Quoting Quiverfull: Developmental Neglect?

Quoting Quiverfull: Developmental Neglect? December 5, 2012

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

From “The Master’s Social Worker” by Mrs. Wayne Hunter at Ladies Against Feminism posted on May 6,2012


One very important thing to understand about many women in America nowadays is that many of them have grown up in homes of developmental neglect.  Their developmental needs while growing up were not met.  The only one to really meet all of a child’s developmental needs is a child’s mother who is home full-time and who pays close attention to her child.  Many women simply did not have this.

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • April

    So… only a mom’s care and attention can prevent developmental neglect? Dad’s care and attention isn’t as important? I’m a huge fan of at least one parent staying home with the kids while they are young, particularly mom while a child is very young, and I don’t doubt that developmental neglect is an issue in America, but saying it all rests on mom’s shoulders just isn’t right.
    ~ a stay at home mom

  • How could one person possibly meet all of another person’s needs? Can she define “developmental neglect” and source her conclusions in the psychological literature?

    Mothers vary enormously in quality and none are perfect. I’ve known some very competent people raised by very incompetent parents … who nonetheless allowed their children access to support outside the home, from school and relatives. This access allowed the the young people to grow up knowing they were important and worth caring about and to make the most of their opportunities.

    The most damaged person I have ever known did not have access to support outside the home while growing up.

    The idea that one person should — even could — be responsible for all the needs of a dozen children held captive within the home has no equivalent anywhere that I know of, and no support in the literature. This is a recipe for abuse.

    Also: if a mother is alone at home with a dozen children, how can she be paying “close attention” to each of them at all times? If that’s what’s required, then Quiverfull children are doomed to developmental neglect.

  • thalwen

    So, all the grandparents, single dads, aunts, uncles, etc. raising kids are neglecting them just by virtue of not being the mother? And it’s better to live in abject poverty than to have two parents work and provide a stable home for the kids? A mother who stays home and pops out kid after kid, forcing the girls to take on mother roles from a young age isn’t neglecting her kids, while a woman who plans her family size so she can devote time to care for the kids she has is a bad mother?

    It’s almost like they have no idea what the reality of parenting is and yet they have kids and are bringing them up like this and thinking they’re doing the right thing and that it’s everyone else that’s screwed up.

  • Marie

    It’s just fear-mongering. Make up a “fact” about children’s developmental needs to guilt women into living the lifestyle you want them to, while simultaneously “explaining” why other people are screwed up.

  • This is actually quite un-biblical, by this movement’s own definition of biblicalism. In Bible times families lived in extended-family groups as one household. When the Proverbs 31 woman was out buying land and cultivating a vineyard, trading with the merchants, etc., who was watching the kids? Either a servant or an extended family member. A poorer woman would not have servants, but if able-bodied, she’d be out in the fields, with her grandmother or aunt watching the kids. This idea that only the mother can provide the care a child needs is not only unsubstantiated, but unbiblical.

  • I’m very proud of my daughter who works part-time. She and her husband work different shifts so he is home in the mornings. Then a close friend comes in three afternoons a week. This friend is due to have her first baby soon, and the child care income will allow her to be with her own little girl. I am pleased with how they worked this out.

  • Saraquill
  • Sallie

    My mother was a full-time, stay-at-home mom. It was great when we were very small, but increasingly difficult as our developmental needs changed – she could not handle our increasing desires for independence and individuation. She was very controlling and authoritarian, sometimes even physically abusive when she deemed us “mouthy” or combative. Because we were her only source of validation or any sense of achievement in her life, she couldn’t handle the possibility that we might turn out different from how she wanted, or that we might require separation from her . . . because then what would she do with herself? Even now, as she tells me she regrets having no other focus for her life, she does so in a controlling way, wanting me to choose the exact path she wishes she’d chosen, as if we’re the same person seeking the same outcomes in life.

    I’d have much preferred a fulfilled, happy mom who modeled independence and confidence, not a frightened and controlling one who unwittingly placed her own needs above ours.