I heard about the new TIME magazine cover on my way to work this morning. It's a startling picture, really: A three-year-old boy is standing on a chair suckling at his mother's breast.
While controversy has already sprung up regarding the age when a mother should wean her baby or toddler off breast milk, I get the feeling that this picture wasn't about the value of breastfeeding so much as how to shock the American public. I already feel sorry for the poor kid, a little guy who will grow up.
Then again, maybe it's a plug for a growing trend: Attachment Parenting. The belief is that if you and your child are constantly around one another, including sleeping, the child will grow into a more secure individual.
I'm wondering if this growing trend is compensating for the daycare blues. Due to financial strain and the divorce culture, many people have had to place their children into daycare. While sometimes necessary, daycare is not optimal for small children. (There is a vast amount of literature on this particular subject -- here and here, for instance. I particularly recommend reading some of Bryce Christensen's work.)
However, I'm also leery of going so far the other way. My daughter, thank God, is able to stay at home with her little ones. They're flourishing. However, she needs time for herself, which she gets after they go to bed. That's healthy for her, her husband, and her children.