Tag Archives: Single-Mother

Feminist single mother confused when daughter seeks male attention with sexy photos

Marriage and family
Marriage and family

Captain Capitalism shared this story about a single mother in radically-leftist French Canada. And she raised her fatherless daughter with all sorts of feminist propaganda, especially rejecting traditional femininity. But what happens when her fatherless girl has to choose between feminist theory and her need to get approval from men?

The story is from the CBC:

Last summer, I stumbled onto my teenage daughter’s social media account. What I found confirmed my worst fear: I had failed to raise a feminist.

There, among the pouty-faced selfies, was a photo of her posing, Sports Illustrated-style, on a jet ski in her bikini, brandishing her middle finger at the camera with a smirk on her face.

[…]All her life, I’ve tried to model feminism: taking her on marches for women’s rights, reading to her from books like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should all be Feminists and surrounding her with a community of strong, independent female friends.

I realize now that the wisdom of my mother’s “Women’s Lib” generation doesn’t cover the challenges of raising a feminist daughter in the 21st century.

[…]We want our girls to grow up brave, confident and assertive.

On this blog, I’ve written many times about the harm that feminism does to women. Basically, in the old days, women could be honest about what they really wanted. They wanted a husband to care for them, give them economic security, and they wanted to raise children and keep a home. They might get a degree and work while looking for a husband, but they really wanted a stable marriage, and to be needed by their husband and children most of all.

But feminism taught young women that traditional goals were “sexist” and therefore to be avoided. Instead of marrying early and having children, women were taught to delay marriage for their careers. Instead of  learning how to objectively evaluate a man for his ability as a provider, protector, moral leader and spiritual leader, women were taught to prefer men who gave them entertainment and excitement in the moment.

Well, this single mother obviously has feelings about how to achieve the goal of having a daughter who is brave confident and assertive. But what does the objective research say about how to achieve that goal?

Here’s an article from the pro-feminist Institute for Family Studies:

Today’s fathers also seem to be having a greater impact on their daughters’ academic and career choices than fathers in previous generations. For example, women who were born in the 1970s are three times more likely than those born at the beginning of the twentieth century to work in the same field as their fathers—a finding that researchers have attributed not just to society’s changing gender roles but also to daughters receiving more mentoring from their fathers.

Another question on many people’s minds is: how does a father influence his daughter’s romantic life—who she dates, when she starts having sex, and the quality of her relationships with men? Not surprisingly, a girl who has a secure, supportive, communicative relationship with her father is less likely to get pregnant as a teenager and less likely to become sexually active in her early teens. This, in turn, leads to waiting longer to get married and to have children—largely because she is focused on achieving her educational goals first.

The well-fathered daughter is also the most likely to have relationships with men that are emotionally intimate and fulfilling. During the college years, these daughters are more likely than poorly-fathered women to turn to their boyfriends for emotional comfort and support and they are less likely to be “talked into” having sex. As a consequence of having made wiser decisions in regard to sex and dating, these daughters generally have more satisfying, more long-lasting marriages. What is surprising is not that fathers have such an impact on their daughters’ relationships with men, but that they generally have more impact than mothers do.

Their better relationships with men may also be related to the fact that well-fathered daughters are less likely to become clinically depressed or to develop eating disorders. They are also less dissatisfied with their appearance and their body weight. As a consequence of having better emotional and mental health, these young women are more apt to have the kinds of skills and attitudes that lead to more fulfilling relationships with men.

An emerging body of research suggests one more way that dads may shape their daughters’ mental health and relationships in adulthood: scholars have found an intriguing link between the way daughters deal with stress as adults and the kind of relationships they had with their dads during childhood. For example, undergraduate women who did not have good relationships with their fathers had lower than normal cortisol levels. And people with low cortisol levels tend to be overly sensitive and overly reactive when confronted with stress. Indeed, the low cortisol daughters were more likely than the higher cortisol daughters (who had the better relationships with their dads) to describe their relationships with men in stressful terms of rejection, unpredictability or coercion.

