken child development classes, too. And yes, moderation is a good thing.

      But leaving your shrieking infant in a room all by herself because “the baby was trying to force her will on the mother” is BS. Utterly and completely. Picking up your baby when they’re upset doesn’t teach them anything beyond “this person cares for me.”

      Sriracha and chicken is one of life’s joys. 😀

      1. Isn’t it amazing how a little compassion solves almost everything. Well, that and good food. And mead. Mead is good. You just have to watch the dosage.

  2. The whole sleep-training debate is a fight I opted out of years ago, but I do applaud your ferocity. Congrats on finally having some time to read! I’m looking forward to exactly that. You know, more than five minutes in a row when there isn’t a textbook glaring at me and drumming its metaphorical fingernails on the counter. One day….

    1. I have missed reading and writing So Very Much.
      I am playing serious bloggy catch-up. I haven’t had a chance to sit and read/write since November 30, 2012. There is an upcoming post about Things What Happened and Where I Went and Why.

      I am going to go talk to a professor on Friday about the Literature MFA program I was invited into.

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