Friday, December 4

Donald Winnicott, the British pediatrician and psychoanalyst who told mothers it was better not to be perfect


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  • BBC World News

Caption,

Winnicott encouraged women to follow their maternal instincts, at a time when parenting was highly structured.

Between the 1940s and 1960s, a British doctor helped thousands of women raise their babies using a little-known tool at the time: psychology.

The psychoanalyst and pediatrician Donald Winnicott gave more than 60 radio talks on the BBC and became famous for developing the concept of what he called “the mother good enough“.

Until then, the widespread belief was that women should aim to be perfect mothers, following to the letter a series of rules to raise their babies correctly.

Doctors like the influential child welfare expert Frederic Truby King argued that babies they are like wild animals that must be tamed.

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