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Purchase "Being There" from or from any Barnes and Noble Bookstore

Being There:
The Benefits of a
Stay-At-Home Parent

by Isabelle Fox, Ph.D.
with Norman M. Lobsenz
ISBN 0-9712149-0-5
Sun Publishers

Table of Contents

  1. Who Cares for Our Children
  2. Giving the Gift of Love
  3. Bonding and Attachment
  4. What Happens When Caregivers Change
  5. Parental Versus Substitute Care
  6. Why Parental Care Is Worth It
  7. Solutions
  8. Final Thoughts on "Being There"

Preface ix


Who Cares for Our Children:
A Parent's Dilemma 1
Objectives of This Book 4
What "Continuity" is and Why it is So Essential to the Formation of "Secure Attachment" 4
Timmy's Story 5
The Choice: Parent or Substitute 10
Theoretical Background of Attachment Theory 12
Why the Problems Created by Constant Changes of Caregivers Have Been Ignored 14


Giving the Gift of Love:
Parenthood as a Temporary Career 18
Importance of the Primary Caregiver 19
The Advantages of a Parent as Primary Caregiver 21
As Child Matures, Parental Time Can Diminish 24
Why Mothers Return to Work 25
Single Parenthood: By Circumstance or by Choice 27
The "Myth" of Quality Time 28
Your Child as an "Investment" 31
What Timmy Needs From a Mom 33


Bonding and Attachment:
The key to understanding Parent-Infant Behavior 35
The Infant's Smile 38
Internal Working Models 40
Stranger Anxiety 42
The "Secure Base" 44
Separation Anxiety 46
Patterns of Attachment: Secure, Anxious, and Detached 49
The Legacy of Separations and Losses: Protest, Despair, and Detachment 54
Long-Term Separations 56


What Happens When Caregivers Change:
The Dangers of "Caregiver Roulette" 60
School Problems 66
Increased Risk of Delinquent Behavior 72
Difficulty in Establishing Intimacy 75
Depression and Other Serious Mental Illnesses 78
Drug and Alcohol Abuse 81


Parental Versus Substitute Care:
A Comparison 85
Jane's Day 87
Randy's Day 90
A Comparison: Betty and Sally 93


Why Parental Care Is Worth It:
Language and Cognitive Development 98
Ability to Understand Children's Fears 102
Being There to Aid in Other Developmental Growth Experiences (Giving Up Diapers, Bottles, Pacifiers, and so on) 105
Diminishing Aggression and Sibling Rivalry by Parental Presence 107
Providing "Special Time" for Each Child 109
Facilitating Play: Painting, Water Play, Mud, Sand, Clay, Blocks, Dolls, Stuffed Animals, Dress-Up, and Dramatic Play 110
Blocks 113
Dolls and Stuffed Animals 115
Dress-Up and Dramatic Play 117
Encouraging and Facilitating Reading 117
Supervising the Media: Television and Videos 119
Teaching Discipline 123
Modeling Discipline 125
Encouraging the Development of a Conscience: Moral and Social Values 127
Providing Time to Plan Family Activities, Parties, Field Trips, and Preparing the Family Meal 132
The Parental Role in Teaching Sexual Information 134
The Importance of Being There! 136
What Timmy Wants From a Dad 138


How to Provide Continuity of Quality Care 139
Practical Methods by Which Parents Can Provide Primary Care 141
Are Assets Available to the Parents? 141
Borrowing Money to Stay Home for One or Two Years 142
Save Money Before the Child is Born 144
Cut Back on Expenditures 145
Delay the Return to Work as Long as Possible 146
Working at Home 147
Working Part-Time 147
Work at Place of Employment Where "Job Site" Day Care is Available 148
Put Your Job or Career on Hold for One or Two Years 149
Working the Tandem Shift Method Utilizing Both Parents 149
Parents Who Have Returned to Work Can Take Time Off (Luck and Finances Permitting) 150
Nonparental Substitute Caregivers 150
The "Standard" Nanny Caregiver 150
Additional Considerations in the Selection of Nannies 153
Employment of Au Pairs From Foreign Countries 153
How to Screen a Prospective Caregiver 154
Determining the Applicant's Physical Condition 154
Determining the Applicant's Suitability for Caregiving 155
Alternative Arrangements for Substitute Care 160
Live-in "Barter" Arrangements 161
Communal and Cooperative Arrangements 161
Financial "Pooling" Arrangements 161
Grandparents and Other Motivated Relatives and Friends 162
Increasing the Parental Role and Reducing Substitute Care by Cutting Job-Related Travel Time 165

"Standard" Day-Care Center Arrangements 166
"Family Care" Arrangements 169
Criteria for Selection of Day Care and Family Care 170
Medical Risks of Day Care 175
Will One of the Alternative Arrangements Be Practical for You? 179


Final Thoughts on "Being There" 181
A Mother Remembers 187

Notes 189
Bibliography 198
Index 205

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Isabelle Fox, Ph.D.
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