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July 15, 2004

Ezzo Leadership Conference

This weekend, July 15-17th, is the Growing Families International 2004 Leadership and Alumni Conference in Detroit, Michigan. Although it is being hosted at Brightmoor Christian Church, the church is quick to point out that they do not endorse Ezzo's parenting materials.

We are not attending. I bet you're not surprised.

One of the most interesting workshops offered at the Ezzo/GFI conference is this one:

Responding to Criticism: What GFI Leaders Need to Know . . .Yet, with all the fruit of ministry there are voices attempting to discredit the message. Criticizing the messengers is one way to do that. Do the critics offer legitimate concerns or flawed reasoning? Are the criticisms theological or personal? This workshop is led by a panel of men who have independently investigated the criticism and the critics. Need responses to internet rumors? This workshop is for you.

Criticizing the messengers is one way to do that. Oh, great. Do I have to prepare myself for more accusations that I didn't "understand the principles" or that I have a "personal vendetta" or was "too legalistic," because I wrote from the heart about our mistakes with Ezzo parenting?

Do the critics offer legitimate concerns or flawed reasoning? You be the judge of that--check out the reasonable discussions hosted at the Parent's Place Ezzo board. And while you're there, check out Ezzo's own logic.

Are the criticisms theological or personal? To be honest, it was seeing the theological flaws that finally convinced me to completely reject Ezzoism, rather than continuing to modify it. Especially reading the list of missing Biblical cornerstones and misused Scripture from Dr. Kent McClain. and this article on Ezzo and Calvinism.

Need responses to internet rumors? I challenge the "independent investigators" to find one rumor on the well-documented Ezzo.Info website.

Anyway, I'd like to be a fly on the wall at that workshop. Considering those teaching it have "investigated the critics" and that I've privately raised my concerns with several GFI leaders, I wonder if my name will come up. . .


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It sounds like they are frantically defending their beliefs. I would certainly be proud of you if your name did come up! Your testimony is making an impact. Isn't it something how such a painful experience can help others? Keep standing up for the little ones and their parents!

Posted by: Carol at July 16, 2004 02:20 AM

Wow, I just read your Ezzo story and found it very interesting! I haven't thought much about the Ezzo stuff in several years as our youngest will be five soon, but I read their books and followed their ideas with all of my children. They all seemed to fall into the schedule and went right along with the whole thing pretty well, except baby #4. You have raised some good points though, and I am going to have to think about this some more! Thanks for the good post.

Posted by: Kris Tamerius at July 16, 2004 04:36 AM

Come on, tell us what you really think. ;-)

And, what Carol said.

Posted by: MIssy at July 16, 2004 05:28 PM

"Come on, tell us what you really think. ;-)"
LOL :-D I get that all the time!

Posted by: Carol at July 16, 2004 08:26 PM

*L* Thanks for the encouragement, Missy and Carol!

Kris, what I consistently saw among Ezzo parents was a real love for their children and a desire to actively parent them. I believe that love and involvement, in many families, makes up for the harm that would otherwise have resulted. Likewise, I'm convinced that the good that is often credited the programs is really due to that parental commitment and love. However, in Gary Ezzo's teachings themselves, again and again, I see willfully ignoring what we can know about God's creation, the misuse of Scripture, and parent/child antagonism.

Posted by: TulipGirl at July 16, 2004 08:51 PM

I would LOVE to hear what that session offered to its participants as "responses to internet rumors". I have never seen Ezzo offer anything OTHER than "criticizing the messenger" or "flawed reasoning" or "personal" criticisms" when dealing with his critics. I remember seeing an email he sent to someone asking about some articles (including Kent McClain's) in which Ezzo dismissed them all as being out-of-date articles written by people who had intentionally hidden their attachment parenting biases. (Not true, incidently--I checked directly with the authors.)

Since he has established that that's an inappropriate way to respond, I am all ears to find out what kind of responses he's offered attendees. And if he DOES follow his pattern of criticizing the messenger, etc, you would think that attendees might notice that breach.

Posted by: Kathy at July 26, 2004 04:39 PM

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