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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

that's it. i quit.

i know you all saw the ginormous child care study that concluded the more time that children spent in child care, the more likely their sixth grade teachers were to report problem behavior ... and that children who got "quality child care" before entering kindergarten had better vocabulary scores in the fifth grade than did youngsters who received lower quality care.

i'd just like to point out this interesting detail:

In the study, child care was defined as care by anyone other than the child's mother who was regularly scheduled for at least 10 hours per week.
huh? so what does that make dad? leftover minced liver patty? christ! as mrs nice guy said to me last night: "i guess those nine months you spent at home didn't qualify as 'quality' care"


Anonymous Andrea said...

Don't quit! That was just sloppy journalism.
The Wall Street Joural published an article on this yesterday. This quote will be of interest to you:
'Parents have criticized the NICHD study in the past for defining "child care" as care by anyone
other than a child's mother. Thus routine care by fathers and grandparents was defined as "child
care." The latest findings address the problem by comparing care by relatives with care by nonrelatives.'

3/27/2007 2:21 PM  
Blogger Robbin said...

Wow. My husband is now really going to regret those eighteen months at home that killed his IT career. I think I had best hide the paper from him and cut the internet access if I want him alive at the end of the day.

3/27/2007 2:57 PM  
Blogger Mr Big Dubya said...

I saw this yesterday, but was so brain dead (and enraged/annoyed/confused) I couldn't post about it.

I guess since we can't carry the baby, we can't possibly provide quality care. So nice. Thanks for the respect.

Just another reason I hate studies.

3/27/2007 4:18 PM  
Blogger Sheri said...

It is just a study. All of these things have variables that could change the entire outcome. Sounds like Dr. Laura did it. I am sure your daughter will be just fine, and while your knee might look like chopped liver, the rest of you probably doesn't.

3/27/2007 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, paranoia much?

I seriously doubt the NICHD was looking to stick it to the beleaguered stay-at-home dads and grandparents of the world.

NICHD was undoubtedly trying to control the quality of their data and the number of variables that they had to account for. The fact is that, like-it-or-not, mothers provide the majority of familial child care in this country. Sure the study could have opened the door to count the small percentage of Dads who do too, but then should they only count biological Dads? What about married Dads versus "live-in" Dads? What about Mom's boyfriend that moved in 2 months ago? What about grandparents? Aunts? Uncles? Cousins? Adding any (or all) of these to their definition of caregiver would undoubtedly compromise the reliability of their data.

Obviously, quality "maternal" care is meant to be a proxy for any quality parental care. So relax, no one was attacking your parenting abilities.

3/27/2007 5:14 PM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

ah, anon. such a stickler for accuracy. how boring. i want OUTRAGE and VILLAGE BURNING and BLOOD ON MY HANDS.

3/27/2007 5:28 PM  
Blogger The Walshes said...

I can't decide if I'm more annoyed with the study...or anon's comment.....

Ok the study wins. I've seen some pretty bad mama's out there...I say boo to studies.

3/27/2007 8:18 PM  
Anonymous tanyetta said...

you totally rock mng! dontcha worry about that 'study'

3/27/2007 8:40 PM  
Anonymous sallyacious said...

I read that too and couldn't believe that blatant bias. My nephew spends 3 days a week with my mom. And in related news, my home state legislature rejected a bill to improve statewide child care standards in committee because, as one legislator said, "We've got to find a way to get these women to stay home and raise their children." Why do we still believe that only the female parent is capable of raising a healthy child?

Having read your entries from the time you had with your daughter, I'm sure you don't need to have any worries about her. It's quite obvious you love her dearly. In fact, if you lived in the boonies like I do, I'd ask you to come be a part of a panel I'm putting together on non-traditional families, just to get my students to think outside the social expectations box.

3/27/2007 9:06 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

I'm sure they factored in the time you locked yourself out of your apartment with your daughter asleep inside. Skewed the results a bit.

I hate studies. After working in marketing for 11 years, I've seen people twist data to say anything they want.

And you say, "leftover minced liver patty" but some may say "fois gras". It sound like you are a great dad.

3/27/2007 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The effect was slight, and well within the normal range for healthy children". So the real question is...was it statistically significant? My guess is, No. Don't feel bad, this study was to bash working moms and make them feel even more guilty. Developmental psychologists will probably come up with a completely different ingenius study to make stay at home dads feel guilty too. I can see the heading now.... Daughters of Stay-at Home dads are more masculine than their peers or some other similar rubbish. And a whole artilce will devoted to how these daughters although operating withing the confines of normal childhood behavior and have superior intellectual skills prefer cool boy toys over dolls and tea.
However, I have to confess I am addicted to the NYtimes.

3/28/2007 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

" Why do we still believe that only the female parent is capable of raising a healthy child? "

Maybe not the 'only' but perhaps still the 'preferred.' There's still that pesky bond from oh...9 months gestation, the first (usually) face they see, the first food source (if they're lucky), etc.

My question is, why do 'staying home' or 'working' still have to be all-or-nothing propositions for most people?

3/28/2007 11:03 PM  
Blogger viciousrumours said...

As annoyed as all of you are with the study, I have to say, the person who commented as "annonymous" (however cowardly) was right on some points. When doing a study, it is important to keep the points narrowed so as to keep the results as clear and defined as possible. If you try to include all possibilities, you compromise the reliability of the data. That being said...the flaw in the point what annonymous said was this, including both in home parents in the original study would not have been over broad.

The wording of study could have been constructed to include the primary caregiver, regardless of sex. Instead of saying "mother" the designers of the study could have simply said, "primary parental caregiver". This would have encompassed all caregivers, mother, father or otherwise that was the primary source of daily caregiving as compared to a "non-patrental" caregiver.

I don't think it was meant to be gender biased, just simply badly worded and reflecting years and years of societal mindset where the mother is viewed as the primary caregiver. It will take several more years for society as a whole to make the leap.

3/29/2007 12:08 PM  
Anonymous LOD said...

Studies are douchebags.

3/31/2007 10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Lisa - find me a perfect world where women and man can balance career and home life without sacrificing a bit on either end. Do you live in an alternative universe where there are magic part time jobs for all? Because I'd love to move there. I'm curious, what color is the sky in your universer? In mine it's blue and our country refuses to acknowledge the need for quality childcare and a move beyond the standard 9-5 work day.

3/31/2007 11:27 PM  
Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

We don't get respect! We're like... like the Geico cavemen.

Maybe they'll make a TV show about us!

4/01/2007 4:53 PM  

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