Becoming as Wise as Your Baby

At babywisemom.com (a site with content I detest),
it was said:

“Despite the flaws of the book, I highly recommend it, especially if you are sleep training. It will give you the courage to continue forward.”
S O U R C E


One might ask, why is courage needed, if it is a positive and beneficial method of working with our littlest humans.  Furthermore, why would pediatricians be warning against this process, along with “On Becoming Babywise”, if it were so effective and beneficial?

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My Little One’s Portrait

To all the parents out there, veteran and new, courage to continue forward in a process that isolates a child and forces the mind to develop self coping mechanisms in a timeline that is premature, and in the only environment that is supposed to be completely safe (home, mama, papa), is not courage,
it is stupid and cruel.

The courage to never abandon, never neglect, never delay,
and never isolate is what your child actually needs from you.

Courage to be conveniently not stuck with dealing with an infant or baby behaving as such is not courage, it is selfishness.

The Pearls’, Ezzo’s, Weissbluth’s, Lessin’s, Lindvall, and countless others think they’ve found themselves a kingdom of heaven in their methods of not having to deal with the inconveniences of childhood.  They propagate their selfishness and pride rampantly, and hide it under the guise of God and Godly Ways. They teach behaviorism, religiosity, arrogance, subjugation, and shame. What good they impart is the only way they continue their “ministries”, because were the legitimate truth and goodness stripped (it is, but done so in a manner that is deceptive and very covert), no one would pay them an ounce of attention. They hook people with their “good”, reel in with their “Godly this and that”, and then sink every single one of their followers through coercion, guilt, and fear (fear of not raising a good child, fear of disappointing the community, fear of falling short of a God that suddenly measures and gives only warranted approval, according to their interpretation and preachings).


If you are trying to follow these methods, yet find yourself at all struggling or questioning, please pause for a moment. Review your instinct, and shut out all the voices. Forget the methods, the science, the motives.. Just stop and listen to what is there to be heard. Look into your little one’s eyes, listen to their breath, search their thoughts, see their body as it communicates so very much… Observe and reflect, and find your compassion. They deserve nothing less than your all, because, they exist.

 

Children are not machines to be operated, drones to be cut out of a mold, or soldiers to be beaten into unquestioning submission. Children are precious, most valuable, worthy of honor and respect. Love them.

Lead them by example and mentorship. Do not damage, do not diminish.

Children, when revered for their very existence respond in turn. They will see your honesty, see your imperfections, see your wisdom and maturity, and feel your love without condition. They will taste your selflessness, your sacrifice, your pride in them.  They will grow strong, capable, stable.  They are born with the opportunity and the right to be whole. Do not break them.


Quoted from below, “It was not like having a baby in the family at all, but rather just like having another child in the family. What a blessing.”

This statement sickens me. Someone, please respond with a legitimate, unselfish explanation of what the trouble with having a baby in the family is exactly.  Isn’t becoming pregnant and giving birth to a baby likely going to result in the family adding a baby to its midst?

“Our first child was a demand fed baby and it was a nightmare. He was more demanding for a long time as a child.”

Oh my little ones… to think you are valued high enough that you are fed when your body triggers your mind to alert your caregiver to feed…

Dear mother,
Dear father,

The next time your stomach indicates hunger, ignore it.  Simply learn to control your hunger pangs will you! How inconvenient. (Unless, of course, they occur on schedule, my schedule that is.)  If by chance you have decided to modify your needs to suit mine, I will feed you what I determine is appropriate.  If you are not satisfied, consider this a chance to build your character – self control after all is a highly valued asset.

I dare you to implement upon yourself, under the control of someone you cannot manipulate, your own  control techniques that you force upon your children.




The paragraph below is from –
Gary Ezzo, Anne Marie Ezzo, Babywise and Growing Kid’s God’s Way

From Dr. Heldzinger: We started implementing the principles in Baby Wise with our 4th baby (unfortunately we did not learn them before.) What a difference it made to our family. Our first child was a demand fed baby and it was a nightmare. He was more demanding for a long time as a child. With the third we implemented parent-controlled feeding out of our own and with the 4th we used the Ezzo method. It was not like having a baby in the family at all, but rather just like having another child in the family. What a blessing.We subsequently implemented the principles in Growing Kids God’s Way and Reflections of Moral Innocence in our family. My 3 teenagers and 1 child are loved by others and are committed Christians. In fact they have their own ministry, sharing the Word of God. I have seen over 150,000 patients as a family physician and have used these principles to counsel parents with great success (by God’s grace). These are common sense principles, not rocket science. I believe our society has lost their common sense. These principles work! These parent-contolled feeding principles improves people’s lifestyles and makes having a baby in the family an enjoyable experience. My wife breastfed our youngest until he was 3 years old, and he never tugged and begged to be breastfed. He always knew we would feed him when the time was right. I have seen a patient with 4 year old out of control twin boys, for example, and counsel all my patients to follow the methods of calm discipline with firm boundaries and set consequences. When the parents implement these principles, they have great success. I highly recommend the Ezzo’s ministry and all their series to people who want to raise morally responsible, enjoyable youth. Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo changed our marriage (from being child-centered to spouse-centered). We likely could have been divorced if we did not learn what we learned.Growing Kids God’s Way changed our lives. Only in Eternity will the results of their ministry truly be known. Thank you so much Pastor Gary and Anne Marie. My wife and I appreciate your ministry so much.

