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Title: Time Magazine Cover -- Forget The Breast, What About The Boy?
Source: FOX
URL Source: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012 ... icks&google_editors_picks=true
Published: May 12, 2012
Author: Dr. Keith Ablow
Post Date: 2012-05-12 19:27:01 by Brian S
Keywords: None
Views: 4462
Comments: 15

Jamie Lynn Grumet, the 26-year-old mother featured on the cover of Time magazine breastfeeding her 3-year-old son, has done more this week than become the poster woman for “attachment parenting,” the sometimes laudable movement that advises parents to be physically and emotionally available and responsive to their children. She has shown the limits of such a concept, and the ways in which it can be twisted into a bizarre, contemptible caricature of itself.

Grumet is a model, and models have to have at least healthy dose of narcissism (television journalists like me, too, by the way). But I fear Grumet has more than what’s healthy.

Because she thought nothing of becoming far more famous than she ever was or ever would have been by getting naked on the cover of Time using her son as a prop—letting him, in fact, look right into the camera and be completely recognizable while sucking her nipple. He may never be better-known for anything than for being a breastfeeding 3-year-old on the cover of a national magazine.

Ever.

When he enters school later in his young life he may be ridiculed for it. And these realities hint at a woman who could (and I have not evaluated her) have very poor boundaries and be willing or likely not only to nurture a child, but to absorb him, deny him his personhood and render him no more than her appendage.

The truth is that what Time magazine may have unwittingly captured and been party to was a grotesque form of psychological abuse—the parading into public of an intimate moment (intimate for mother and child) at the sole direction of that child’s mother, who didn’t stop to think that her child may not be able at the age of three to know what he thinks about the whole thing, much less to stop it, if he wanted to.

-

In short, it is not at all clear who is the “parent” in the Time magazine photograph. Is Grumet responding to real and healthy needs emanating from her son’s psyche, or is he responding to her potentially outsized needs to be the center of attention and the object of desire (if only for warmth). Who, we can legitimately ask, is feeding whom?

See, Grumet loves being photographed. And she apparently loves having her son breastfeed. And she loves attention. And she’s happy enough to get naked in front of other people (which there may be nothing wrong with—for her). But that may or may not be the case for her 3-year-old boy, which seems not to have mattered to her—at all. And if his will was bent to hers in order to have him suck his mother’s nipple in front of a photographer and makeup artist and art director and all of America, then it stands to reason that his will may be being bent to hers in all sorts of ways—including protracted breastfeeding.

The truth is that what Time magazine may have unwittingly captured and been party to was a grotesque form of psychological abuse—the parading into public of an intimate moment (intimate for mother and child) at the sole direction of that child’s mother, who didn’t stop to think that her child may not be able at the age of three to know what he thinks about the whole thing, much less to stop it, if he wanted to.

Grumet has stained the attachment parenting movement by documenting how easily it can go wrong, when used as an excuse for poor boundaries and manipulation.

In a way, while looking at the Time magazine cover, we are all Grumet’s son and may know something of his possible plight: finding her a compelling and dramatic presence, seduced by her combination of sex appeal and motherhood—unable, in fact, to detach from her.

Talk about a prescription for psychological disaster.

This is self-centeredness at its worst, sold as good parenting. And this is an act of media violence against a child, committed by adult journalists who also commandeered his will (as did his mother), for sensation and profit. Rarely do we get such evidence of how wrong parenting can go, how poorly journalists can behave and how slow we can be to recognize ugliness when it is disguised as something beautiful. (1 image)

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#1. To: Brian S (#0)

I think this author's mom weaned him before he was ready, or maybe he never was breastfed. Either way he sounds as if he has a problem. The world average for breastfeeding is 4.2 years.

Anyone claiming to be an expert is selling something. I brandish my ignorance like a crucifix at vampires. Aaron Bady

lucysmom  posted on  2012-05-12   20:20:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: lucysmom (#1)

The world average for breastfeeding is 4.2 years.

"World average" perhaps but do you have the figures for the USA.

I'm sure figuring Sudan, Ethiopia, etc. into the equation can get you to this '4.2 years'. Doubt it is the case here.