If the single mother in our story really wanted her daughter to be brave, confident and assertive, then she should have 1) made herself into the kind of person that a commitment-minded man is attracted to, and 2) evaluated men for their commitment-ability and then chosen one to have babies with based on their ability to commit. For example, if she had chosen a Christian man who took the Bible seriously on morality and spirituality, then that man would have stuck around, modeled how to love his wife, and taken an interest in his children. Someone who is able to make commitments and keep his word. And according to the research, that (traditional, “sexist”) approach would have done a lot more to reach the goal of having a brave, confident and assertive daughter. The feminist approach to raising children is exactly what DOESN’T work.

The problem with the single mother feminist is that her feminist worldview is based on her feelings instead of on research. She probably had bad experiences with the hot bad boys she freely chose, and then drew the wrong conclusions from those experiences. E.g. – “I gave my body to a hot bad boy to make him like me, and he dumped me. I felt weak, but it wasn’t my fault for choosing him. It was his fault for not changing into a good man after I gave him premarital sex. Now I’m going to stop being a weak girl, and drink like a man, have sex like a man, and have a career like a man, and this will work to raise a strong daughter. Welfare, daycare and public schools are all I need!”

The priceless gift that mothers give their daughters when they marry a good man is the gift of teaching them how to make a man like them without appealing to them with exposed skin and commitment-free sex. When a man is present in the home, and is treated with respect by his wife, the daughters learn that which male behaviors are best, and how to encourage and support good men who demonstrate those behaviors. Daughters who have fathers don’t feel the need to seek male attention with skin and sex, the way that many fatherless girls do. They get attention from their fathers for being good and for achieving and for caring for other people around them. They are attracted to men who give them attention for their character and achievements, just like their fathers did.

Economist asks whether policies of white liberals will protect blacks from crime

Economist Walter Williams
Economist Walter Williams

So, I’ve been talking about famous black economist Thomas Sowell, who helped me to form my views on economics in so many areas. But there’s another black economist who is very famous. My Dad sent me an article by Walter Williams where he looks at crime statistics and race. This is something that affects my family, because we aren’t white. When it comes to crime, which policies work to protect us?

Here is the column, which was published on Daily Wire:

Let’s… turn to a recent article by Heather Mac Donald, who is a senior fellow at the New York-based Manhattan Institute. She is a contributing editor of City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author. Her most recent article, “A Platform of Urban Decline,” which appeared in Manhattan Institute’s publication Eye On The News, addresses race and crime. She reveals government statistics you’ve never read before.

According to leftist rhetoric, whites pose a severe, if not mortal, threat to blacks. Mac Donald says that may have once been true, but it is no longer so today. To make her case, she uses the latest Bureau of Justice Statistics 2018 survey of criminal victimization. Mac Donald writes: “According to the study, there were 593,598 interracial violent victimizations (excluding homicide) between blacks and whites last year, including white-on-black and black-on-white attacks. Blacks committed 537,204 of those interracial felonies, or 90 percent, and whites committed 56,394 of them, or less than 10 percent. That ratio is becoming more skewed, despite the Democratic claim of Trump-inspired white violence. In 2012-13, blacks committed 85 percent of all interracial victimizations between blacks and whites; whites committed 15 percent. From 2015 to 2018, the total number of white victims and the incidence of white victimization have grown as well.”

There are other stark figures not talked about often. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting for 2018, of the homicide victims for whom race was known, 53.3% were black, 43.8% were white and 2.8% were of other races. In cases where the race of the offender was known, 54.9% were black, 42.4% were white, and 2.7% were of other races.

So, what are the policies proposed to protect blacks from being the victims of crime? Well, there are three.

  1. white liberals want to encourage black women to raise fatherless children by normalizing sex before marriage, and paying black women to have children outside of marriage.
  2. white liberals want to confiscate the weapons that law-abiding blacks use to defend themselves from criminals.
  3. white liberals want to deny blacks school choice, trapping them into failing schools so that they can’t get out of dangerous neighborhoods by rising in education, career and finance.

