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February 13, 2005

What Ezzo Says About My Kids. . .

This is the second of a four part series. Thanks to elcollins for compiling these quotes.

Stevie is the name given to a hypothical child who is not raised according to Gary Ezzo's ideas, or is Attachment Parented. (Prep pp 29-30). (Ezzo's fictional characters change names, Marisa is another doomed child in Babywise.) These are just samples of how damaged poor Stevie is.

According to Gary Ezzo, my child is. . .

Self Centered: "...him to perceive himself as the center of the family"

"...their good intentions are fostering a sinful disability called me-ism or self-centeredness"

"Other people will simply not matter to Stevie"

Only a Taker
: "Stevie’s parents are training him to take but not to give...he will only become more intense in his desire to take. If he wants the swing, he will just push another child off because he has not learned patience"

Not Prepared for Life: "He will grow up ill-prepared for real life...will suffer in school and work...life for Stevie will become terribly frustrating."

Sinful and Willful: From the Growing Families International Web Site: "Shyness is not an acceptable excuse for disrespect."
"If someone says 'hi' to your child, the correct and minimal response should be 'hi.' Such a simple greeting is the minimum required."
"A child's failure to respond appropriately is not as much a reflection on his or her temperament as it is on the parent's conviction and resolve to honor age. The minor sin is the child's willful choice to ignore the adult; the major sin is the parent's dismissal of the need for such moral training."

Potentially Learning Disabled: "Couldn't many of the learning disabilities associated with a nonstructured approach to parenting be rooted in something as basic as the absence of continuous nights of sleep in the first year of life...?" (Neo-Evangalizing - On Becoming Babywise)

"If the child misses structured playtime, the repertoire of skills he might otherwise attain by these activities could be seriously delayed." (Babywise II, p74)

Biologically Damaged: "Attempts to minimize or block all crying can easily create stress rather than decrease it, especially in light of the fact that emotional tears carry away from the body chemically-activated stress hormones." (Neo-Evangalizing - On Becoming Babywise)

Fussy, ie. not a "good" baby: "..if you want a fussy baby, never let him cry, and hold, rock, and feed him as soon as he starts to fuss. We guarantee you will achieve your goal." (Neo-Evangelizing - On Becoming Babywise)

Insecure: "The measure of a child's security is never found in the presence of his or her parent, but in how well the child copes away from parents,"
[and similarly] "too often, children can't function outside the parent's presence, since their security is based on proximity, not relationship." (Neo-Evangelizing GKGW)

Emotionally Unstable: "The child has been so conditioned by immediate response [to crying] that he or she simply cannot cope with a delayed response. Now the child is emotionally fragile rather than emotionally stable." (Neo-Evangelizing GKGW)

Abnormally Dependent: "If anything, continuous close mother/infant contact produces abnormal mother/child dependency." (Neo-Evangelizing Prep)

Lacking Self-Control (or at least behind Ezzo children): "Because the desire for continual and immediate gratification begins at birth, the need for cultivating self-control in your child also begins at that point." (Neo-Evangelizing GKGW)

Lacking a Moral Foundation: "The foundations of moral training are laid early in life, and the cornerstone is discipline. Getting your baby on a routine and sleeping through the night are the results of basic discipline." (Note: A routine and sleeping through the night are equated with morality.) (Prep for the Toddler Years p84)

"Moral training is a priority discipline. The moral self-control that keeps a child sitting in a highchair without fighting with mom is the same self-control that will later keep him at a desk with a book in his hand. The battle for right highchair manners is moral, not academic." (Babywise II, p10)

For more information, check out my GFI/Ezzo/Babywise archives and Ezzo.Info. Or join the discussion at AwareParent.Net or the Ezzo Board.

Part I: What Ezzo Says About Me. . .
Part II: What Ezzo Says About My Kids. . .
Part III: What Ezzo Says About Babies and Toddlers. . .
Part IV: What Ezzo Says About Punishment. . .

Update: The conversation is continuing over at The Prattling Pastor's Wife, A Capable Wife, Le Sabot, Reasons Why and the AwareParent discussion forum.


