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August 31, 2005

Ezzo around the Blogosphere

Honestly, I'm weary of the whole Ezzo discussion. I was going to let this topic rest for awhile, after our Ezzo Week 2005 series in July. However, the blogosphere is just hopping with posts about Ezzo this week. So, here they are!

Barbara Curtis republished an article on Growing Kids the Ezzo Way. This is a candind, insightful article that brings up some key points I don't often see addressed--like the vulnerability of parents and the lack of healthy skepticism by Christians.

Along those lines, Flowermama blogs about influences, and easy it was to accept Preparation for Parenting as something good, when it was given to her and highly praised by several Christian mothers.

Growing Families Australia is in high gear preparing for their national conference with Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. (I wonder whether Gary Ezzo is planning on suing any more Australians who disagree with him?)

Another interesting theme is being discussed about Ezzo--questioning the criticism and critics:

Mrs. Happy Housewife wonders what people find to be a problem with Growing Kids God's Way, though she understand why people don't like Babywise.

The Queen (no, not that one) askes, "If someone reports that they and their baby are happy under Plan Y, why do some people feel a need to go around telling them Plan Y is evil and dangerous?"

Similarly, in Barbara Curtis's Ezzo article comments, someone askes, "What I find amusing is that apparently some people think it a necessity to "warn" others of the evils of Ezzo...over and over again...on any blog that mentions his name. . ."

And on the practical, in-use side:

DaveJenBarnes is working out the practicalities of schedule / cue feeding with their little one.

GodLightGirl is hallalujahing at the rest she's getting.

Along with her, Amy praises God for Babywise and reiterates it, and again.

Amanda bemoans Babywise, and shares her struggles with both Babywise and demand feeding.

ChewyMom shares her ups and downs with Ezzo's materials.

Janell decides to toss Babywise, while maintaining routine.

I find it worth mentioning that I see more activity on the FreeFromEzzo yahoo group than I see reported on the Ezzo parenting support yahoo group.

And I wonder why I commonly hear that the only people who have had problems with Babywise, did so because they didn't have "common sense" or didn't "use their brain."

Your thoughts?

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The didn't use their brain argument is false. The Ezzo's and others who promote their philosophy as "God's Way" are creating the dilemma by calling it what they do. When you claim something is God's way you by nature define all other ways as ungodly. That is enough in and of itself to tell me to be wary of the teaching. No one claims total truth or God's way except Christ and the Bible. Man's words at times can be they should never be defined as God's way.

Posted by: Spunky at August 31, 2005 08:34 AM

One does get tired of the whole Ezzo mess, but I'm glad you took the time to pull all that info together. I was reading through the various blogs, I had to resist the urge to say "But, but, but...". What needed to be said has been said and just piling more on probabally wouldn't help.


Posted by: brian at August 31, 2005 02:44 PM

I gave your site address to a friend whose church has been doing GKGW for years. She read your stuff, followed the links and informed her pastors what she'd found. Long story short - the church is reevaluating the program and will most likely end it.

Thought you might like to know! :)

Posted by: sparrow at August 31, 2005 04:06 PM

When we took the Growing Kids God's Way class, it was led by the associate pastor of our PCA church, and he was very good at answering questions and discussing issues with the class, and helping parents apply Biblical principles to their own family's situation. FWIW, the church also had a Weigh Down class, and it was the church's policy to publish a notice regarding all of these classes that God's Word is preeminent none of these man-made classes were infallible. ALL advice ought to be taken with a grain of salt.


Posted by: Kelly at August 31, 2005 09:51 PM

That's a coincidence, I just blogged about a neighbor of mine who's already planning on using Ezzo-stuff with her upcoming baby. I cautioned her to not follow these teaching's too rigidly.

I agree with Spunky about the God's Way claim. That really bothered me when I first ran into it and so I decided to avoid these materials altogether.

Posted by: Anne at September 1, 2005 11:02 AM

"I find it worth mentioning that I see more activity on the FreeFromEzzo yahoo group than I see reported on the Ezzo parenting support yahoo group."

Yeah, I haven't come across anyone who wishes they hadn't taken Dr. Sears advice. I don't know of any "Free from AP" groups. I can't recall ever having someone call AP techniques cult-like.

