Son has an affair? Mom is to blame!

I chanced upon an article in the Times Online edition talking about a certain psychiatrist Dr Dennis Friedman’s new book An Unsolicited Gift. It said that entrusting your son in the hands of a nanny in his early years could turn him into a womanizer!
Dr Friedman says that leaving your son with a Nanny introduces him very early to the “other woman” concept. It apparently justifies to your son that there can be different women to satisfy different needs. Such a boy in his adulthood easily gets into extra-marital relationships or turns to more than one female partner.
Dr Friedman may be from the Royal College of Psychiatrists but his theory seems to be more of a work of fiction than fact. He has no sample survey, no interviews or no concrete evidence to prove his theories. His assumptions too are pretty convoluted. He says that when boys raised by Nannies grow up and have their own children and find their partners spending more time with their children, they are reminded of their own childhood. At this time, they tend to take more comfort in the “other woman.” When the Woman No 1 in their life is busy they seek the same emotional comfort that they sought in their Nanny in the “other woman.”
I seriously question Dr Friedman’s theory. If “working mother bashing” in society was not enough, here’s a psychiatrist who is blaming a man’s roving eye in adulthood to the fact that his mother left him with a Nanny!
In the West, most middle-class mothers leave their children at day care centres. Nannies are more for those who wield the power of money. In India, however, most upper middle-class working women employ the help of Nannies. Though untrained, they surely help in taking care of household chores and tending to the baby in their absence. How good, bad, trained or dumb these Nannies (domestic help) turn out to be is a matter of luck. But the fact remains that in urban India more and more toddlers and school-going children are with Nannies while their moms are away at work. With Dr Friedman’s logic, more and more men will find solace outside marriage in generations to come for I don’t see the trend of Nannies dying very soon in India.
But what Dr Friedman has not considered is that men are polygamous by nature and need only suitable opportunities to fulfill their desires. Not all get opportunities or have the guts to take up those. I am not a male-basher but whatever I have seen of men I’ve come across in my personal and professional life, my statement is at least 80-90 per cent true. My female friends will agree.
I’m sure there are bigger and better reasons why men look for partners outside marriage. Why blame it on the “poor” working mother who spent her youth juggling home, work and taking care of her young ones? Enough of “All because of you Mamma” statements!
Just one last question - what happens to baby girls left with Nannies?


Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli said...

I second your opinion that the theory appears like a piece of fiction. In fact I believe that leaving your son with a Nanny helps him realize that his mom is working hard for his future and still ensuring that he is taken care of in her absence.

Aparna said...

Thanks Anuradha. Most of my friends who read the article are equally livid.

Pals_The Writer said...

I endorse the same view... Finding faults with women, working or non-working, comes naturally to men... thanks to the male-ego nurtured by the gender-biased society

Nita said...

I agree with you Aparna. I remember reading this article and thought was rubbish it was! In India even women who are not working but belong to the affluent class keep nannies or ayahs and this hardly means that all men from the upper classes are unfaithful. Whether you are unfaithful or not has more to do with what society allows as well as the temperament of the person.

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