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14 Jan 2004

creche/day care
I am a mother of 2 boys (viz. 7 months; 3.5 years old). Both were cared for by my mother, but I've just found out that she is suffering from osteoporosis. I made a decision to place both my sons in a creche/day care facility in order to give her time to recover from her illness. The hours are from 07h15 to 16h30 (full day). Both my husband & I work. My sons started school on Tuesday (13/01/2004) and although it was very emtional, I've resolved myself to the fact that they have to be at the creche.

Since then I've bought a book tiitled "Raising Boys" by a leading Australian author, Steve Biddulph. In it I found a paragraph which says that childcare of an institutional kid- such as large chilcare centres-does not suit boys' nature during these very early years. As you can tell, I don't have a problem with my son who is three and a half years old, but rather with my baby who is 7 months old. The book goes on further to say that boys are more prone to separation anxiety and to becoming emotionally shut down as a result of feeling abandoned. It says that care by a loving relative is far better than an institutional situation for toddlers under 3 years old.

Is there any truth in this at all??? How close is this to our South African environment. By the way, the creche that my sons are attending seems very good. The numbers are small (the ratio of carergivers to babies is 1:2), although the caregivers are very young (middle to late twenties.). My baby is a very happy boy who is full of smiles and I don't want this to change.

Can u offer some good advice or refer me to a good psychologist in the Umhlanga (Durban, SA) area.

Answer 423 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear san,
to take your last query first, we don't on this site recommend specific shrinks --- it would be impossibly expensive to try to keep informed about the qualifications, interets, and practices of all the shrinks in the country.
I'm not aware of Mr Biddulph as being a major expert on anything ( any book publisher tends to see their author as a "major expert", as this helps sales ). And I certainly don't agree with his opinions as reflected in your quote.
Presumably he is only interested in rich people with complete freedom to chose to do as they please, rather than in real people who have to look at what is actually practical.
There is absolutely no good scientific evidence to support the suggestions you quote from the book. Good daycare is probably better than bad family care. And isn't he perhaps thinking of "institutional" care in the sense of a child being sent permanently to be cared for in a orphanage or similar institution, rather than of day care, in which a child is not "abandoned" but spends part of the day with a consistent group of carers ( with a good opportunity to get to socialize with other children ) and returns to mum and dad every evening and weekend ?
In the old days, many children would grow up in a large family of children, possibly about as many as the children in many a creche ( and FAR less than in this creche you describe ), and they seemed to come to no harm, either.
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