The sorrow I feel is palpable.

Angie

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There is more on this subject worth review – found here

Becoming Babywise

Not much more that I can say… I haven’t yet forced myself to get through the pages of the Babywise book, but what little I do know of it, I completely disagree with it having an ounce of intelligence.

For much better, baby-friendly alternatives to Babywise please see any of these excellent baby/toddler parenting resource books below.

Remember:  Babies cry to communicate that a NEED has not yet been met – they do NOT cry to manipulate. Their cries are their only form of communication if parents do not recognize and attend to their other non-verbal cues/signals signifying particular needs. Listen to your primal mothering/fathering instincts. Pick up your baby, love him, feed her, snuggle him, wear her, rock him, soothe her – it will all be over in the blink of an eye and you will be so thankful that you peacefully parented your little one while s/he still fit in your arms.

S O U R C E

Inconsistent Hipocracy

Source

Perhaps one of you could help articulate my feelings here more eloquently.. Basically, when one reads through the majority of the material the NGJ group publishes, one gets a sense that the instructions are rather black and white, intended to be 100% of the time, consistent, and enforced regardless of the child and their response.  Additionally, this group repeatedly berates and condemns any parent that doesn’t either see the value of adherence to their doctrine, or doesn’t do it out of “weakness”.  (See below for quotes and source related to this.)

However, when actually questioned, by a supporter and follower no less, these people semi-recant, in effort to save their assumed sanity and correctness.  But they spin their words in such a way that leaves the reader with a sense of certainty, yet confusion.  It’s as if they’re instructing the child to stop spinning on the merry-go-round (or the parent) while they themselves (NGJ) is the physical force that is making the platter continue to spin.

Mike,

We recently visited a family who follow your teachings to the “T”. The children are very well behaved. But I wondered if you’ve ever had anyone overdo it?

The children didn’t have the spark of life as much as we remember our children having. We pass out your books and have been around other families with wonderful kids that are more relaxed and happy. We were troubled. Should we be?

Debi Pearl Responds

Yes, we all need to be troubled, and young couples need encouragement and help from the older couples. We have seen families who take what we and others have written and use it like the law. When older, wiser people try to help bring balance, the younger couples do not take their counsel. It grieves us. If children are not bubbling with joy and eager to be a part of life, then something is very wrong. Good training begins and ends with tying strings of fellowship and bonds of good times.

The Letter Continues

We also noted that the mother was swatting their very young children for not meeting possibly unfair expectations. One as young as 13 weeks old was being swatted to stop crying. The mother was trying to teach her one year old to put toys away, but the kid just didn’t understand and it was an intense confrontation. We tried to let them see a balance but what they understood you meant and what we understood you meant were 2 very different things.

It is true that we occasionally hear that young mothers and more seldom, fathers, take what we teach out of context and misuse their children.

The rest of this article strikes a specific chord in me because I have nursed my daughter now for 2.5 years almost.  We began this love connection moments (literally) after she was born, and will continue until she is ready to sever.  (Anyone who wishes to judge our decisions I encourage you to send me your thoughts and rants, and I will reply in turn with science and instinct.)

You see, most of what these people say is laced with useful, logical, practical information.  This is why their ministry and publications are so dangerous. Those that follow them may easily be seduced into believing their precepts and instructions are logical, reasonable, and even Godly. And for the parent who is struggling with their child’s behaviors, this group seems to be just what they’ve been looking for.  Can anyone supply me with the definition of a cult… and lend their knowledge of how the dynamics of a cult play out, and who cults prey on?

This is why I hope this site will continue to develop with parallel advice, suggestions, and instruction that encourage the parent to see the value of their children, become aware of the effects of their actions and behaviors (and thought processes), and begin to redefine “discipline” from an assumption that is means to punish, back to the original definition of “instruct, guide, teach, develop”.

