Friday, April 20, 2007

Einstein Never Used Flash Cards

I'm finally getting around to reading this book. It's been sitting on the shelf collecting dust. They sent it to me for reviewing the DVD sample that was mailed to me a few years ago. (Which, ironically, was a DVD to basically teach you how to play with your kid....geeez people!!!!!!)

So I'm only 7 pages into the book and so far, so good. In fact, it has sucked me in! I'll probably finish it this weekend, so it will go in the "Books to Loan" queue for anyone who's interested.

The following excerpt provided me with a "Good Mommy/Bad Mommy" moment.
It got me thinking more about the whole "expert" advice on being a mommy and how that affects the peer pressure we often feel from other mommies. (On top of the self-doubt it heaps upon us!)

"After World War II, when Rosie the Riveter returned to the hearth from the factory, she needed to think of motherhood as valuable work that required special knowledge and training. Parents began to rely on child development experts for information on how to raise their children. In fact, at the White House Conference on Children in 1950, experts were worried that parents had become too dependent on expert advice! Beginning in the 1970's, as the number of dual-career families increased and as information about child development exploded, parents wanted to be certain they were making every moment with their children count. Faced with a sense of dwindling family time, parents turned to child development experts to find out how to best prepare their children for life."

What do you think? Expert advice has definitely become a huge part of child-rearing these days. Has "expert advice" done more to help or hinder you Good Mommy perspective? What about criticism from our peers? Do you think the experts do more to fan the flames or squelch debates?

P.S. My kid ran around the house half naked for the majority of the day. I'm a good mommy.


AzĂșcar said...

I've learned in my short time of being a mother that experts can't hold a candle to what you think is best for your child.

Experts are good for technical advice. Experts do a poor job of replacing the role of moms and grandmothers in parenting. Some of the best advice I ever received came from my mom. Some of the worst advice I received came from an expert Doctor.

I have read a number of books and have learned to take everything with a grain of salt. I liked Baby 411 since it was practical advice and NOT parenting advice. Everything else I read was pushed through my filter (because I'm the mom and I know best.)

La Yen said...

Interesting for me is the notion that after the women came home from working they needed to feel that what they were doing was meaningful. That, for me, is one of the hardest parts of the Good Mommy/Bad Mommy conundrum: I truly enjoy working but I know it is better for my family if I stay at home. So I DO find myself seeking "enrichment" and things for Jooj just so that I can feel like I AM "legitimately" contributing.
Stupid WW2--making me see what fun it would be to rivet instead of baking pies and beating children all day. and Stupid Experts for telling me that I can have it all.

sarah k. said...

Half naked? I have one that won't wear clothes unless I bribe him. Mostly he's in just a diaper all day.

I get sucked into "expert" advice about everything- child rearing, cooking, exercise, etc. I think it's all noise. It makes me lose focus. Thanks for digging up the quote on preschool. I only hope my motherly influence will be a good one...

compulsive writer said...

I agree with all of you. Some types of advice can be helpful, but following a one-size fits all manual is like trying to use the same owner's manual for a Toyota, a Ford and a Saturn.

There is a reason we are blessed with both instincts and intuition.

And that is all the more reason we shouldn't judge one another from our own perspectives.

La Yen, I have pondered much over the incessant messages from the world about what is meaningul. Oddly, never more than when I went back to work after all my children went to school. And alarmingly, sometimes the message doesn't come from the world, but rather from close friends and family who should know better and from inside my own head. I should know better!

Anyway, you pose some great questions here.

Queen Scarlett said...

I think it's all about the "one-size" doesn't fit all that CW mentions. We need to not look down our noses at parenting (unless it's neglectful, know the drill) but also not begrudge those that do more than we do.

Every kid is different... as long as we pay attention to where they are developing and all that...

Same goes for each parent... we are all at different stages, emotionally, financially, physically. AND... as long as we're not harming our kids... and we're doing our best... that's all we can ask.