In another column from Townhall, Williams quotes Malcolm X, who had a low opinion of these policies:

Malcolm X said: “The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked or deceived by the white liberal, then Negros would get together and solve our own problems. I only cite these things to show you that in America, the history of the white liberal has been nothing but a series of trickery designed to make Negros think that the white liberal was going to solve our problems. Our problems will never be solved by the white man.”

I think that blacks will do much better than they are now when they stop listening to the “compassion” of white liberals, and start looking at how they do living and working in a time of Republican policies. We have record low black unemployment now. It’s a curious sort of racism that believes in blacks to forge their own destinies, earning and choosing their way to success.

But some problems are not fixable with policies.

Williams notes:

The most devastating problems that black people face today have absolutely nothing to do with our history of slavery and discrimination. Chief among them is the breakdown of the black family, wherein 75 percent of blacks are born to single, often young, mothers. In some cities and neighborhoods, the percentage of out-of-wedlock births is over 80. Actually, “breakdown” is the wrong term; the black family doesn’t form in the first place. This is entirely new among blacks.

According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, that year only 11 percent of black children were born to unwed mothers. As late as 1950, female-headed households constituted only 18 percent of the black population. Today it’s close to 70 percent. In much earlier times, during the late 1800s, there were only slight differences between the black family structure and those of other ethnic groups. In New York City in 1925, 85 percent of kin-related black households were two-parent households. Welfare has encouraged young women to have children out of wedlock. The social stigma once associated with unwed pregnancy is all but gone.

You can’t blame “the legacy of slavery” for the breakdown of the black family, because the black family was working great long after slavery was abolished.

So let me say something about myself and my marriage plan.

Because of my skin color, it would be natural for me to look to start a family with a black woman. According to marriage statistics, marriages where both spouses are the same color tend to succeed. But because of my Christian faith, I have to be a virgin myself, and I have to look for a virgin as a bride. But this standard is dead in the black community. Recreational sex with hot bad boys the rule, instead of choosing men who commit before sex. According to research, abstaining from sex before marriage is the best way to ensure that any children that are conceived in the marriage will grow up in a stable relationship with a father (me) in the home.

Unfortunately, white liberals don’t support me in these behaviors and plans. And black women agree with white liberals. They vote overwhelmingly for anti-marriage policies like promoting recreational sex in the schools, abortion, single mother welfare, no-fault divorce, redefining marriage to remove the requirement for complementary genders, etc.

According to exit polls, 98% of black women vote Democrat. They don’t do this by flipping a coin – they believe in Democrat policies. No marriage-minded man is going to be interested in entering a lifelong commitment with someone who supports anti-marriage policies.

Survey of scientific literature finds that children need their mom for first 3 years

Child grabs for his mom, who is leaving for work
Child grabs for his mom, who is leaving for work

Recently, an article published in the Wall Street Journal reported on a research survey done by a far-left Democrat psychotherapist based in far-left New York City. Surprisingly, her book caused an uproar among the author’s left-wing allies. How come?

Excerpt:

Motherhood used to be as American as apple pie. Nowadays it can be as antagonistic as American politics. Ask Erica Komisar.

Ms. Komisar, 53, is a Jewish psychoanalyst who lives and practices on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. If that biographical thumbnail leads you to stereotype her as a political liberal, you’re right. But she tells me she has become “a bit of a pariah” on the left because of the book she published this year, “Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters.”

[…]The premise of Ms. Komisar’s book—backed by research in psychology, neuroscience and epigenetics—is that “mothers are biologically necessary for babies,” and not only for the obvious reasons of pregnancy and birth. “Babies are much more neurologically fragile than we’ve ever understood,” Ms. Komisar says. She cites the view of one neuroscientist, Nim Tottenham of Columbia University, “that babies are born without a central nervous system” and “mothers are the central nervous system to babies,” especially for the first nine months after birth.

