Probable Outcomes of Low-Grade Childcare Part 1
Excerpt from my book ‘The Nanny Time Bomb’ 2009
The (Societal) Price of a Time Bomb
“…the U.S. has the highest rate of depression among a survey group of 14 countries. The study, jointly conducted by the World Health Organization and Harvard Medical School and based on more than 60,000 face-to-face interviews worldwide, found that 9.6% of Americans suffer from “bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder or chronic minor depression.” A whopping 18.2% of Americans were also found to be experiencing “mood and anxiety disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder and panic disorder….“1
(Source) The Wall Street Journal, 2007
What happens when a child continues to be fed clothed and intellectually stimulated but is emotionally deprived?
‘Almost all students who do poorly in school … lack one or more of these elements of emotional intelligence (regardless of whether they also have cognitive difficulties such as learning disabilities). The magnitude of the problem is not minor, in some states close to one in five children have to repeat first grade, and then as the years go on fall further behind their peers, becoming increasingly discouraged, resentful, and disruptive.’ 2
The consequences for a society that ignores the emotional abuse/neglect of children are enormous.
“While emotional neglect seems to dull empathy, there is a paradoxical result from intense, sustained emotional abuse, including cruel, sadistic threats, humiliations, and plain meanness. Children who endure such abuse can become hyper alert to the emotions of those around them… Such an obsessive preoccupation with the feelings of others is typical of psychologically abused children who in adulthood suffer the mercurial, intense emotional ups and downs that are sometimes diagnosed as ‘borderline personality disorder’.’ 3
How many children today are routinely prescribed drugs to address depression, anxiety, and disruptive behavior?
‘A recent Washington Post story (Sunday, April 18th 2004) indicated that the use of antidepressants for children increased as much as tenfold from 1987 to 1996, with a further 50% rise between 1998 and 2002. This increase occurred even though “the vast majority of clinical trials have failed to prove that the medicines help depressed children”. The article also pointed out that the increase has been especially dramatic in children under age 6 and that there is no clinical trial data for children in this age range.’ 4
I found this information on Dr. Stanley I Greenspan’s Blogger web site. Dr Greenspan advocates a ‘comprehensive’ approach to children with difficulties, such as learning and behavioral difficulties. That is, medical practitioners should not lead with drugs but should rather consider several factors that make up a composite human being. These factors include ‘personal, family, peer relationship, and educational domains’. The problem of low EQ isn’t just an American one. It’s also happening in the UK.
“The mental well-being of children and young people is in decline, with emotional problems and conduct disorders twice as common as they were in the 1930s, according to research. Studies carried out by NCH, the children’s charity, found that one-in-ten children, now has a mental health disorder to a “clinically significant” level. The charity defines an “emotionally well” child as one who demonstrates empathy, self-awareness, an ability to manage their feelings, motivation and good social skills. The report also showed that the British public believe that the healthy development of these skills plays a greater role than family income, physical health and IQ in determining the child’s future social standing. Clare Tickell, chief executive of NCH, said:
“The lack of emotional well-being among our children and young people is undermining the foundations of any social policy to combat social exclusion, deprivation or lack of social mobility. “The emphasis must change from social class to social skills, self-esteem and resilience if we are to give the next generation the chance they deserve.”- “ 5
*NB: Footnotes available on request
Next Blog, Part 2 : the broader implications of a Time Bomb.