Fathers’ fury after parenting expert claims young children of separated couples should not be allowed to spend the night with them

Ms Penelope Leach – the ‘Ms’ is surely significant – is a 77-year-old psychologist and ‘parenting expert’. 37 years ago her book Your Baby & Child: From Birth to Age Five was a bestseller. With ‘parenting experts’ like her offering advice like this, what chance do fathers have of developing healthy bonds with their young children?

Her Wikipedia entry has the following commentary (with supporting references) under ‘Criticism’:

Leach has been criticized heavily for her view that only mothers can care for children. Criticism has focused on (a) Leach appearing to lack a grasp, perhaps because of unresolved trauma in her past, of how children see their fathers, the help that many fathers provide children in child care, and what children need from fathers, particularly those that live in the home and (b) Leach holding an authoritarian, unsupported opposition to child care and an inability to recognize its benefits.

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • This is how hatred of men harms children. Good job feminists.

  • Fathers are right to be up in arms about this. However! The key point to be drawn is not that separating fathers from their children is a disgrace, it is. It is an ongoing scandal in our society that is damaging men and their children, there is no doubt about it.

    @ Dattehakamura has hit the nail on the head.

    Ms Leach’s clear feminist stance, arguing that, ‘attempts to share children is [sic] putting parents [sic] notions of ‘rights’ and notion [sic] of what is ‘fair’ above what is best for the child’, is yet another blow against fathers, but it undermines feminism big style. Like most feminist arguments, it totally fails to see the other side of the coin.

    The title of Ms Leach’s earlier book, Your Baby & Child: FROM BIRTH TO AGE FIVE, and the thesis of her most recent book say it all viz. ‘… there is evidence that separating children from their mothers reduces brain development, and can create unhealthy ‘attachment issues’.’ Absolutely. Spot on. So what about mothers who return to work as soon as possible after weaning their baby then? Those who get back to work in their careers at the earliest possible opportunity because they have a ‘right’ to do so?

    Feminists need to talk about the elephant in the room here. The absence of an under five-year-old child’s contact with a mother who goes back to her career, exercising her feminist-invented ‘right’ to self-acutalisation is not about the odd night staying away with dad. It is about the systematic abandonment of under fives by mothers who, in our feminist-driven State, routinely sub-contract their children’s vital early-years development to others.

    Our State overtly approves women to do this by providing maternity leave and widespread child-minding provision. It is saying it is alright for a mother to go back to work as soon as possible after weaning her baby; taking up her ‘right’ to a career and exercising her ‘right’ to ‘equality’ and the same ‘opportunity’ as men. But, weaning is only the early part of the child’s deepest development needs in those vital first five years, and here is a feminist telling them this, albeit for the wrong reasons.

    Mothers, imbued with this false rhetoric of feminism are depriving their children of their undisputed need to have the fullest measure of security, significance and self-worth instilled within them in those vital first years: these psychological needs of the very young child are known to be essential and they are equally know to be provided only by its mother.

    Attachment is where a child learns that its mother is always there even when she is out of sight. It takes more than the first year of life for a child to learn this, and it if is not learned, the result is anxiety in the child and a learned neediness that knocks on into later life, causing adult relationships to become unbalanced by an over neediness for affection, and the inability to trust.

    Failure to attach is almost certainly a significant component of this. Childminders cannot provide attachment, and neither can grandparents. They may be loving and cherishing, but they cannot provide the close, deep psychological attachment that a child needs, and that only its mother can build with it during its most precious first five years.

    A mother who is off pursuing a career is not doing the job that only nature gives her to do. Mothers who put their feminist ‘rights’ – their feminist ideology – above the inalienable rights of their children, are short-changing their children and they are short-changing society for their own needs. They are failing to provide a stable future generation. Is there any wonder that there is so much divorce and brokenness in famiies today?

    That is what feminism is doing to children, to men, yes, but to us all too. It is a vile, selfish creed.

    • The dysfunction is self-perpetuating. Children grow up with a deep-seated need for authority and nurturing because both are in short supply in the home. The television, however, is free and accessible on demand. For those who don’t get authority and nurturing as children (or adults) and don’t achieve the class standing or “American Dream” they feel entitled to, there is an entitlement for narcissistic revenge.

      The backlash is dealt to all those who either appear to possess authority and nurturing but are “selfishly” withholding it or appear to be receiving this value in short supply from others. Naturally, entitled victimizers lash out their revenge on whoever fills these roles in their proximity that is whoever is vulnerable within their social sphere. Insecurity and lack of boundaries perpetuate the pathology making sufferers more not less susceptible to “celebrity culture,” sanctioned “authority figures” including demagogues, and ideology. Thus is created the perfect slave class to be led along by their noses by propaganda and completely incapable of forming bonds with their peers. Utopia.