Thursday, August 10, 2006


Several animal studies, particularly with primates, indicate that infants need to be close to friends and family, maintaining a fair amount of closeness and bodily contact. If infants do not receive such affection, in the worst cases, they die; if done in typical American fashion, they end up lacking empathy and a connection to others. Many parents will hug and hold a child, carry it around, speak to it nicely, etc. But even that is not enough. I'm not a pedophile, but I do know that in most countries of the world (due to economic or biological reasons), children sleep with their parents. In industrialised countries, especially the US, it is common for parents to have their children sleep in cribs, alone and isolated. Imagine the millions of people that grew up being left to squirm in loneliness in a crib for several hours each day. I think much of this "me vs. the rest of the world (and to hell with them for not being me)" mentality can be explained by this lack of love and affection in childhood.

And why do people want kids to be in cribs? Because it makes them this way. Individuals make better consumers than do groups. Every person buying a vacuum cleaner is much more profitable than several households sharing a vacuum cleaner. Divide and conquer. And then make them work in cubes.


Blogger Delta said...

There is a lot of isolation that results from the way this world functions. I think many people choose to fill this emotional void with religion and the church life, and viciously defend their collective group "the christians". Others rally around the flag and get their collective high from patriotism. Hopefully some day people will get this collective high by working together as human beings.

10 August, 2006 11:53  
Blogger Mookie said...

Indeed. The "great protector" aspect of god I think comes into play here. Maybe an innate desire for loving arms, and when they are not forthcoming, they turn to some mysterious force that makes everything all right.

"Hopefully some day people will get this collective high by working together as human beings."

The internet is a great start for this shift. It's just a matter of getting everyone on board.

10 August, 2006 20:18  
Blogger SH said...

I agree that modern societies create a lot of distance and isolation between people. I am not sure that individuals are better consumers though. Herd mentality is very important for marketing. It is individualism like possessiveness is nurtured but I don't know if this is necessarily the same thing you are talking about.

10 August, 2006 21:07  
Blogger Parge said...

Co-sleeping is amazing. I think it's had a positive effect on the psyche of our son. Post-natal caregivers are generally horrified by any stated intention to have a newborn share the parental bed. There's this irrational fear that a parent will roll onto and suffocate a child in the middle of the night. While this is a definite possibility with newborns, there are precautions you can take to make the experience safer. It's the best option for everyone involved. The child doesn't have to constantly wake up alone, and the mother doesn't have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to nurse. Our son slept right through the night from the very beginning and even now only night feeds when the teething gets bad.

We've gone too far in denying the opportunities for children to bond. We have parents scheduling labour, opting for c-sections to make childbirth less painful and more convenient. We have children being weaned too soon or not being breast fed at all. The crib is just one more manifestation on the assault on the bond between mother/parent and child.

14 August, 2006 10:51  

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