Attachment Parenting Causes Depression

There has never been any evidence (and by evidence I mean actual scientific research, not the shrieks of unhinged supporters) that “attachment parenting” produces any sort of positive results for anybody. Now there is evidence that it has a very negative effect on mothers’ mental health:

This study was conducted to provide quantitative data on the relationship between intensive parenting and maternal mental health outcomes including stress, depression, and life satisfaction. The first hypothesis was that endorsing intensive parenting attitudes would result in greater levels of stress and depression and lower levels of life satisfaction. Additionally, as Essentialism focuses on the primacy of the mother to the exclusion of other potential helpers in the family, we expected this scale to be related to lower levels of perceived family social support. The second hypothesis was that the endorsement of intensive parenting attitudes would predict maternal mental health outcomes above and beyond family social support, an already well-known predictor of well-being.

What is especially sad is that self-evident things like “mothers are human beings”, “having a life outside of child-rearing is necessary for maternal well-being”, “there is nothing that makes a mother a more capable parent than a father” still need to be proven by research.

Let’s forget about mothers, though. We are all used to the idea that a mother who doesn’t sacrifice absolutely everything for the sake of the child is a horrible human being. Don’t the children gain a lot from being physically tied all day and every day to a depressed, miserable, socially isolated woman whose relationships with everybody else are crumbling?

So, if intensive mothering is related to so many negative mental health outcomes, why do women do it? They may think that it makes them better mothers, so they are willing to sacrifice their own mental health to enhance their children’s cognitive and socio-emotional outcomes. However, research is needed on child outcomes because, currently, there is not any data to support this assumption. In fact, young children of over-involved or over-protective parents often experi- ence internalizing disorders. In addition, research clearly indicates that the children of women with poor mental health (e.g., depression) are at higher risk for negative outcomes. Given that this study found that aspects of intensive parenting are associated with negative maternal mental health, then intensive parenting may have the opposite effect on children from what parents intend.

Apparently, it remains to be seen just how much children gain from this parenting strategy.

If you can’t get full access to the article, you can find some quotes from it here.

College Misery is Circling the Drain

It’s no wonder that College Misery is steadily losing its popularity and that its hit stats are in the toilet. Even the greatest whiners tend to realize that if everything in the universe gets on their nerves, they need to get their shit together and find a mental health specialist who will help them.

So let me give a helping hand to the blog of the last few hardcore moaners who are still hanging around College Misery. It seems like they have run out of things and people to hate and are now ganging up on students who have the gall to give birth or undergo surgery during the semester. Here are some of the most spectacularly insensitive and nasty comments:

–  I had a run a while back of pregnant women who were due to go into labor 6 or 7 weeks into an 8 week class and wanting to know how I was going to accommodate them.

– I wonder why nobody has said to the mothers-to-be that maybe pregnancy and caring for a newborn is enough of a challenge to merit a reduction in other activities.

 – Replying to Lucy: The cynical part of my brain says that the mothers-to-be are relying on the financial aid they’ll receive from ‘attending’ these classes to meet the expenses associated with caring for the newborn in question.
– Idiot didn’t ask you to repsond, so why should you? And if you had been asked to respond, why not wait until the course begins? Maybe Idiot will have keeled over by then. I structure courses so that I don’t have to listen to or consider any of the stupid fabrications flakes like Idiot decide to whine about.
– They all think their special circumstances will automatically get them special treatment, as we all know. And who knows what this surgery is, anyway?
You’ve got to be a truly miserable, embittered and pathetic creature to suspect people of giving birth and undergoing surgery just to avoid some idiotic class assignment. And if people really go to such lengths to avoid attending your lectures, then there must be something very wrong with the way you teach.
There is no doubt in my mind that these sad caricatures of educators explode in righteous anger whenever they get bad student evaluations. They probably see themselves as great pedagogues and wonderful human beings.
In case anybody is wondering how talented pedagogues who are adored by their students handle absences and tardiness, here is a useful link.

Teaching Plant

There was a potted plant that stood in the hallway of the school where my mother taught. Students tortured this plant all day and every day. They tore off leaves, spit at it, threw all kinds of garbage into the pot.

My mother felt so sorry for the plant that she brought it home. She re-potted it, put it in good soil, and took very good care of it. But the plant started to die. My mother is very good with plants. She talks to them, tells them they are beautiful, and they always flourish. But this plant was dying. She did all she could to make it feel better. But the plant seemed doomed.

So she took it back to school. Once again, children were tearing off leaves, spitting at it, and treating it with the utmost disrespect.

And the plant revived. The more kids went at it, the better it felt. Soon, it regrew its lush foliage and my mother swore that the plant seemed to smile all day long.

The moral of the story: you can only take a living creature who loves school out of it at the risk of making it intensely miserable.