Friday, June 3, 2011

Gary Ezzo is Not a Christian

As I am a parent, some of my posts will pertain to parenting. My children range in age from 4 months to 8 years old. One baby, one toddler, and two grade-schoolers. I have been attachment parenting for eight years now, so when I heard about Gary Ezzo and his book Babywise, I knew immediately I wasn't a fan. Cry-it-out? Scheduling feedings for a newborn? Nonsense! But I assumed that it was similar to Ferber or Weissbluth- just not my personal cup of tea....

Then while doing research on how to sidecar a crib to our bed (I have co-slept with all my children for varying lengths of time but this is the first time we have bedshared 100%) I stumbled upon this website and was shocked and appalled at what I read about Ezzo and Babywise. And I dug a bit deeper, and found even more disturbing information about this cultic organization. Yes, you heard me right. Cultic. Not quite insane enough to be an actual cult, but cultic, as in having cult-like tendencies. Scary stuff.

The Ezzo's claim that in order to raise children to be moral people and good Christians you need to show them who's in charge from birth. They are to be fed on a schedule. Left in their cribs to cry for hours at times. But hey, if you follow the method your baby will sleep through the night by 8 weeks old! Never mind that cases of failure to thrive, feeding aversions, and attachment disorder are common side-effects. But this is "God's Way", apparently, as Ezzo splashes just enough scripture throughout his writings to come across authentic. But the Bible doesn't include specific schedules or regimes for infants....oh and if you breastfeed, be prepared for supply issues because you have to feed on demand in order to make enough milk. And should your child make it to toddlerhood, you will continue his or her training by teaching highchair manners between 5 and 15 months. Yep, by holding their little hands down to prevent them from experimenting with food and smacking them if they throw food. 

Basically the wise way to parent a baby is to prevent them from being a baby at all. Because, after all, parenting was meant to be convenient. 

The Ezzo's are not doctors. They also do not have one doctor, lactation consultant, or other medical professional that back up them or the parenting classes they give. And the original church where Ezzo began his classes for new parents will now have nothing to do with Ezzo or his practices. Oh yeah, and the AAP even issued a statement indicating the dangers of so-called parent directed feeding in favor of feeding infants on demand, particularly when they are breastfed. So why on earth do thousands of parents continue to pay money to these people? Reasonable, educated people. And why still, when something goes wrong, are they hesitant to stop using the programs or to even acknowledge that maybe Babywise is not so wise at all? 

Back to cultic, I am certain. 

I am a Christian. I am a mother. I also believe in having secure attachments with my children. It is my opinion that raising them to be emotionally healthy will result in them being morally sound.  You cannot have anything if you don't first build a foundation of trust. The instinct to pick up a crying baby is God-given. There is a reason why it disturbs me on a visceral level to hear my son cry, why my milk lets down if I sense he is upset. Children are a blessing, and they are not meant to conveniently blend in with our lives. Bend a little now, reap the rewards later!

1 comment:

  1. This had me in tears (emotional much? I'll blame it on having a 4 mo old). I can't imagine children being treated like this. Shameful :(