When a set of curriculum or a book starts breaking apart churches and families, and destroying friendships, and children at the mercy of this program are being diagnosed failure-to-thrive, you HAVE to wonder what's at the heart of it. Pretty major red flags if you ask me.

Keep up the good work, TG. You have changed many lives for the better.

Posted by: Jenn at September 3, 2005 01:54 PM

I surfed over here from a parenting board, and I just have to comment. I'm everything people like you despise - politically progressive, committed to attachment parenting, and extremely wary of people who call themselves "Christian."

I have to ask, in the spirit of respectful inquiry - what responsibility do Babywisers *themselves* bear? I hear so frequently now from former Babywisers who deeply regret their abusive parenting practices. They blame the man, the book, the principles, the schedule, their church. But what about *them*?

I can tell you that there is no book, no man, no group, no "groupthink," that could EVER make me starve my children, ignore their nighttime cries, physically bully and intimidate them, and teach them that relationships are all about domination and emotional violence. I'm so weary of former Babywisers who want to abdicate all moral and ethical responsibility for their actions. Maybe the program is ill-informed and harmful. So what does that say about the people who follow it to the letter?

Sorry, but formerly abusive parents don't get my sympathy. That's reserved for their grievously wronged children.

Posted by: Call me - skeptical at September 13, 2005 09:10 AM

I may be joining the discussion a bit late, but I have recently been convicted of my blind following of another's claim to know "Gods way". My firstborn has suffered and continues to deal with the emotional devestation that I (my responsibility) created for him. Through no wisdom of my own, just a more tempered application of the feed-wake-sleep routine, my second- and third-born have not had to deal with as many consequences. Just this week I "accidentally" ran across an article about RAD. While the article itself was about a family dealing with adopted children, the symptoms stated were remarkably similar to my own son's "ADHD". I began to read more online about this disorder, and was shocked to realize that it could be caused by something as "simple" as a child crying and not being attended to in a timely fashion. Yes, I did let my son cry himself to sleep, because I "knew" that if I was following the schedule, he couldn't be hungry, and was just trying to "control" me. Now, I deal with a sweet, but very hyper and unconsciously angry little 5-year old, who has no idea why he MUST control me now. Isn't it interesting how in trying to make sure that my newborn child does not manipulate me in any way, I inadvertently have created a "control freak" who will not be dependent on me in any way. Don't get me wrong, Nathan's case is very mild compared to what I have read about. However, he has a very difficult time obeying and LOVES to push my buttons. At least I feel like I at last have some answers and some ideas for helping him overcome this, the first of which is confession of MY sin and restitution with God and my child. It's also interesting how a few good ideas (from the Ezzo's) can morph into something so hurtful. I do not wish to question Mr. Ezzo's motives. Perhaps he really believes his methods to be the best way to rear a child. But it has at least caused me to be more cautious of any Christian teacher. Not in a skeptical sense, but rather in the sense of the Bereans who checked everything Paul taught them against what scripture said. If the Ezzo's ideas were so wonderful, surely God would have revealed them to Christian leaders long ago. Being a calvinist, I appreciate the quote from Calvin at the top of the page. I believe the Bible is the final word, but I also believe that God has worked throughout history, and we gain much when we study the writings of ancient theologians. Thank God for his grace and his ability to overcome our sin. Otherwise, I would be completely without hope for my child. But he now has a more sensitive spirit and is quite responsive to our instruction about God. Praise the Lord.

Posted by: Melissa Husted at December 23, 2005 12:43 AM

I'm so sorry for what you've been through--it's such a bitter pill to swallow when you suspect that instead of helping your child, you may have created problems for him. I'm glad you've seen this possible root of his problems--through that lens you can see his needs in a different way. Also you may have already done this, but if you're working with a therapist, I'd bring up the issue of attachment. I think their training may lead them to overlook the possibility of an attachment disorder unless they are seeing a foster/adoptive family.

A big hug to you. These things aren't easy. But God is always working redemptively even when we mess things up, and good parents like you will also never give up! I hear that in you. God bless you.

Posted by: Kathy at December 23, 2005 10:02 AM

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