Monday, June 13, 2011

Crunchy with a Soft Gooey Center

There's an article floating around many of my favorite Facebook pages talking about the damaging effects of Babywise. If you take two minutes to flip through an Ezzo book, you'll find very quickly an opinion-based manifesto of shameless child abuse promotion.

The Ezzo's have no real authority behind their methods. They are simply cruel. And this goes for the Pearls too. And any other self-promoting so-called "parenting authority" who promotes anything but gentle methods of child rearing.

Here's the deal. These control/schedule based parenting "solutions" have led to the death and malnourishment of countless babies and children. I suppose I can believe that there are a few folks out there who abuse children. There are bound to be a few bad seeds. But what kills me is that there are so many people who eat this shit up and force feed it to their own children. That there are people who do it and LOVE it but then change their minds later after doing 'further research'.

For me? No research needed. The first few sentences of that book was enough to make my stomach churn. I don't need to read what doctors think to know that I wouldn't want anyone to treat ME that way, so why on earth would I treat my child that way?

Evolution has not forgotten us. We did not once possess the innate ability to nurture infants and children but suddenly lose it with the industrial age. Nope. It's still all there, in our hearts.

Okay. Probably not in the heart. The heart is a muscle who's primary function is to supply blood to the body. But.. That knowledge is stored somewhere. I imagine it's in the brain. But I think you smell what I'm stepping in here.

I'm not saying that if you don't automatically know exactly what to do in every situation you are faced with you are a failure. I'm not saying you shouldn't seek advice from trusted friends, family, doctors or even "parenting authorities". What I *am* saying is that if the advice you receive from said sources doesn't 'sit' with you, it's probably not right.

But people LOVE Babywise and the Pearls and such. Chronicles of a Babywise Mom on Facebook has 2,618 followers. Does this form of abusive parenting 'sit' with them? I really can't wrap my brain around it. All I know is I've never left my son to cry. I have always fed him on demand. I believe in distraction and redirection, not hitting and deprivation. If he wakes at night, I deal with it because night parenting is part of being a mom.

These methods insist your children will be your friend as an adult (but you should not be their friend a moment sooner!). Too bad the Ezzo's children won't even talk to them. They also insist that doctors encourage the use of this method, but the AAP has released a statement warning against the use of these methods as dangerous. (And we all know how much I love the AAP... pffff... but they've hit the nail on the head with this one.)

Here's the deal. I've read books and I've consulted with friends, but ultimately I follow what my instincts are telling me is right. Most of my big questions have come as a direct result from not being successful at exclusively breastfeeding and that, to me, is because bottle feeding isn't natural so my instincts were a little befuddled.

When my son cries, my heart splits in two and I think that's the way it should be, or else why would he cry? It is supposed to shoot directly to your oxytocin center. It's supposed to make you empathize. Because babies use crying as their only form of insistent communication for a good year (except for those who sign.. but.. pretty sure even signing babies cry). If a baby cries, he needs something. And if that something is to be held, that's your job as his mother.

Rant over.

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