The diabolical genius of the baby advice industry
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The baby-advice industry targets people at their most vulnerable - at the start of the weightiest responsibility of their lives - and suggests that they have some information that will ensure the future happiness of the child.
Even the most skeptical readers fall prey to books that promise a happy and healthy child.
Whether new parents try to follow advice from well-known parenting experts or rejecting outside expertise in favor of their own instincts, all guidance fails to quell anxiety away. You'll find yourself constantly questioning whether the advice is the best for your child.
For most of human history, children were largely ignored until they were old enough to begin contributing to the survival of household or tribe. It is only in our modern society that children have become the center of attention from day one.
Parenting books promise that there are techniques and expertise that parents can acquire to help them accomplish the goal of shaping their children's lives. That this should be a goal is a recent development. Yet, almost every human in history has been raised without the insights of a multitude of parenting books.
Parenting is not about using techniques or thinking in terms of methods. Anything as complex as a relationship between humans can't be reduced to a set of consciously manipulable variables.
Secure attachment in children is not a result of using techniques, but from the overall quality of the relationship between children and parents who are reasonably consistently available and in tune with their children's emotions some of the time - basically, loving parents.
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