What does that mean? “Every time a mother comforts a baby in distress, she’s actually regulating that baby’s emotions from the outside in. After three years, the baby internalizes that ability to regulate their emotions, but not until then.” For that reason, mothers “need to be there as much as possible, both physically and emotionally, for children in the first 1,000 days.”

What’s interesting about this is how the left responds to the science. They don’t want to see anything that challenges their desires to focus on fun in the short-term, but have marriage and successful children in the long-term.

More:

Christian radio stations “interviewed me and loved me,” she says. She went on “Fox & Friends,” and “the host was like, your book is the best thing since the invention of the refrigerator.” But “I couldn’t get on NPR,” and “I was rejected wholesale—particularly in New York—by the liberal press.” She did appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” but seconds before the camera went live, she says, the interviewer told her: “I don’t believe in the premise of your book at all. I don’t like your book.”

[…]Ms. Komisar tells of hosting a charity gathering for millennials at her apartment. One young woman “asked me what my book was about. I told her, and she got so angry. She almost had fire coming out of her eyes, she was so angry at my message. She said, ‘You are going to set women back 50 years.’ I said, ‘Gosh, I wouldn’t want to do that.’ ”

[…]The needs of children get lost in all this—and Ms. Komisar hears repeatedly that the hostility to her message is born of guilt. When she was shopping for a literary agent, she tells me, “a number of the agents said, ‘No, we couldn’t touch that. That would make women feel guilty.’ ” Another time she was rejected for a speaking gig at a health conference. She quotes the head of the host institution as telling her: “You are going to make women feel badly. How dare you?”

[…]“The thing I dislike the most is day care,” she says. “It’s really not appropriate for children under the age of 3,” because it is “overstimulating” given their neurological undevelopment. She cites the “Strange Situation experiments,” devised in 1969 by developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth, a pioneer of attachment theory: “A mother and the baby are on the floor playing. The mother gets up and leaves the baby in the room alone. The baby has a separation-anxiety response. A stranger walks in; the baby has a stressed reaction to the stranger.”

[…]Researchers sample the infant’s saliva and test it for cortisol, a hormone associated with stress (and inversely correlated with oxytocin). In a series of such experiments in which Ms. Komisar herself participated, “the levels were so high in the babies that the anticipation was that it would . . . in the end, cause disorders and problems.” In a more recent variant of the experiment, scientists use functional magnetic resonance imaging to look directly at the brain of an infant reacting to photos of the mother and of a stranger.

You’d think that people would be happy to find out how the world works, and adjust their decisions to match. But they’re not. The only good evidence is evidence that confirms their desires and ideology.

Let’s look at one of the studies, to see some evidence.

Brain scans of 3-year old children: normal vs neglected
Brain scans of 3-year old children: normal vs neglected

The UK Telegraph reported on a recent study that measured the brain development of 3-year-old children.

Excerpt:

Take a careful look at the image of two brains on this page. The picture is of the brains of two three-year-old children. It’s obvious that the brain on the left is much bigger than the one on the right. The image on the left also has fewer spots, and far fewer dark “fuzzy” areas.

To neurologists who study the brain, and who have worked out how to interpret the images, the difference between these two brains is both remarkable and shocking. The brain on the right lacks some of the most fundamental areas present in the image on the left. Those deficits make it impossible for that child to develop capacities that the child on the left will have: the child on the right will grow into an adult who is less intelligent, less able to empathise with others, more likely to become addicted to drugs and involved in violent crime than the child on the left. The child on the right is much more likely to be unemployed and to be dependent on welfare, and to develop mental and other serious health problems.

[…]The primary cause of the extraordinary difference between the brains of these two three-year-old children is the way they were treated by their mothers. The child with the much more fully developed brain was cherished by its mother, who was constantly and fully responsive to her baby.

The child with the shrivelled brain was neglected and abused. That difference in treatment explains why one child’s brain develops fully, and the other’s does not.

[…]Professor Allan Schore, of UCLA, who has surveyed the scientific literature and has made significant contributions to it, stresses that the growth of brain cells is a “consequence of an infant’s interaction with the main caregiver [usually the mother]”.

