Hot off the presses: “Study finds link between maternal attention, child’s mental state decades later.” Get the fuck outta here!
I cannot believe that someone gave Dr. Joanna Maselko of Duke University and her colleagues money to study this no-brainer. Their conclusion? “These findings suggest that early nurturing and warmth have long-lasting positive effects on mental health well into adulthood.” This is amazing stuff, folks. Groundbreaking!
This is precisely what sticks in my craw about parenting in the 21st century. I feel like people are parenting “by the books” instead of going with their gut. “Let’s do this because so-and-so expert says so!” What happened to the good ol’ days when people had babies, didn’t know what the hell they were doing and just managed to survive by good old fashioned trial and error? Do we really need scientific evidence that showering a child with love benefits them for their entire life? We’ve reached a scary place if so.
Of course, the flip side is the whole “If you really loved your child…” argument: “If you really loved your child, you’d want to know as much as possible about how to make them into the best person they could be” (this being a mere stone’s throw from the “If you really loved your child, you’d buy this $700 organic, ergonomic infant mattress they’ll sleep on for 2 months” argument). But doing everything “by the book” doesn’t guarantee they won’t end up traumatized by something else altogether.
So thanks, Dr. Maselko for the insight. I will now wonder if the reason I’m hugging and kissing my child at the end of the day is because I love her, or because your study told me to.