This is one of the books I have recently finished from my 30 Excellent Books in 2010 List.
I tripped across it recently in a Christian Book Store for a bargain price ($3!) and thought it would be good to put in the parent library at work.
I decided to read it first...and perhaps not put it in the library after all!
Dr. Leman is a psychologist and a Christian and I have read a couple of his other books this year which have been great.
This one just wasn't what I expected.
Dr. Leman's view point is that children are given the very best to prepare for life when they spend the majority of time in a stable and warm family home environment. So far, so good. He gives many reasons for this and many I agree with no problem.
As an Early Childhood Educator, I struggled with many aspects of this book. I agree that families really need to question whether both parents working full time is in the best interests of the children, but Dr. Leman goes further and suggests that Early Childhood settings are unhealthy and even damaging for some families...
I'm being careful here, a lot of what he said rang true for me, but by the same token I am seeing the coin from both sides, and its a hard thing to do.
I have often wondered whether I would be able to return to work in EC if I had young children. Its something we haven't really fleshed out in detail as yet. I think one thing is certain however... if I was a hairdresser, a builder or an office worker - anything but an early childhood teacher - I would probably find it a tiny (very tiny) bit easier to return to work. This is purely because right now, my current job would have me being paid to look after other people's young children while paying someone else to look after my own... It's sort of too hard for me to get my head around.
And I don't think its a bad thing as such - its just a bit weird. I know lots of people who do it - some like it some don't. I'm not judging. I'm just not sure what I would do.
I don't think there is a right answer as such - every family has to make their own choices and for their own best interests. It just made me think.
I don't think everyone would agree with everything Dr. Leman has to say, and thats ok. It's just good to start the discussion. As far as the book goes, it was worth the read as it made me think and question some things, and I think good books should challenge you, whether you agree with them or not!