An article in the Wall Street Journal by Erica Jong in which she agrees with Elisabeth Badinter (French philosopher), that intensive mothering is bad for feminism. Badinter's book is being released in English.
The article also includes a sidebar of parenting advice over 2000 years, proving once again that parenting as we know it is always in flux, and will change again when our kids are older.
2,000 Years of Parenting Advice
* Proper measures must be taken to ensure that [children] shall be tactful and courteous in their address; for nothing is so deservedly disliked as tactless characters. —"The Education of Children," Plutarch, A.D. 110
* I will also advise his feet to be wash'd every day in cold water, and to have his shoes so thin, that they might leak and let in water.… It is recommendable for its cleanliness; but that which I aim at in it, is health; and therefore I limit it not precisely to any time of the day. —"Some Thoughts Concerning Education," John Locke, 1693
* But let mothers deign to nurse their children, morals will reform themselves, nature's sentiments will be awakened in every heart, the state will be repeopled. —"Emile: or, On Education," Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762
* Even very little children are happy when they think they are useful. "I can do some good—can't I, mother?" is one of the first questions asked….Let them go out with their little basket, to weed the garden, to pick peas for dinner, to feed the chickens, &c. —"The Mother's Book," Lydia Maria Child, 1831
* Babies under six months old should never be played with; and the less of it at any time the better for the infant. —"The Care and Feeding of Children," L. Emmett Holt, 1894
* Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit in your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say good night. Shake hands with them in the morning. Give them a pat on the head if they have made an extraordinary good job of a difficult task. —"Psychological Care of Infant and Child," John B. Watson, 1928
* The more people have studied different methods of bringing up children the more they have come to the conclusion that what good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is usually best after all. Furthermore, all parents do their best job when they have a natural, easy confidence in themselves. Better to make a few mistakes from being natural than to do everything letter-perfect out of a feeling of worry. —"The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care," Benjamin Spock, 1946
And the flipside. An article by Rebecca Walker,daughter of Alice Walker, saying what a terrible mother Alice was and is. Good feminist equals bad mother. How to reconcile the two.