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July 29, 1995


July 29, 2007  |  Comments (16)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



More or Less Accurate

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(Via Kristen)


July 28, 2007  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Week Else-Web

  • ChewyMom shares her experiences--positive and negative--with Ezzo parenting. I "knew" Chewy from the GFI discussion boards (mid-90s) before they were closed without warning. (Interesting sidenote: It seems as if some Ezzo promoters are hoping to resurrect some sort of messageboard.) She was a "Contact Mom" and had a knack of encouraging young mothers--as she does now.
  • A dad compiles a new parents' list of must-haves. Babywise is among the must-haven'ts.
  • Kindly promotion of Ezzo Week over at Quiet Garden--with hints of more posting to follow.
  • ShangriLewis: "You do not need to trick your children into obeying, sleeping, or recieving salvation. These are all gifts from God and we the parents need to look towards the Almighty Grace he has shown upon us."
  • On the first post of her new blog, a mom-of-seven talks about how she used Ezzo parenting and then realized "my children became bitter and angry. Things didnít change until I ditched the program and changed myself. My children are happy children, that love being part of a large family where everyone is included, and where they are permitted to think and discuss what is on their mind."
  • Thoughts of Home writes about Ezzo parenting and what she learned from her mother, a great source of mothering encouragment.
  • Rachel comments on Wisely Raising Babies, and shares common-sense and baby-friendly resources that have helped her.
  • Quiet Garden expands her thoughts on Ezzo parenting, including her first introduction to Gary Ezzo in the early 1990s, sharing details that are new to me. . .
  • Rocks in My Dryer shares the link love.
  • This Classical Life shares encouraging words about Ezzo Week.
  • In Martha's World, you can learn a lot about the biology of infant sleep as well as safe co-sleeping.
  • Batesline Blog has long been part of the TulipGirl Tulsa contingency. . . and so is promoting Ezzo Week as well.
  • Amie writes about the Gospel in parenting and the age of accountability.
  • Anne in Ukraine encourages Ezzo Week posting, too.

If I missed your Ezzo Week 2007 post, please let me know! I'm relying upon Blogsearch and Technorati, and they have their limits.

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2007 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.


July 23, 2007  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Week QotD: Speaking Up In Church

I was wondering what your thoughts are on gently contradicting fellow church members who like (and endorse!) the Ezzo materials. Someone recently donated the Growing Kid's God's Way to our tiny little church library and I definitely am going to speak up about it ... but want to do so in an informed and gentle manner. Any thoughts?

This has been a very hard question for me to answer. It was the first one e-mailed to me for Ezzo Week, and the last one that I'm posting.

So much depends upon your church, the relationships you have within the church, the pastor or elders, the degree to which Ezzo parenting is being promoted. . .

In the specific situation of the materials being in the library, I would go to the volunteer librarian or pastor and simply request they be removed. I would probably not want to confront those who donated them, but just quietly keep that resource from being available in (and thereby endorsed by) our church. If something did need to be said to the family who donated it, I would use the phrase a pastor I know uses--"That's just not the direction our church is going. . ." Simple. Respectful.

However, very rarely in life are things this straightforward. If it is necessary to bring concerns to the leadership of your church, I would recommend writing to illustrate how Gary Ezzo's teachings are not in line with your own church's teachings and doctrine. This isn't that difficult to do, considering the sloppy hermeneutics and misuse of Scripture widespread in the Ezzo materials.

The second point I would bring up is how sadly divisive Ezzo teaching tends to become in a church. In the infant materials, Ezzo strives to persuade with strawman arguments and promotes an "us vs. them" mentality. We saw this play out in the church in which we were introduced to Ezzo parenting, and other friends have lived through it, too. I would also point out how within the larger, mainstream community, Babywise has a poor reputation and promoting these materials is very likely to discourage new parents from joining the church.

I think it is important all the while, to communicate respect for other parents and the freedom for other parents to make their own family decisions. In my discussions about Ezzo parenting, I have wanted to be careful to not criticize any parent who uses Ezzo parenting. I have vocally criticized the materials as they are written and taught by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo.

If your church is actively teaching the Ezzo materials, you will likely need to take things to the next step. It will likely involve presenting a well-written letter with a notebook of supporting materials which bring up theological, church discipline, and character concerns, as well as issues of child development, infant feeding, and poor reputation in the mainstream community. I would also include a list of Christian leaders who have made statements of non-endorsement like Dr. James Dobson, Dr. John MacArthur, Rev. Chuck Smith, Dr. Tedd Tripp, Barbara Curtis, and so many more. You may need to request a meeting with your church leaders to present your concerns in person, and to make a specific request of action--whether it be stopping the classes being promoted by the church, removing the materials from the church library or even having the church make a statement of non-endorsement.

