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July 16, 2006

A Good Question

I wonder if there are any testimonies from kids who are now grown, that have been raised this way? Good, bad, indifferent?? I'd like to read those if you have a link handy?

Carla brought this up in the comments of an earlier thread.

It is a good question and I invite anyone who has grown up with their parents using the Ezzo parenting ideas to feel free to share their experiences. While parents have shared their experiences with the Ezzo teachings, I am not aware of any individual sharing from a child's point-of-view.

I would expect a good portion of what is shared by adult children to be positive, after all we've already established that the great majority of parents who are drawn to Ezzo's teachings are so because of a love for their children and a commitment to active parenting. Yet, I would also speculate that adult children would reflect back on simliar struggles that Ezzo parents have shared--struggles with rule keeping being emphasized, relying on the Ezzo way to do things instead of the Holy Spirit, and finding security in our own behaviour.

It's not clear to what extent Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo implemented the ideas they now teach in their own home as their two daughters were growing up. However, as grown women with their own families, "one of the Ezzos' daughters and her husband cut off contact with her parents after much prayer, consideration and counsel, based on their personal observation of the same types of issues raised by the LHEF elders. Their hope is that the relationships will be restored following the Ezzos' repentence," and "Ezzo's children have chosen to limit their interaction with him." (See the Timeline of the Ezzo Controversy.)

So again, I invite anyone who has experienced Ezzo parenting--either as a parent or as a child--to share your story with us here.

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2006 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.

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Wow, I had no idea his own children have limited or cut off contact with him.

I am not sure if we'll get much feedback at this point in time. The oldest Ezzo'd children have to be no older than 15-16 yo. My guess is there's not going to be much sharing and heart-baring at this time. Maybe ten years down the road.

Great job with the Ezzo week, keep 'em coming.

Posted by: Goldie at July 17, 2006 11:38 AM

Actually, when I was engaged there was a family at our church who had an eleven-year-old and had a GKGW homegroup, and that was eleven years ago, so there might be a few out there... I would really really like to hear from them.

Posted by: Jocelyn at July 17, 2006 09:40 PM

My hubby used to work out with an Ezzo/Pearl Dad from our former church. He also happens to be a deacon in that church. A few months ago this Dad came to the gym very upset because his oldest, of six children; a boy of about 12 or 13, had just told his parents that he HATED his life. (I would too if my parents hit me every day of my life.)

Interestingly, when my hubby and I were sans children, this couple tried to recruit us into the Ezzo camp. I can still remember this guy telling us, "You know, God is a God of order!" They both told us how GKGW had "blessed" them. By God's grace I had been researching the issue and come across the CRI articles, so I was on guard. I gave them the articles, but they were as adamant as ever, defending Ezzo saying he was a "godly man." There is no question that this couple loves the Lord and their children dearly. That's part of what is so heartbreaking! I pray that as they are now struggling with a very hurt little boy, that they question some of the things they have done bring them before the throne of God for healing over their entire family. Will some of you join me in prayer?

Posted by: Ana at July 17, 2006 11:37 PM

I suspect the effects will be most obvious in the third and fourth generations. I know of a mother who lacks the "mothering" connection with her infant, and it seems the mother was neglected as a child. Years of parenting boot camp, neglect (crying-it-out) and abuse (spanking) will definitely come at a cost. Studies DO show that if parents make changes, they CAN make a difference in the parent/child relationship.

TulipGirl, thank you for spending some of your summer with this part of your mission. Great job!

Posted by: Carol at July 18, 2006 08:41 AM

just as way of perspective, NOT that i defend anything ezzo, but most kids i know have trouble with their parents. more so in the teen years. i had great folks, a great loving fam, etc etc... and i HATED growing up and being raised the way i was - THEN. when i had kids of my own i realized one thing - no matter what i do with whatever best intention - my kiddos are going to have to grow up over my dead body - so to speak - in some manner or another. that's so natural and part of the process. IN MY OP. lalala...

Posted by: mtnmama at July 18, 2006 11:12 PM

Excellent point, mtnmama. . .

Where we are in life--age, experience, phase--really impacts how we perceive those years.

And while I didn't hate growing up, it was really hard. . . At the same time there is intense loyalty to my parents.

I know for me, it's only been in my 30s that I've been able to objectively say, "Hey, some of the things my Mom and Dad did weren't good. Some were even harmful."

Overall, though, they did communicate love and acceptance to me--and that was the prevailing message of my childhood, in spite of any failings. . .

I really love this quote, and what a great reminder it is.

Posted by: TulipGirl at July 19, 2006 02:11 AM

I'm over 30, so I wasn't reared using the Ezzo methods. But I have to say that reading some of the excerpts of what is in his books and the overall tone he takes towards children reminds me a lot of how my mother was towards me as a child.

I think it's safe to say that her goals for me were not to embarrass or inconvenience her. I remember when I was nine years old and I fell into a swimming pool at a neighbor's Christmas party, her admonition to me was that I had embarrassed her and if I ever did it again, I would get a spanking. No extracurricular activities because driving me to different activities would be an inconvenience...

Before I became a mother, I thought long and hard about the things I would do and not do to my children. Overall, I want them to seek what is good and be motivated by love, not by fear of punishment as I was. My primary reason for choosing to breastfeed is to bond with my baby, and I don't want my son or any of my future children to go through all the pain and twisted manipulation that I had to go through.

Even today, it looks like my mom may never meet her only grandchild because of pride.

Just a thought, my mom is not a "touchy-feely" or demonstrative person as I'm sure some mothers have been for since the dawn of time. Perhaps Ezzo just gives these women the excuse they need to be the way the would be anyway...

Posted by: Charisse at February 22, 2008 01:35 AM

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