The growth of the baby’s brain “literally requires positive interaction between mother and infant. The development of cerebral circuits depends on it.”

I like bringing science to bear on moral issues. The more you read about the science, the less wiggle-room there is for feelings. Doing the right thing (e.g. – saving money for a stay-at-home mom) is hard because it feels bad. But when you inform yourself with science, it makes it easier to override your bad feelings, because you know you’re doing the right thing to achieve a result.

New study: children of working single mothers are 25% more likely to be obese

Out-of-wedlocks births rising as cohabitation replaces marriage
Out-of-wedlocks births rising as cohabitation replaces marriage

It’s getting to be very common for women to have children out of wedlock, especially since many countries increase welfare programs design to encourage single motherhood. That’s because of feminism, which encourages women to ignore the traditional male virtues, like commitment, and tradional commitment itself (because marriage is “sexist”). But do children do well in the fatherless homes created by feminism and welfare?

Here’s a recent study reported in the UK Sun. (H/T Thomas)

Excerpt:

SCIENTISTS have laid the blame for Britain’s childhood obesity epidemic at the door of working mothers, in a new study.

The shocking findings also claim the kids of mums who work are negatively affected – whereas the father’s employment appears to have no “significant effect”.

A study carried out by University College London looked at 20,000 families, and is the first to link mums who work to the weight of their children.

Professor Emla Fitzsimons told The Sunday Times: “We find that children whose mothers work are more likely to have increased sedentary behaviour and poorer dietary habits.”

Researchers said the bizarre findings were more obvious for single mums who work full-time, but also revealed a pattern with mums who work and have a partner.

But the study added it doesn’t matter if mums work full-time or part-time, their child is still more likely to be fatter than that of a non working mum.

It describes obesity as “the most common chronic disease of childhood and likely to persist into adulthood with far-reaching effects”.

And found teens and children have gained weight over the past four decades along with a rise in working mums – with kids of single working mothers 25 per cent more likely to be overweight.

It suggested kids of mums who work full time are 29 per cent less likely to eat a regular breakfast and 19 per cent more likely to watch TV for more than three hours a day.

The UK is one of the countries that most strongly embraced feminism, and sought to encourage fatherlessness with unfair divorce laws, unfair divorce courts, and generous benefits for women who divorced with kids or never bothered to even marry before having kids. It’s common now for UK single mothers to just have sex with the hottest guys they can find, knock out babies with all the different “fathers”, and sit back and collect welfare. Welfare funded by the ever-shrinking supply of working husbands, who typically earn the most, and therefore pay the most in taxes.

But’s not just working SINGLE mothers who have problems.

The UK Daily Mail (reporting on the same study) notes that the increase in obese children mirrors the growth in women working part-time or full-time outside the home:

[…][T]he dramatic increase in the numbers of obese children and teenagers over the past four decades had been accompanied by a similarly sharp rise in the employment of mothers.

In the UK, the proportion of working mothers with children under the age of five rose from 31 per cent in 1980 to 58 per cent in 2008.

The UK prioritized getting women out of the home and working, and handing children off to day cares and public schools. Even the conservative party refused to give women a tax incentive to raise their young children. They gave the tax credit to working mothers instead, encouraging more women to abandon their children for work.

The Root Cause of the Problem

We really need to discourage women from starting up relationships with men who aren’t interested in commitment. When women treat relationships as a source of “fun” instead of as an enterprise aimed at commitment and stability, they often end up raising fatherless kids. The problems begin with the woman’s choice of man, and her purpose for the relationship. If she expects the relationship to be about entertaining her, then she will choose an entertaining man. One who doesn’t expect her to do anything she doesn’t feel like doing, and has no particular plan for her, or raising children well.

Many women today, even Christian women, love to laugh and scorn the idea that there are any “best practices” for relationships. They know everything there is to know – without having to read any studies that might force them to control their desires and make plans to succeed that involve self-denial and wisdom. But if you ignore the studies, you can be certain that you and your children will pay the price. There’s no sense expect hunky fun bad boys to “man up” after you’ve already given them premarital sex. The time to get men to act like a man is when the woman chooses who to have a relationship with. If you choose a MAN, who protects, provides and leads on moral and spiritual issues, then you get a REAL MAN who is already MANNED UP.

