Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Mother and Child Reunion

Mother & ChildSome interesting research results dealing with the potential benefits sending your toddler to childcare have for the mother and the child came to my attention (thanks to Leslie Cannold). Have a look here.
I thought I would share it with you here since I have always found myself a player in the battlefield where a war is being waged between the camp that thinks little children need to stay at home (almost always with their mother) and the one that sends their toddlers to childcare facilities. As I pointed in the past, that former camp seems to have a strange but firm grip on the Aussie psyche, especially when comparing things to other countries.
I would say the debate is more about women’s liberation than it is about the optimal way to raise a child. The fact there is debate in the first place says something about the status of women in contemporary Aussie culture, and that message is not particularly good.
I would just like to point out two of the research’s conclusions (which I admit to list below in too simplistic a manner):
  1. Sending a two year old to formal childcare helps the mother avoid depression and helps the child behave better by the time they’re five.
  2. Sending the same two year old to non formal childcare (I assume the research is referring to things like leaving children with their grandparents) does not do anyone any good.
I might have simplified things, but the point is clear: sending a little child to childcare can help both the child and the mother; it is not a case of getting rid of the child for selfish reasons, but rather the opposite.

Image by Andy Magee, Creative Commons license


Uri said...

That’s not the way I read it.

Children of depressed mother are less likely to have behavior problems if they attend formal childcare.

I don’t see how mothers are helped, or children of non-depressed mothers.

Moshe Reuveni said...

You are totally right. I was working under the assumption that a child with less issues would cause the mother to be less depressed, but obviously I did not have the right to make that assumption.
Thanks for correcting me!