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Sorry Working Moms, Daycare Is Bad For Your Kid

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S847 via Getty Images
S847 via Getty Images

Once again, the liberal media are guilty of poor and biased reporting in their bid to pat working mothers on the back.

Whenever a study comes out that seems to favour working mothers over stay-at-home moms, reporters and pundits are quick to pass along the information without bothering to scrutinize the facts.

The latest study out of Harvard Business School trumpets the benefits of working outside the home.

"Women whose mothers worked outside the home are more likely to have jobs themselves, are more likely to hold supervisory responsibility at those jobs, and earn higher wages than women whose mothers stayed home full time, according to research by Kathleen McGinn and colleagues," writes Carmen Nobel on behalf of HBS.

The media gobbled it up, churning out headlines such as, "Working moms have more successful daughters and more caring sons" and "The antidote to mother guilt."

Apparently, holding a "supervisory" job and earning a higher income somehow equates to being "more successful."

What the research did not address is whether these "successful" daughters are able to make and maintain relationships. Are they more likely to have emotional or psychological problems? Do they have a close bond with their family, or are they more career-oriented? Are they more likely to divorce? Are they more likely to have a broken relationship with their parents or children?

I know plenty of workaholics who are successful in their chosen profession but who cannot seem to realize that same level of success at home.

We already know that children who attend daycare are more likely to be aggressive and defiant.

The findings from a "huge, long-term government study...show that kids who spend long hours in day care have behaviour problems that persist well into elementary school," reported Heide Lang in a 2005 piece in Psychology Today.

"Developmental psychologists are sweeping this information under the rug, hoping studies will churn out better data soon, argues Jay Belsky, a child development researcher at London's Birbeck College and a longtime critic of his fellow scientists. He contends that the field of developmental psychology is monopolized by women with a 'liberal progressive feminist' bias. 'Their concern is not to make mothers feel bad,' he says."

It is deeply disturbing that some working mothers are nearly dizzy with excitement over the notion that mothers and parenting don't really matter.

Presumably, these women wish to assuage their guilt over being separated from their little one all day long. Especially if they know that the decision to do so was a choice and not borne of true economic necessity.

Interestingly, another Harvard professor, Kathy McCartney, seems to concede that Jay Belsky is correct.

"So far it is looking like he's right," offers McCartney in the same Psychology Today article. This is particularly damning since McCartney had previously criticized Belsky's assertions.

"Long hours in child care are associated with behaviour problems," admits McCartney.

If a child is exhibiting behaviour problems and never really addresses those issues or seeks help, then it is not a stretch to think that the child may grow into an adult with behaviour or relationship problems.

As mothers, we really do need to take a step back and think about the message we are sending our babies and toddlers if we leave them in the care of someone else all day long.

Imagine being 12 months old (or younger) and not seeing your mother for nine or 10 hours each day. Imagine falling down, getting hurt and seeking solace in your mother's arms...but mom is nowhere to be seen. Imagine being pushed or hit by another day care child and expecting mom to save you and realizing -- once again -- that mom is far away.

The impact of that realization, day in and day out, must be overwhelming.

Jay Belsky is absolutely correct. The field of developmental psychology is monopolized by women who simply do not want to make working mothers feel bad. I would say the same is true of reporters and editors.

As a society, we really ought to be more concerned about the feelings and welfare of young children than grown women.

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