The Foolishness Of Man
on the care and feeding of children
Glenys Hicks

When I was born there was a philosophy of child raising influenced by a whole network of Maternal Welfare Centres in Australia under the umbrella of Dr Truby King. In this teaching, the newborn was "trained" to be fed every 4 hours on the dot, allowed to cry inconsolably when hungry yet allowed to run wild in the developing years. One did not want to hurt their little psyches by spanking or scolding.

My mother remembers only too well her niece who was sucking on her fingers and screaming for a feed but whose mother would let her scream until the clock said it was time for the next feed! She was a strict follower of the Truby King regime. By the time the baby was offered the breast (which was swollen with milk that would gush down the child's throat), she was usually too exhausted to suckle well and if she did, would be full of colic from all the crying.

My cousin grew up a chronic thumbsucker and a lonely and unhappy child. But a child who was allowed complete freedom- even to tap dancing on the top of her mother's white Queen Ann dressing table! At a time when a newborn should be taught to trust in a big world, and then how to love and form a deep abiding bond with its mother or carer, it was deprived of not only food but comfort! It learnt to be anxious and distrustful and unloving!

But at an age where the personality was developing and training could commence, the child was allowed full vent to emotion and desires and was allowed to run wild. These poor children were taught that instant gratification, disrespect of authority, people and their possessions and ultimate selfishness were their right. There were no boundaries and the child was unhappy and isolated. Parents of children being trained in the niceties and values of normal living rightfully didn't want their own children associating with them.

Ultimately, Truby King bred a generation of unhappy adults who knew nothing but self indulgence and that anarchy does indeed rule. How sad! How very contrary to God's way of raising children! I do not know what became of Dr Truby King perhaps he has passed on- but the legacy he has passed on to countless adults brought up under his spartan regime is appalling. How different these teachings are to the gentle rearing of our children under the admonition of the scriptures! How my heart yearns to be able to go back in time and comfort and feed the many infants starving for hours and fretting and to direct and gently guide the little children brought up under the teaching of these people! Yet many sincere and genuinely loving parents thought they were doing what was best for their children- unfortunately, they followed after the foolishness of man and against the knowledge of the Most High God.

I was fortunate to have a sensible God-fearing mother, but thousands weren't. It makes you wonder how each turned out as an adult doesn't it?

Glenys Robyn Hicks

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