From almost the day of their birth until they are finally freed from their physical shackles sometime in their late teens, children’s bodies are confined by their parents within products or environments that do much harm to their overall development. This has such serious impact on our children’s future lives that I wonder why medical and educational authorities are not shouting this fact aloud from the hospital and school rooftops to every parent.
When the child is a just-born infant, what do the hospitals do? They immediately swathe the child in a pink or blue sheet of flannel that leave only her face exposed to the world. And the smothered infant fares no better when she is taken home.
Research shows that infants are put in movement restricting things – chairs, carriers, car seats, and the like – for over 60 waking hours a week…with serious consequence for their motor and cognitive development! As to how serious these consequences are, I urge you to read the eye-opening article ‘Containerized Infants: How Products are Affecting Our Babies’ Brains‘ by Rae Pica, reprinted in this section.
A related issue is co-sleeping with our children. Again, from their infancy, modern mothers are unintentionally pushing away their kids from their lives, when, on the other hand, Nature endowed them with the basic need to cling to their parents.
Modern culture encourages us to ‘sleep teach’ our children by placing them in a separate bed and even a separate room, so that they’ll learn to sleep on their own. But as a wise doctor wrote, ‘This generation of mothers labors under the dubious pronouncement that babies sleep best in isolation. Every infant knows better. His protest at nocturnal solitude contains the wisdom of millennia.’ (Thomas Lewis, MD, ‘A General Theory of Love’).
Sleep teaching our children in their tender age is one root cause for the growing phenomenon of the breakup of extended families (especially grandparents) and the advent of single-family dwellings.
I close by repeating the words of Verna Mae Sloan, a mother and grandmother:
‘How can you expect to hold onto them in life if you begin by pushing them away?’