Via Ezra comes this little tidbit about what child care providers earn. The timing is opportune, since I just finished Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason this morning, and he mentioned some interesting stuff about child rearing (pp 246-247):
First developed by John Bowlby, a British psychiatrist, in 1958, attachment theory was further developed by his protégée Mary Ainsworth and other expers studying the psychological development of infants.
[P]sychologists were able to discover that every infant learns a crucial and existential lesson during the first year of life about his or her fundamental relation to the rest of the world. And infant develops an attachment to this theory, learns to adopt one three basic postures toward the universe:
- In the best case, the infant learns that he or she has the inherent ability to exert a powerful influence on the world and evoke consistent, appropriate responses by communicating signals of hunger or discomfort, happiness or distress. If the caregiver – more often than not the mother – responds to most signals from the infant consistently and appropriately, the infant begins to assume that he or she has inherent power to affect the world.
- If the primary caregiver responds inappropriately and/or inconsistently, the infant learns to assume that he or she is powerless to affect the larger world and that his or her signals have no intrinsic significance where the universe is concerned. A child who receives really erratic and inconsistent responses from a primary caregiver, even if those are occasionally warm and sensitive, develops “anxious resistant attachment.” This pathway creates children who feature anxiety, dependence, and easy victimization. They are easily manipulated and exploited later in life.
- In the worst case, infants who receive no emotional response from the person or persons responsible for them are at high risk of learning a deep existential rage that makes them prone to violence and antisocial behavior as they grow up. Chronic unresponsiveness leads to what is called “anxious avoidance attachment,” a life patter that features unquenchable anger, frustration, and aggressive, violent behavior.
Kinda puts the value the value of child care in perspective doesn’t it?