Finland and the shame of government intervention in maternity.
Almost as shameful as the idea that a government can determine babies’ needs are the statements made by the writer of this BBC article (Why Finnish babies sleep In cardboard boxes), perfectly illustrated by a picture of a baby lying inside a bare cardboard box. Let’s see: “It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1930s and it’s designed to give all children in Finland, no matter what background they’re from, an equal start in life.”
What exactly does “an equal start in life” mean? Could it be that among the basic needs of newborns is that of appeasing an innate envy towards their bald comrades born elsewhere? Could Marx’s beard genes be coded in our DNA? Obviously, little knows about human dignity somebody who measures it according to such materialistic and self-centered standard, and little legitimacy has he got to go about complaining about inequality. In any case, it’s not like the big media abounds with writers who are able to think before writing, let alone allowed to.
“Encouraging good parenting has been part of the maternity box policy all along.
“”Babies used to sleep in the same bed as their parents and it was recommended that they stop,” says Panu Pulma, professor in Finnish and Nordic History at the University of Helsinki. “Including the box as a bed meant people started to let their babies sleep separately from them.””
Ok, so we have several statements being implied here:
1) Babies sleeping separated from parents is good parenting. Period.
2) Finnish parents could not find a better incentive to make their babies sleep alone than receiving a cardboard box from the government.
3) Finnish parents who had another incentive to make their babies sleep alone could not find a better surface than a cardboard box from the government.
4) Just what would we do without a government making decisions for us?!?!
Do we really have to address these statements with anything other than what sort of indoctrinated morons are behind this analysis? Does it really take a very wide eye to see the propagandistic drivel this is? Here’s another bit from the article:
“This felt to me like evidence that someone cared, someone wanted our baby to have a good start in life.”
Now who exactly is this “someone”? What does “care” mean when there’s not even real people involved but mere idealistic figures? What does it mean that someone cares about you when he doesn’t even know you, and what does that say about you, your individuality and what’s going to happen with the baby’s own individual needs? But, hang on a minute… who exactly should be caring about the baby here anyway, a parent or a government?! Well parents of course, but it’s all a bit hard when the parents are so desperately in need of care themselves as to mistake their own needs for the baby’s.
Understandably so, I don’t feel like analysing the remaining lot of propagandistic cobblers in the article. There is a diversity and legion of socialists who are very fond of using the Finnish example, and who are also fond of ignoring the fact that it is precisely Finland’s relative economic freedom – the opposite of what they preach – that makes this country so prosperous (Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report). Indeed, as certain “bossy mammas” vent these little pamphlets and stories into the international media, an army of industries, entrepreneurs and talented youth labours to generate the real wealth of the country. Partly one is thankful that the Finnish government only bothers its citizens with such symbolic things, that it teases drinkers and smokers (‘Finland adopts a new tobacco ban to completely ban smoking’), etc. and that they are clever enough to leave productive people relatively in peace; even though, of course, it is sad that they use economic success to sell their oh-so-outdated moral litanies.
Naturally, the Finnish government is no exception in the developed world and has also been busy getting into debt and allowing its friends to make good boxes – not exactly the baby kind – and, predictably, that sort of “care” for their babies has left them the national debt for inheritance when they grow old, for the present welfare of their mummies and grandpas.
For millenia human beings have not been characterized by having the greatest empathy towards their children, and this is just another sad reminder. Debating this subject on an internet forum I was told about a kind of unconditional love, a love so visceral that it justifies murder for the sake of the offspring, but which somehow isn’t gut-deep enough to take seriously the cries of your baby from her solitude inside boxes of all kinds; I was told about the necessity to “educate for independence” by people who ignore and misconstrue the evidence – not only coming from the baby – that adults in general are everything but emotionally mature and independent, with all their neediness and cultural bullshit surrounding the concept of love…
But that is not really the problem. The problem, clearly, is that they will refuse to think about the validity of the ideals they hold and concepts they handle; that once they are presented with valid arguments they will not have the least intention to process them rationally, but that instead they will respond with the same violence, censorship and tribal behavior with which they handle the weakest and newly arrived on this planet… That is the problem.
Babies are supposed to sleep with their parents just like the rest of land-based mammals on this planet. No matter how clever we think we are, millions of years of evolution must have made sure that we don’t squeeze our young during sleep – as so many seem to claim this is the main reason behind the cradle abandonment – and enabled us to be alert to this during sleep just like we are alert to tigers. Sudden death infant syndrome has, in fact, been shown to be lower in societies that sleep with their infants; this is probably because there is an interaction during sleep that arouses the baby and stimulates his breathing. I like to call this interaction, simply, ‘love’.
Indeed, most of the sudden infant death cases happen in “disadvantaged” families where children are not really wanted to begin with. Medical researchers also love these cases and think they can draw “sensible” recommendations and “small measures” out of them – as in the last cited article – as if putting a crying baby to sleep alone was an easy task for any parents who really love their children.
So much for those people’s consideration of rational arguments concerning their child raising practices. A helpless and bedridden man will take you to court at once if you abuse him; whereas small children give their parents a million opportunities to correct errors that are much more severe than the former, given the power disparity. A nurse who abuses a bedridden man has a greater capacity to admit his error on an internet forum than before the very plaintiff, so what could it mean that so many parents are this reluctant to admitting the smallest error in their children’s education that they can’t even admit certain truths on an internet forum – let alone the truth of a baby’s emotions? Such is the moral stature of so many adults who still do not understand that those who are born to them are people the same as them; people who, more or less consciously, invariably remember how they have been treated by those who had power over them and how they have been silenced. Dear Sirs, nobody who ignores this and goes about trying to justify their unquestionable childraising methods can pretend to have any good intentions towards their children – nobody!
Not surprisingly, Finland is for so many well-established adults nothing but a well of sorrow where to survive thanks to government boxes.
For you who managed to get this far into the article and feel that something about it makes a lot of sense, here is the bright side of the story. If your child, own or entrusted, cries and despairs it’s likely that it’s difficult for you to know what she wants, and also likely you make mistakes unknowingly. This kind of mistakes can be corrected by learning and learning to adjust to the self-evident reality that the child has something very important and deep to communicate, and that something must be at fault with your innate capacity to adequately respond to this. Adhere to this principle and there won’t be a problem; there will be suffering, falls and a lot of confusion, of course, but you will not your compromise your relationship with your child, which is the most important thing. Don’t despair, this journey of discovery has a sure prize. Human beings are able to adapt to all kinds of discomforts, including a deranged and irrational social environment that is still sadly universal; but the hardest thing to overcome is precisely the latter, because if one thing differentiates human beings that is our capacity to think and find out the reasons for things. Please, do not give up reason and your connection to the feelings that your child expresses so clearly and without the need for words; in the future these feelings will turn into thoughts, and the thoughts into words that will seek understanding. At this point your honest answers will achieve the healing longed for, and you will grow together just like we all grow in this wonderful journey of self-discovery.
Nowadays information abounds on the internet, and you are also able to contact a multitude of specialists; in the same way that this helps you find out how to use your computer or mobile phone, it can help you get to know yourself and find out what that little one – whose only “deficiency” is being unable to match your cognitive or verbal level – has to say.