Please remember, that many churches who promote Ezzo parenting do so because of a pastor or elder who use the materials themselves. Likely, they are loving and actively involve in parenting their children. Questioning Gary Ezzo's teachings may feel to parents using the materials like you are attacking them as parents--even though you are not critizing them personally.

Take heart--I know several families who have presented their concerns to the leaders of their church, and had the materials removed and classes stopped.

I would really like to hear how others have presented their concerns within their churches. Your experience?

Do you have a question for our Ezzo Week Question of the Day? E-mail me! EzzoWeek@gmail.com . Please let me know whether you want to be anon or if you want me to identify you and your blog.

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2007 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.


July 22, 2007  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Week QotD: Older Children?

I am curious about the older child Ezzo stuff...........GKGW, I guess, or whatever the name is now. I have read the baby/toddler wise books but I don't know anything about how they suggest parenting preschool/elementary aged children.

Good question. . . Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo have written several books/programs for older children, the core of which was orginally called Growing Kids God's Way. I've heard the Ezzos themselves refer to it recently in an interview as such, though the revamped name is now "Let the Children Come Along the Virtuous Way." Still GKGW is an easier acronym to type, so I'll use that to refer to the core curriculum for older children past and current. (Look here for an attempt at compiling a full list of Ezzo titles.)

To be completely honest, I have more concerns about the materials written by the Ezzos for parents of preschoolers and older children than I do about the infant/toddler materials. Often it is easier to discuss Babywise/Prep/Along the Infant Way the problems often manifest quickly in physical ways. Also, it can be easier to discuss with parents who are new to Ezzo parenting the problems with the materials, than it is to bring up the flaws in the older children materials when parents have already been using them for such a long time.

What I've seen to be the heart of the problem with Ezzo's materials? Neglecting the Gospel. In striving to teach children the "moral reason why," what is neglected is coming alongside children when they sin, helping children acknowledge that sin, and pointing to their need for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Among Rebecca Prewett's many insightful writings related to Ezzo parenting, includes a review of GKGW in which she summarizes:

"The crux of GKGW philosophy is the belief that a child's heart is molded by external factors, and it is molding by the parents that will lead the child to Christ. . . . A secondary concern here is that, in the end, it seems that behavior modification is what is really being taught as the key to success and Christianity."

While that is sufficient reason in my experience for parents to reject the Ezzo's materials for older children, there are some other concerns that need to be mentioned. Each of these points will be linked to an outside resource for those who want more information.

1. Misuse of the Bible

2. Tendency towards Legalism

3. Isolationism / Divisiveness

4. Misinformation on Child Development

And for further reading on GKGW, I recommend:
Whose Way, After All? by Barbara Curtis
GKGW: Myths and Misconceptions by former Contact Mom, pastor's wife
Evaluation of Ezzo Parenting Programs by Dr. Kent McClain
AwareParent.Net Discussion Board
Chewymom's GFI Experiences

Do you have a question for our Ezzo Week Question of the Day? E-mail me! EzzoWeek@gmail.com . Please let me know whether you want to be anon or if you want me to identify you and your blog.

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2007 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.


July 21, 2007  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Week: Prayer

It's Ezzo Week and the GFI National Conference is now well under way. We believe and have experienced how the Lord is both over all and close at hand, and how He uses prayer.

Pray for the conference attendees.

Pray for Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo.

Pray for parents who have been affected by the books.

Pray for the parents sorting out information.

Pray for parents who feel tired out by the demands of parenting a newborn and may be vulnerable to advice that seems right in the short run but leaves them with regrets in the long run.

Pray that parents who do use the material will seek balance.

Pray for reconciliation for the Ezzo family.

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2007 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.


July 19, 2007  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Week: From the Archives

Some highlights from previous Ezzo blogging:

What Gary Ezzo Says About. . .

Evaluating Gary Ezzo's Leadership

Breastfeeding and Babywise

Babywise and Failure to Thrive

Loving Families and Reactive Attachment Disorder

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2007 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.


July 18, 2007  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Week QotD: Still Popular?

Are the Ezzos still as popular as ever? . . . Do you think all the publicity has hurt his popularity at all?

Is Ezzo parenting still popular? It's hard to gauge, in some ways. Babywise is selling like hotcakes according to Amazon. I'm also seeing a wider approval for BW among those who are being introduced to it outside of a church setting. I'm still seeing lots of young, Christian mothers (especially among the new generation of mamas) being advised to try it. GFI-Australia seems to be continuing to grow. I don't know about the sales/popularity of the religious materials (renamed from GKGW* etc to "Let the Children Come Along the _______ Way.")

