Wednesday, March 28, 2007

DayCare vs. MomCare

A recent study has reported that children who spend large amounts of time in daycare tend to have more behavioral problems than those who are not in daycare. When asked why this might be, Margaret Burchinal, co-author of the study, had this to say:


There’s been a move to make child-care programs more academic. Kids are supposed to start school knowing numbers and letters before kindergarten, and this process gives them less free time and forces them to do a lot more large-group activities and worksheets. It’s really hard for a 3- or 4-year old to sit and listen to the teacher talk for extended lengths of time. This may lead to more acting out. Another hypothesis is that child-care centers tend to not pay their staffs very well and there’s a lot of turnover. It’s very hard to keep well-trained staff members, and teaching good behavior to a group of kids requires a lot of training.

You’ve gotta be kidding me. Academic pressures and a high turn-over rate are the reasons for bad behavior?! Dr. Burchinal is a psychologist at the University of North Carolina. How can smart people be so dumb? I don’t mean that to be rude; it just amazes me how she doesn’t even consider the possibility that the absence of parents might be the reason for the bad behavior. Isn’t that the obvious result of this study? Children need more time with their parents and less time with daycare employees.

The study is one piece of evidence that the world’s method of childcare isn’t working. The Bible never paints a picture of “childcare.” It teaches us about parenting (dad and mom caring for and instructing their children). Caring for children isn’t something we can out-source. Sure, you can get others to do it for you, but the results will not be pretty. Children should be with their parents the majority of the time. But they aren’t.
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Why?
Mom is at work. Mothers are so busy devoting their lives to the office that they have no time to devote to their kids. Isn’t this the way it’s always been? Not until recently. I bet your grandma didn’t go to daycare. I bet your great-grandma took care of her. In American history, this move of women from the homes to the workplace occurred after the 1960s feminist movement. I realize that what I’m saying might sound alien and that I’m in risk of being considered a male chauvinist. But mothers should stay at home with their kids… at least until they are school age.

Let’s think biblically here. Titus 2:4 instructs young women to stay at home and care for their children. First Timothy 5:14 tells young widows to “remarry, bear children, [and] manage their homes.” A woman’s primary calling is to her home and with her children. Yet most moms are at work.

Why?
Financial reasons. That’s the usual answer. Kids cost money. I can testify to this and my child hasn’t even been born yet! But as American Christians, we have to be careful in this area. Does mom have to work in order to make ends meet or does mom have to work in order to pay for all the luxuries the family desires? This calls for some tough honesty on the part of parents. Most of us are just working for the extras, not for the necessities… just be honest about it. We want a big house, two nice cars, great vacations, tons of toys for the kids, etc. Is there anything wrong with those things? Maybe not. But when we place these things before God’s commands (to train our children & for moms to stay home), they become our gods.
Idolatry is the chief reason for daycare. We are sacrificing our children on the altars of the gods of consumerism. And we will pay a price for this wicked sacrifice.

Parents…especially Christian parents… need to think about this issue. Don’t just accept or reject my opinion. Examine God’s Word and then “be doers of the word and not hearers only” (James 1:22).

9 comments:

Jarod said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jarod said...

I agree with you that daycare comes from idolatry, but I also think that our economy is forcing more women to the workforce because of the feminist movement. As more women go to the workforce inflation is balancing out the extra money that families would have. Where once the 2nd income was mainly for luxuries, it is quickly becoming a necessity because our economy is correcting for this extra income. If we want to save the home we must teach our young women how glorious it is for a women to work in the home before our economy forces them out.

Double O Balloon said...

Josh, this is the best blog you have written. It's why I build my quixtar business and know many others that do. Moms need to be home with their kids. Now I want to see the follow-up. Dads spending more time with their families.

Double O Balloon said...

btw I sent this to several other people

Anonymous said...

Hmm. . . I agree with your statement but at the same time I don't necessarily believe that it is as cut and dry as you claim. It may not always be for financial reasons that moms are not staying home. For example, what if the mom spent 5-10 years preparing for a career and then just as she begins her career, she has a baby. Is she now supposed to quit work and possibly lose all her qualifications, just to stay home? And working part-time can be iffy since some jobs don't offer part-time positions or if they do, what that really means is working ~ 36 hours a week. How can you justify saying that someone is following God's direction in her life in regards to her career and then say it is idolatry when she tries to juggle both family and career?

Josh Culbertson said...

Anonymous, I admit that I tend to see things a little too cut & dry. There are many situations beyond our control that "force our hands." Single moms and wives whose husbands are disabled fall into that category. But the situation you've described is different. God's Word clearly calls mothers to raise children and be in the home. So the mom in the situation you've described has to ask herself, "Am I going to obey God or follow my own desires?" God has called her to motherhood, not that career. So if she puts the career before God, isn't that idolatry?

Anonymous said...

Can you clarify something for me? You are saying daycare is idolatry -- does that mean any amount of daycare is idolatry regardless if it is 10 hours a week or 50? Is it idolatry to use daycare when she runs errands (like the grocery store or Wal-mart) or goes to bible study without screaming two year olds? If not, how is that different from working part-time? So long as she does maintain her family as her top priority and does spend quality as well as quantity time with her children and husband?

Josh Culbertson said...

Daycare isn't idolatry, but idolatry is one of the reasons for daycare. It isn't evil in and of itself. The idolatry is putting something (a career, more $, etc.)before God. Daycare isn't the sin; it's the result of the sin. So if you need a daycare to watch your kids while you go shopping, fine. But if your children are being raised by daycare workers, that is a sin. If you were to use daycare, I think you should put a limit on it (2 hrs a day for example). If your kids are in daycare from 8:00am - 5:00pm, you aren't raising them. The point of my post was just to ask, Why are parents using daycare? Why are both parents working? And is that how it's supposed to be? I think the answer in 8 out of 10 cases is idolatry. I hope that's clear! Thanks for your questions!

Anonymous said...

If it is wrong to have someone else raise your child from 8-5 to be in daycare, then are you going to home school your children? Do you want them to be raised by teachers, administrators, etc. from 8-3 everyday? Because essentially that is what is happening with schools. As a teacher, you are teaching students curriculum, but you are also teaching them respect, manners, rules, consequences, etc--way more than what they are learning at home. Say your child goes to school. He will be in the school from 8-3, comes home and eats a snack, does his homework, practices his sport and/or instrument, then eats dinner with the family, then takes a bath, and then goes to bed. When in there are you raising your child?