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I never got caught in the "Ezzo-net", but I'm generally against any one-size-fits-all sort of parenting. Why is it so hard for us to remember that the infinite God handcrafts each of us, no two alike, and He cares for us with intricate individuality? We should parent with the same tender attention and firm boundaries He gives us.
Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Tonia at February 13, 2005 09:49 PM

Gee, according to Ezzo I am still a VERY bad parent, my kids should be rude, angry, clingy little brats. Where did I go wrong? because they aren't any of that. Well, my third is a mummy's girl but that is just her nature.
Does Ezzo say anything about home schooling? I get the idea that the close interaction from that would be a major no-no.
I think it is time to go and feed my happy, polite (even when half asleep), sweeties their breakfast.
Keep up the good work, I am enjoying reading this and knowing that I am doing right by my kids.

Posted by: Judith at February 13, 2005 09:58 PM

This guy really ticks me off. I'm sorry but he does.

Posted by: Rey at February 14, 2005 12:45 AM

I'm with Judith. According to ezzo I'm supposed to be raising a difficult, fussy little brat. Instead, I'm stuck with the most sweet tempered, happy, patient and cooperative angel of an 18 month old I have ever met, and other people say this about my baby too (see my blog for a couple stories about her). Where did I go wrong?

Posted by: Beautiful Belgian Babe at February 14, 2005 03:32 AM

Well, I can say that my son isn't any of those things except for the "insecure" explanation. My dh and I planned to go out for Valentine's Day and stay out overnight. Our son - 11 yo - didn't want to spend the night at his great-grandmother's house next door. After a talk and being able to take his games and his pillow with him he was okay. How would you help a child that is insecure when away from home?

Posted by: Christina at February 14, 2005 08:10 AM

Doesn't Ezzo kind of contradict himself when he says that if you *want* a fussy baby, you should pick him up when he cries, rock him and stuff like that? When my baby cries and I pick him up, he actually *quits* being fussy and is a much happier, calm, relaxed, joyful child. Go figure. This guy is really out of touch with reality and, frankly, humanity.

Posted by: Jennifer at February 14, 2005 04:04 PM

But I actually like holding my children and my children like being held. Come to think of it I think God likes holding me and I like being held by him. Funny thing is He seems to hold me a lot. I think this differnece in spirituality is the root of the problem. My spirituality is based on practicing the presence of God continually. He seems to think the less I need God the better..How could two Christians have such different views of God and Grace?

Posted by: brad at February 14, 2005 05:54 PM

Our oldest son is *very* shy. He will not respond to most adults (at first). I shudder to think how Ezzo would have me deal with my "disrespectful, rude" son.

Posted by: Amie at February 14, 2005 06:32 PM

Great series, thanks!

Wanted to add my thoughts about the "disrespect" thing. So the child should be respectful and carry a conversation with *any* adult? even a stranger? even when the adult is trying to abuse/molest the child? This is very dangerous. There are all kinds of people out there and to tell my children that they need to obey any adult just out of "respect for age", no questions asked... that would be very unwise.

Posted by: Goldie at February 19, 2005 07:12 PM

So the child should be respectful and carry a conversation with *any* adult? even a stranger? even when the adult is trying to abuse/molest the child? This is very dangerous.

Good points, Goldie. Along these lines is Ezzo's very scary ideas about Sex Ed.

Posted by: TulipGirl at February 19, 2005 07:29 PM

Goldie, good point. You remind me of my childhood in that, my sisters and I were taught to respect adults (we stuck out like sore thumbs in NYC public schools) but we were also taught about how respectable adults were to behave. Were we to come across any adults who did not know how to behave we were free to call down the wrath of mom and dad on them.

Posted by: Samantha at February 20, 2005 11:51 PM

There are tons of things that disturb me about this "program", but I think a big concern is that he has the audacity to claim that his way is "God's Way". I mean, that's pretty bold. And scary.

May the Lord hold him accountable.

Posted by: angie at July 14, 2006 07:27 AM

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