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.
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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.
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.
Many American parents believe that their choices carve out their children’s futures. They seek expert advice to attempt to raise the happiest, most successful, and most well-adjusted leaders of tomorrow.
Various studies conducted in the U.S. population indicate growing anxiety towards a possibly grim future. Political turmoil, gun violence, global plagues, changing power structure and a widening rich-poor divide make us believe in a future that is more stressful and complicated than the present.
Our children are the most vulnerable. Depression cases among the young are climbing since the 90s. Suicidal cases among 10 to 24-year-olds have risen 56 per cent from 2007 to 2017.