Child Primacy

Most discussions of a society's responsibility to its children are premised on the Doctrine of Original Sin. Although original sin is a formal doctrine of some religions it is also a unconscious belief of traumatized (most) adults. It is the idea that children are born 'bad' or at least with a strong trajectory toward the bad, and that strong intervention must be initiated to 'break' the nature of the child and instill 'civilization from the outside.


The opposing belief is that children are born good and with a strong trajectory toward the good. Children only need to be supported and gently guided. This is the premise of the Reich and Lowen tradition and fortunately, many parents. One implication of this, is that society should look to the natural strivings of children to set social priorities.


Breast Feeding: Another implication of child-primacy is a priority on breast-feeding. Children clearly prefer breast to bottle if the mother is comfortable. The breast is a source of pleasure, grounding, and security to the infant and toddler. Children should be allowed to wean themselves, and when so allowed will almost always nurse to three to five years old, at least at night.


The benefits of breast-feeding have been partly recognized by mainstream culture, but mostly in a chemical way. That is the ingredients of breast milk are admitted to be superior, but women are encouraged to go to work and pump their breasts. The baby suckling the breast is almost surely the most valuable aspect for mother and child but it is not recognized. Also breast milk 'banks' are a barely tolerable idea in our culture, but employing a wet-nurse, even for those who could easily afford it, is a taboo idea. On a recent trip to Sierra Leone, Salma Hayek nursed a sick infant from her breast. I believe this was not just a very admirable impulse but a natural and healthy one. One imagines that only the immunity of great celebrity or wealth allowed her to do that in public without repercussion.