The following post may look like an April Fool’s Joke article, but it isn’t.
A reader sent an article to me about problems that might be caused by boys having a nanny/au pair care for them instead of their mom. Our reader wondered whether this article might prompt an interesting discussion. (She thought the article was bunk).
We concluded that parents might want be to be aware of this article because it is exactly the kind of stupid story about au pairs/nannies, working “moms” (not dads) and creating problems for your kids, that someone will bring up at a PTA event causing you to choke on the guacamole.
We’ve saved the article for today, 4.01.10. Maybe in an April Fools state of mind it won’t tick you off as much.
Here’s the headline:
(Riled up yet? Continue on…)
A Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the doctor argues that men become womanizers because their mothers left them with nannies.
[Quick check: Did Tiger Wood’s parents leave him with a nanny? How about Jesse James’ parents?]
According to Friedman, having two women care for a baby boy may cause his little brain to internalize the idea that there are multiple females to meet his needs. “It introduces him to the concept of the other woman,” he said in London’s Daily Telegraph. He explicates the relationship in his book The Unsolicited Gift: Why We Do The Things We Do, which explores how a mother’s love for her offspring can determine how those children behave as adults. ….
But it is the thesis concerning boys that has been more controversial. Having two maternal objects, says Friedman, “creates a division in [the boy’s] mind between the woman he knows to be his natural mother and the woman with whom he has a real hands-on relationship: the woman who bathes him and takes him to the park, and with whom he feels completely at one.” This dual-woman life, one for family and one for catering to his every need, might become a set pattern in his mind, so that when he grows up and feels like his needs are not being met, he strays beyond the home.
I’m all for the argument that a mother’s love (and a father’s love) influences a child’s ability to love and be loved, but this guy is a nutcake. He’s anti-working mom, anti-nanny, and implicitly anti-same sex parents.
What’s horrible is not so much the blatant wrong-ness of this argument, but how close it is to other arguments for why women (always the women) shouldn’t go back to work once children arrive. As if.