Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Psychological Paradox

As I was writing my last post, I noticed a very striking paradox within the Quiverfull/Militant Fecundity movement. It is so strange to me that these movements promote “independence training” such as blanket training, early weaning, and detachment of the mother/baby relationship while promoting “dependence training” in almost every other area of a child’s life. Confused? Here’s a quick definition of both kinds of training:
Independence Training is, "Child-rearing practices that foster independence, self-reliance, and personal achievement."
This is most practiced in western societies which contain a focus on individuality.
Dependence Training is, "Child-rearing practices that foster compliance in the performance of assigned tasks and dependence on the domestic group, rather than reliance on oneself."
This is common in Eastern societies and more traditional societies which focus on the group rather than the individual.
Think about that for a minute. For most proponents of the Patriocentricity movement, Quiverfull and Militant Fecundity are considered wonderful pro-family practices. Quiverfull/Militant Fecundity families are seemingly close and promote a focus on the family rather than the individual. Daughters are encouraged (if not required) to remain at home until marriage and to serve their father. Likewise, sons are expected to take over the family business and honor their father. In some cases, it is expected that the children will continue to carry out their father’s 200-year “vision” and not pursue their own goals at all. It is not uncommon for Patriocentric families to have 25-30 year old dependant daughters still living at home. Again, it is family over individual. I think we can agree that the children of this movement are trained to be dependent on their parents for almost everything including courtship and life work. However, as I discussed in my last post, Quiverfull/Militant Fecundity parents are surprisingly detached from their babies. Blanket training, early weaning, separate beds/rooms, etc. are all ways in which these parents train their little ones to be self-sufficient and independent. This form of “baby-training” actually follows American culture and isn’t Biblical but they still do it. I would think that they would want to create loving, secure environments for their children from day one. If you’re going to teach your child to be dependant, prove to them when they are little that they can trust you. When you purposely wean your baby early in order to conceive again and pass them off to a sibling, you’re showing that you care more about your fertility than the child you currently have. It’s not loving, it’s selfish. You’re putting your wants above the needs of your child. And later in life, your children are supposed to trust you with the choice of their mate? Psychologically, you’re sending very mixed signals to your children if you flip-flop from independence to dependence training. At least most secular parents who promote independence training for babies stick with the same focus on independence as their children grow into adulthood. In my mind, this insincere flip-flopping is one of the things that make Militant Fecundity and Quiverfull so toxic and dangerous. And I’m just going to say it: this is very hypocritical. It is clear to me that the primary goal of most of these parents is control. Control no matter the cost. And that’s what makes it abusive.


1 comment:

Libby Anne said...

I'd really like to republish a couple of your posts on a new website I'm involved in, rethinkingvisionforum.wordpress.com. Would it be okay if I do so? I would credit you and provide a link. Please let me know at rethinkingvisionforum@yahoo.com. Thanks!