First, love your child. Care that the child is well, happy, and relaxed. Training should not be tense, upsetting, hurtful, or pushed. It should be a simple exercise in showing the child what you want him to do. A tiny stimulus to direct the child when they are small is enough. For example, if a 3 month-old nursing baby bites, don’t spank. She does not know she did bad. Just gently pull a hair on her head. She will startle back in momentary discomfort and immediately start nursing again. The tiny bit of discomfort makes the baby relate the biting down with the gentle pulling of the hair. You have not made her obey, you have only conditioned her to respond differently. That is training. If you take a 13 week-old baby who is fussing, and squirming and pop her leg, it will only bring more fussing and crying. The child cannot relate those 2 events. She most likely has a tummy ache that needs some relief, not added pain. Ask God for wisdom. He promises to give to those who simply ask.Deb

Ok, to pick this apart, because that is my mood at the moment…  The words of NGJ are italic/red.

“Training should not be tense, upsetting, hurtful, or pushed.”
For “Pushed” and “Upsetting (to the child)”, See ->  Training Fleshy Flesh

For “hurtful”, See -> Just How Hard

“A tiny stimulus to direct the child when they are small is enough. For example, if a 3 month-old nursing baby bites, don’t spank. She does not know she did bad. Just gently pull a hair on her head. She will startle back in momentary discomfort and immediately start nursing again. The tiny bit of discomfort makes the baby relate the biting down with the gentle pulling of the hair. You have not made her obey, you have only conditioned her to respond differently.”

If your infant bites during nursing, bring her closer to the breast.  She will immediately let go because the mouth cannot suck properly unless it is at the right angle to the breast. The result is instantaneous, and she is not hurt in any way.  Further, because the response from her is a reflex, instead of one that requires her tiny brain make a mental connection, she will not be psychologically harmed.  Do not push the baby’s face far enough into your own flesh that you are depriving them of oxygen, even for a second.  That is not the reflex I’m talking about. This action might not physically harm them in the second or two that it continues, but it does trigger a psychological response of broken trust.  See the LLL site for demonstration and a more technical description..

The child nurses from the mother for nourishment.  But the actual act of nursing is much more complex than that.  Aside from the release of pleasure hormones from the milk (which is not evil, but something highly valuable for the development of the child), the baby and the mother are developing a bond and connection during nursing that will carry on into the rest of the child’s and mother’s lives.  This connection is highly involved with the development of the child’s confidence, self-esteem, sense of value, and the ability to love and be loved.

I will include additional resources here over the next day or two, but in the mean time, for more information on the value of nursing our children, please simply to go LLL and browse the site.

I cannot imagine intentionally causing my child to feel (pain) what her tiny brain cannot properly interpret, but knows is undesired.  Especially during a time where she is in bliss and trust, love, and security, such as experienced during breastfeeding.  It brings such sorrow to me to even contemplate hurting my child in response to her innocently causing me discomfort (especially during nursing).  And at three months old, she isn’t biting you out of mischief or defiance.  She isn’t.  She doesn’t have the mental capacity to “think” like this at such a young age.

A note to mothers who extend their nurse period into the point of life where the child has language recognition, you can tell your child that he/she is using her teeth and that it isn’t what Mama wants to feel.  I caution you with using the term, “You’re hurting Mama”.  I learned the hard way what heartache is felt when your child responds to you with the guilt of feeling as though they have done something to “hurt” their mama… I will never tell my child she is Hurting me during nursing again.

But if using words is insufficient, you can still use the same technique of bringing the face/head in closer than is appropriate for allowing the child to nurse properly.  They will stop the bite.  They will let go, and they will continue then to nurse (if you can tolerate it).  Again, you’re not hurting them, you’re not breaching their trust and security, and you’re not forcing them to make a connection mentally.  You’re triggering a reflex. Don’t bring them so close they feel as if they might suffocate, and don’t do it for more than a split second.  If they don’t let go immediately, take a moment and repeat for another split second.  Don’t deprive your child of oxygen even for a moment.  Don’t force their face into your flesh far enough that you are depriving them of oxygen.  This isn’t what is happening when this technique is used properly.

Mothers, please, please educate yourselves as to the value of breastfeeding, beyond simple nutrition, so that you fully comprehend the bond, and the results of this wonderful gift.

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Here is just one quote of warning to those who don’t comply.  More to follow –

“If you do not see the wisdom in what I have said, and you reject these concepts, you are not fit to be a parent. I pity your children. They will never experience the freedom of soul and conscience that mine do.”   -Michael Pearl    Source

Infant Manifesto (No, I’m not kidding…)

If you can stomach it, reading this will help you at least understand the extent to which this group, and primarily its leader, suffers from deranged insecurity, that masquerades as intelligent, wise, superiority.

– Just go see this -> Infant Manifesto

If, after reading this, you suddenly find yourself hating your manipulating little 14 week old.. please contact me before you begin to employ ANY tactics to rid yourself of this feeling.  I would be happy to listen and help you sort through your feelings. And I can provide you with connections to others who are highly respected that can also assist.

