Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


TV Host’s Comment Undermines Value Of Mothers

19 March 2018

TV Host’s Comment Undermines Value Of Mothers

Family First NZ is rubbishing TV3 AM Show host Mark Richardson’s comments that motherhood should not be considered a job, labelling the comments as disrespectful and potentially harmful, and ignoring the research.

“Mothers have been undervalued. Yet there is growing evidence of profound beneficial neurobiological effects a mother’s physical presence has on her young child that cannot be achieved by anyone else. It’s significant that a childcare worker is treated as having a “job” but a full-time mother doesn’t,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

Family First released a report in 2012 “WHO CARES? Mothers, Daycare and Child Wellbeing in New Zealand” prepared by UK psychologist Dr Aric Sigman, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Dr Sigman argues that the impression given is that mothers who do stay at home for the first few years of their child's life confer no benefits or advantages on their child when compared to equivalent time spent in non-parental care.

“Parental and non-parental care are presented as equal alternatives entailing nothing more than a discretionary lifestyle choice involving mere stylistic differences. In short, this means that the many mothers who have spent years at home with their children in the belief that this conferred significant benefits to them have wasted their time. Yet the uncomfortable but nagging question remains: which is generally better for a young child during weekdays - the biological mother or a paid carer at an institution? To suggest that motherhood is special is seen by some as in some way demeaning, even insulting, to women,” says Dr Sigman.

“Why has motherhood not been viewed as an incomparable responsibility carried out by a gender with awe-inspiring qualities? If we are so concerned about sexism and being sensitive to women's feelings about their choices, why must the negative feelings - the guilt - of some working mothers take precedence over supporting the feelings of stay-at-home mothers?” asks Dr Sigman.

NZ’s Brainwave Trust which was formed as a response to new scientific evidence on the impact that experiences in the first 3 years have on the brain development of a child, says on its website, “The early attachment between parents and their baby creates a foundation for that child’s future relationships with others. Smiling, singing, touching and cuddling as part of attuned, responsive care is necessary to develop this part of the brain. Close, loving physical touch is crucially important. These things allow the child to develop the brain connections needed to feel empathy and care for others – an important prerequisite for healthy functioning as an adult.”

“With respect, Mark Richardson needs to do a bit more homework,” says Mr McCoskrie.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why France Could Become Our Closest Ally In Europe

As PM Jacinda Ardern returns from a triumphant tour to Britain and the capitals of Europe, her officials have probably begun to assess what the more substantive gains from the trip might have been. Most of the chatter has been about potential trade deals – so lets just assume for the moment that bilateral trade deals between big and small countries are a good thing, despite the perils they pose to the smaller party. Currently, Britain is so involved with its Brexit nightmare that there seems little prospect of any substantive early progress on an FTA with Britain. In any case, New Zealand should be wary of being the first cab off that particular rank. ... More>>


HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>


PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>


Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>





Featured InfoPages