Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Milestones? Or Guilt-Inducement Based on Absurd Expectations?

I just got a BabyCenter update for my fourteen month old (I don't even know why I still bother with those things... it's absurd how UNhelpful and UNinsightful they are...), and one of the "featured" articles was about writing.

Not an article to help me write in her baby book, or write about her. No, this was an article to assure concerned parents that their kids were going to progress just fine if they (the 14 month olds) weren't yet writing. Are you kidding me?, I want to yell... So many studies have shown that early education is actually not helpful at ALL but is in fact detrimental to curiosity, brain development, and intelligence at later ages. And yet they are still writing articles like these? Aimed at the moms of FOURTEEN MONTH OLDS? Do they mean to make moms nervous about things they'd never be worried about or even think up? Are they nuts?!?

Yes, the picture is a total joke. No, Maranatha's not yet writing. She's not even coloring. And that's OK. She's learning to talk, learning what comedy is all about (she's a natural), learning about what we don't touch, and that we don't bite, and how to play with older brothers, and to be gentle with little babies, and ALL KINDS of other things. I'm certainly not concerned about when she'll start writing!!! The thing that saddens me, though, is that there are plenty of first-time moms out there, in a community far removed from any family members or wise women from whom to learn, who will buy into this stuff and begin worrying simply because this kind of thing tells them it's normal to worry about such nonsense.

Seriously, if moms are neurotic, stressed-out, and over-concerned about parenting minutia these days, I think publications like these are at least partially to blame.

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