The solution to problems like abortion and fatherless children is to encourage young women to make better decisions when choosing men for relationships – and to prioritize marriage as the goal of their relationships, too. It would be nice if pastors preached a little self-control, chastity and anti-feminism to women in churches. So far, though, I’ve never seen it. The Christian church approach to the problems caused by fatherlessness seems to be “let women make poor choices, then tell them it’s not their fault, then blame men”.

Survey of scientific literature finds that children need their mom for first 3 years

Child grabs for his mom, who is leaving for work
Child grabs for his mom, who is leaving for work

Recently, an article published in the Wall Street Journal reported on research survey done why a far-left Democrat psychotherapist based in far-left New York City. Surprisingly, her book caused an uproar among the author’s left-wing allies. How come?

Excerpt:

Motherhood used to be as American as apple pie. Nowadays it can be as antagonistic as American politics. Ask Erica Komisar.

Ms. Komisar, 53, is a Jewish psychoanalyst who lives and practices on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. If that biographical thumbnail leads you to stereotype her as a political liberal, you’re right. But she tells me she has become “a bit of a pariah” on the left because of the book she published this year, “Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters.”

[…]The premise of Ms. Komisar’s book—backed by research in psychology, neuroscience and epigenetics—is that “mothers are biologically necessary for babies,” and not only for the obvious reasons of pregnancy and birth. “Babies are much more neurologically fragile than we’ve ever understood,” Ms. Komisar says. She cites the view of one neuroscientist, Nim Tottenham of Columbia University, “that babies are born without a central nervous system” and “mothers are the central nervous system to babies,” especially for the first nine months after birth.

What does that mean? “Every time a mother comforts a baby in distress, she’s actually regulating that baby’s emotions from the outside in. After three years, the baby internalizes that ability to regulate their emotions, but not until then.” For that reason, mothers “need to be there as much as possible, both physically and emotionally, for children in the first 1,000 days.”

What’s interesting about this is how the left responds to the science. You might have heard that the left is very fond of science, but veterans of debates about God’s existence know that people on the left tend to be hostile to science that goes against their view: the Big Bang cosmology, cosmic fine-tuning, biological information, irreducible complexity, molecular machines, habitability, etc. And early childhood education is no exception.

More:

Christian radio stations “interviewed me and loved me,” she says. She went on “Fox & Friends,” and “the host was like, your book is the best thing since the invention of the refrigerator.” But “I couldn’t get on NPR,” and “I was rejected wholesale—particularly in New York—by the liberal press.” She did appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” but seconds before the camera went live, she says, the interviewer told her: “I don’t believe in the premise of your book at all. I don’t like your book.”

[…]Ms. Komisar tells of hosting a charity gathering for millennials at her apartment. One young woman “asked me what my book was about. I told her, and she got so angry. She almost had fire coming out of her eyes, she was so angry at my message. She said, ‘You are going to set women back 50 years.’ I said, ‘Gosh, I wouldn’t want to do that.’ ”

[…]The needs of children get lost in all this—and Ms. Komisar hears repeatedly that the hostility to her message is born of guilt. When she was shopping for a literary agent, she tells me, “a number of the agents said, ‘No, we couldn’t touch that. That would make women feel guilty.’ ” Another time she was rejected for a speaking gig at a health conference. She quotes the head of the host institution as telling her: “You are going to make women feel badly. How dare you?”

[…]“The thing I dislike the most is day care,” she says. “It’s really not appropriate for children under the age of 3,” because it is “overstimulating” given their neurological undevelopment. She cites the “Strange Situation experiments,” devised in 1969 by developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth, a pioneer of attachment theory: “A mother and the baby are on the floor playing. The mother gets up and leaves the baby in the room alone. The baby has a separation-anxiety response. A stranger walks in; the baby has a stressed reaction to the stranger.”