Training Fleshy Flesh

Source

…not to touch guns by placing an unloaded and broken gun in the living room where the children could reach it.We carefully watched them. If they touched it, we spanked their hand with a little switch. One to three switchings was sufficient to prevent the little crawlers and toddlers from ever touching a gun.

To me, this is along the same lines as taking your child’s hand and placing it on the hot burner, so that the child will learn never to do it again, unless their parent forces them to.

“You shouldn’t tempt your children,” we are told. I can understand how a wrong attitude on the part of the parent could turn this into a hostile entrapment, leaving the child feeling used. But this can only happen if the parent is hostile. If your intention is to train your child, not just seek opportunity to punish him, all will be well. Training sessions are not unordinary. All events in a child’s life are training. How many times a day do you have to tell a two-year-old “No”? That was a training session. The difference in a happenstance occurrence and one that you premeditate is that the planned “temptation” can be tailor-made and controlled so as to reap the greatest benefit in the shortest period of time with the least amount of effort, and the least stress on the child. The training session should be staged so as to be natural. The child will not know it is staged. In many cases, if the parent is sensitive, an unplanned event can be turned into a training session.

“I can understand how a wrong attitude on the part of the parent could turn this into a hostile entrapment, leaving the child feeling used. But this can only happen if the parent is hostile. If your intention is to train your child, not just seek opportunity to punish him, all will be well.”

You know, I think I may have to seek therapy myself for the trauma I experience as an aftershock of reading through these.. and the very real knowledge that this group isn’t kidding, they really have over 100,000 followers.

I firmly believe in the value of the freedom of speech, therefore I will not advocate having this group silenced.  I also believe in the value of intellect and love, and the free distribution of knowledge and education.  That is the reason I have created the blog and ask for your contributions – to share education with parents who do struggle and do experience the challenges of raising a child.  The education we can share with these parents can build an internal strength and confidence in them that translates into respect for their child, knowing how crucial consistency is with children, and an opportunity for them to see all the wonder and incredible love and good children bring to our society.

Children are not burdens to be managed, as the Peals and others of their similar mentality believe.  Our children, though they may cause us to be inconvenienced at times, are not themselves the inconvenience.

The No Greater Joy ministry continues to preach that selfishness is the root of all evil – and that children, even infants are inherently selfish.  They are right, infants are self-focused for survival reasons, and children are self-focused because they are developing themselves.

Children quickly learn to think of others when they are shown the value in doing so, by example.

On the other end of the spectrum, these people seem to have the underlying impression that children must be trained, for a number of reasons, one of which (and I’m going out on a limb here because I haven’t found a quote of theirs to back me yet – give me a couple more hours) is so that the amount of “inconvenience” time related to actually having children around, is greatly minimized.

If you teach a child to be terrified of doing anything that resembles behaving like a child they will eventually stop acting like children. Which, in all honesty, does indeed make parenting them a lot less inconvenient.  That, to me, is the epitome of selfishness: To not permit the child the opportunity to be a child (because of an inconvenience to the care-giver).

And don’t take my words to an extreme here – I’m not advocating letting children run wild, with no direction, guidance, or boundaries.  I suppose I may have to write an article on that subject soon as I can already hear the responses that I believe in lawlessness among the followers of NGJ (and the like) that have already begun targeting me.  I will have to attend to this after my little one is asleep – it will require too much of me during the time it takes to compose, which means nothing of me for her during that time, and to me that is not acceptable.

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AT LAST!!  Something NGR promotes that I can actually agree with!!

Consistency is the key. You cannot allow a child to play with one set of car keys and not pick up other sets he finds lying around. If you want to be assured that he never plays with keys, you must make all keys off limits.

ANNNND THEN.. I don’t agree anymore…  (These two quotes are sequential sentences within the same source paragraph)

This is not done by placing the keys beyond his reach, but by placing keys within his reach and then consistently denying him the pleasure of touching them.

Oh well…

As a parent I am not prepared to spend the time it would take to enforce too broad a scope of continual temptation, but there are a few things like books, keys, guns, vases, dishes, etc. that must be placed off limits by leaving a test case within physical limits. If you trained a child not to touch books, and then placed all books out of reach, in time the discipline to not tear books would be forgotten. It is having an opportunity to tear and frequently exercising the will to not do so that confirms in the child the no-tear discipline.

What of baby and toddler books that are cardboard?
And toy sets of keys… phones… dishes…

As a parent I am not prepared to spend the time it would take to enforce too broad a scope of continual temptation…

Ah, thank God, some reprieve for your poor children.

If you have a story or lesson to share about how you successfully “trained” your child, that doesn’t involve cruelty, mind games, or hitting them, please submit.

ot done by placing the keys beyond his reach, but by placing keys within his reach and then consistently denying him the pleasure of touching them.