Never swear "allegiance" to anything other than the 'right to change your mind'!

Brian S  posted on  2012-05-12   20:26:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Brian S (#2)

"World average" perhaps but do you have the figures for the USA.

In the 1940s US mothers nursed their babies for an average of 2.8 years. These days many women stop nursing at 6 weeks when they go back to work, and some American women never consider nursing at all.

Anyone claiming to be an expert is selling something. I brandish my ignorance like a crucifix at vampires. Aaron Bady

lucysmom  posted on  2012-05-12   20:34:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Brian S (#2)

Silly rabbit, breasts are for kids.

Ferret Mike  posted on  2012-05-12   21:03:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Ferret Mike (#4)

Silly rabbit, breasts are for kids.

For once in my life, I will refrain from making a psychological prognosis and simply remark that the kid seems to be thriving on his diet (he seems large for a 3 year old).

harrowup  posted on  2012-05-12   21:30:40 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Ferret Mike (#4)

Silly rabbit, breasts are for kids.

It is an 'attention getting' cover one must have to admit. ;)

Never swear "allegiance" to anything other than the 'right to change your mind'!

Brian S  posted on  2012-05-12   21:31:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: harrowup (#5)

With my wife, there was a reciprocity of mindedness to end that aspect of development of our son. She nursed until he was two years and a couple of weeks.

Mother and child should be left alone because this an aspect to the mother-child relationship is best understood by them.

Breast feeding is very healthy for kids. As long as mom ain't doing hard drugs that is. Mom's do have a personal responsibility to be a responsible adult. ;-)

Ferret Mike  posted on  2012-05-12   21:43:33 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Ferret Mike (#7)

Modesty is still a virtue as you agree.

harrowup  posted on  2012-05-12   21:53:43 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: harrowup (#8)

But modesty should never dictate if a child gets fed. I've seen some outrageous treatment of traveling moms and kids for doing covered feeding in waiting areas.

Politesse dictates that sometimes people need to consciously pay no mind rather then to expect an accommodation that leaves a child hungry.

Ferret Mike  posted on  2012-05-12   21:58:40 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: Ferret Mike (#9)

sometimes people need to consciously pay no mind

Thanks for the clarification. I of course meant that modesty is a two way street. One can look away and 'pay no mind'. I didn't mean to be a prude.

While I am uncomfortable with PDAs, breastfeeding is about as natural as it comes. I'm certain I would not have wanted my mother displaying me breastfeeding (at three, my hair was long like a girl).

harrowup  posted on  2012-05-12   22:08:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: lucysmom (#1)

or maybe he never was breastfed.

;}

I'd say the kid is lucky.

He'll only have a very few years in between when he's not sucking on any breast...;}

mcgowanjm  posted on  2012-05-13   8:54:49 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: harrowup (#5) (Edited)

(he seems large for a 3 year old).

No shite.

Getting ready for the olympics looks like.

I've got a 3 year old nephew. And he's an athlete in his own right and is no where near that big.

Unless mommy's a midget....;}

mcgowanjm  posted on  2012-05-13   8:58:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Brian S (#0)

The author makes many good points,but the woman is NOT naked except by Muslim standards.

"It is impossible to talk reason with those who can only parrot Party Slogans." sneakypete Sept 2011

Stay Hungry...Stay Foolish --Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs,life-long Dim,and major Barry Soetoro supporter.

sneakypete  posted on  2012-05-14   9:30:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: harrowup (#5)

(he seems large for a 3 year old).

My first thought was he was 6 to 8 years old.

My second thought was he is going to get the snot beat out of him in school because of this.

"It is impossible to talk reason with those who can only parrot Party Slogans." sneakypete Sept 2011

Stay Hungry...Stay Foolish --Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs,life-long Dim,and major Barry Soetoro supporter.

sneakypete  posted on  2012-05-14   9:32:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: harrowup (#5)

(he seems large for a 3 year old).

I've heard reported that he is just weeks shy of being 4.

Never swear "allegiance" to anything other than the 'right to change your mind'!

Brian S  posted on  2012-05-14   11:56:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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