[…]Researchers sample the infant’s saliva and test it for cortisol, a hormone associated with stress (and inversely correlated with oxytocin). In a series of such experiments in which Ms. Komisar herself participated, “the levels were so high in the babies that the anticipation was that it would . . . in the end, cause disorders and problems.” In a more recent variant of the experiment, scientists use functional magnetic resonance imaging to look directly at the brain of an infant reacting to photos of the mother and of a stranger.

I spoke to a millennial co-worker in my office who is very proud of his strong feminist views. His wife just had a baby, and they stuck the baby in daycare after 3 months so that she could go back to work. I did speak to him about what the research says (daycare and public school studies are a hobby of mine!), but I try to only disagree with him on one thing at a time, and right now, we’re disagreeing about cohabitation and marital stability. It’s amazing how confident millennials are about taking positions on things like daycare, cohabitation, public schools, etc. without ever having consulted the relevant peer-reviewed science.

Let’s look at one of the studies, to see some evidence.

Brain scans of 3-year old children: normal vs neglected
Brain scans of 3-year old children: normal vs neglected

The UK Telegraph reported on a recent study that measured the brain development of 3-year-old children.

Excerpt:

Take a careful look at the image of two brains on this page. The picture is of the brains of two three-year-old children. It’s obvious that the brain on the left is much bigger than the one on the right. The image on the left also has fewer spots, and far fewer dark “fuzzy” areas.

To neurologists who study the brain, and who have worked out how to interpret the images, the difference between these two brains is both remarkable and shocking. The brain on the right lacks some of the most fundamental areas present in the image on the left. Those deficits make it impossible for that child to develop capacities that the child on the left will have: the child on the right will grow into an adult who is less intelligent, less able to empathise with others, more likely to become addicted to drugs and involved in violent crime than the child on the left. The child on the right is much more likely to be unemployed and to be dependent on welfare, and to develop mental and other serious health problems.

[…]The primary cause of the extraordinary difference between the brains of these two three-year-old children is the way they were treated by their mothers. The child with the much more fully developed brain was cherished by its mother, who was constantly and fully responsive to her baby.

The child with the shrivelled brain was neglected and abused. That difference in treatment explains why one child’s brain develops fully, and the other’s does not.

[…]Professor Allan Schore, of UCLA, who has surveyed the scientific literature and has made significant contributions to it, stresses that the growth of brain cells is a “consequence of an infant’s interaction with the main caregiver [usually the mother]”.

The growth of the baby’s brain “literally requires positive interaction between mother and infant. The development of cerebral circuits depends on it.”

Prof Schore points out that if a baby is not treated properly in the first two years of life, the genes for various aspects of brain function, including intelligence, cannot operate, and may not even come into existence. Nature and nurture cannot be disentangled: the genes a baby has will be profoundly affected by the way it is treated.

I always like to consult the findings of science to find out the right way to achieve a goal. This puts off some prospective mates, who want to avoid planning and preparation so they can ride a roller-coaster of emotions and just do whatever they want to be happy in the moment. But in every other area of life, I’ve found that doing things the right way always involves studying and planning, then careful execution of a plan. Nobody passes an exam by going clubbing when they should be studying. Going clubbing is more fun “in the moment”, but studying always gets better results.

In this case, it’s very clear that keeping a mother at home for the first three years of each child would require some earning and saving by me, since men are the principal providers. And I expect that women who are looking for husbands to raise their children with will look for men who have made preparations to give the young children what they need. Not everything a man does is about looks and fun – there are real requirements here. It’s very important for young people to prepare for marriage and raising children by working backward from what the science says about children’s needs.

The more you read about the science, the less wiggle-room there is for feelings. Doing the right thing (saving money for a stay-at-home mom) is hard because it feels bad. But when you inform yourself with science, it makes it easier to override your bad feelings, because you know you’re doing the right thing to achieve a result. If you can’t bring yourself to prepare now to do things right later, then you should read more science, and that might make it easier to do the right thing.