On the other hand, as a business GFI has drastically downsized. They once had 30+ employees in California. At some point there was a scandal regarding embezzlement and a family member which Ezzo has said was a misunderstanding. They switched to operating from the Ezzo's home in Cali, and a several years ago they moved to South Carolina. My understanding is they have an office in their home, employ a woman in the midwest who telecommutes, and outsources the shipping and promotion, etc.

I still meet enough young mothers (in real life and online) who find Babywise very alluring, in spite of the medical misinformation, Ezzo's poor reputation, and the many families who at one point used Ezzo's materials and then ditched them.

Many families who have at one time taught/used/supported Ezzo materials now don't--and some actively warn against it. Like the Abels, who were in the early videos and very involved with GFI initially. Many of the Voices of Experience are from "Contact Moms" who were volunteers supporting and promoting the GFI materials.

I've had a couple of people ask why I'm so vocal about this--especially since it seems like Ezzo has been so thoroughly discredited it's hard to imagine anyone following his ideas. But, I still meet moms on a regular basis who have seriously negative results after using Ezzo's materials--like Lori, whose baby was hospitalized and dx'd FTT. Using flexiblity, common sense, and seeking advice from Ezzo moms she trusted. . . And many more mamas who lose their milk supply, or realize they've encouraged excessive crying, or babies who aren't growing as they should, or mamas who are feeling stressed at the schedule not "working" and on and on. . . So whether or not Babywise and other Ezzo parenting materials are popular or not--they are still having an ongoing negative impact in many families.

I want to make clear that I know that parents who follow Ezzo parenting ideas, truly love their children and only want the best for them. Over time I have become more convinced that it is that love and dedication to raising their children that makes Ezzo parenting seem to "work" in some families. Yet, these materials are foundationally flawed and even unfailing love doesn't prevent all the harm that can come to families via Ezzo parenting.

What do you think--is the influence of Babywise and Ezzo parenting still expanding in your community?

* GKGW refers to Growing Kids God's Way which is now known as Along the Virtuous Way. Other parenting materials by Gary Ezzo include Babywise (aka Preparation for Parenting or Along the Infant Way) and others in the -Wise or Let the Children Come series. Confused yet? For more information, see Ezzo.Info.

Do you have a question for our Ezzo Week Question of the Day? E-mail me! EzzoWeek@gmail.com . Please let me know whether you want to be anon or if you want me to identify you and your blog.

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2007 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.


July 17, 2007  |  Comments (29)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Week QotD: Social Discomfort

How do you handle it when you hear that someone uses and promotes Babywise? I was recently in an uncomfortable situation where someone was praising Babywise to a pregnant first-time mom. I was at a bit of a disadvantage because I was the "new kid on the block" and didn't want to come across as snooty toward someone who is an established leader in the group. On the other hand, I could not let this clueless soon-to-be mama think Babywise was OK. I just said that I had friends who loved it and others who had terrible experiences. Then I shared a bit of your story. What do you do? Or what do you recommend?

It's not easy being in a situation in which Babywise is being praised, when you know the very real problems associated with it.

The communication technique of feel-felt-found has helped me share my concerns while being respectful of other mothers. With this pattern you can acknowledge the very real fears that new mothers have--ones that Ezzo plays upon to persuade parents to use his materials. At the same time, it isn't being disrespectful to other mothers who have used Babywise. It can provide an opportunity to share more either at that moment, or in the future.

Some examples:

"Sounds like you feel nervous about not knowing what to do with a new baby. I felt uncertain, too, before my first was born. I found that when I watched baby's cues and responded with the care he needed, I became more confident."

"You feel worried about how a new baby will change your marriage. I felt like my husband and I had no clue just what it would mean to our relationship to have a baby. But then we found that our love grew and we each gave to each other and to the baby so much. The dynamics changed, but our love didn't." (Babywise and other Ezzo materials very much plays on the fears of how baby will change the husband/wife relationship.)

"You feel fearful baby will never sleep and you'll go crazy. When I heard about babies waking at night, I felt like that meant I'd be sleepless all the time. I found that even when baby still needed to nurse once or twice a night, I got enough rest--if I was careful not to stay up too late blogging!"

"When you hear about Babywise, you feel like it sounds great! A friend of mine felt the same way, but she found that it caused more problems than it was supposed to help."

"You feel like Babywise will be great for your baby. I felt like it was a potential resource, too. But then I found Ezzo.info and the problems associated with Babywise."

It sounds like you handled it well--considering the context, considering your relationship, and sharing what you could.

What other ideas do y'all have for when you're in a socially uncomfortable position because of how Ezzo parenting is being promoted?

Do you have a question for our Ezzo Week Question of the Day? E-mail me! EzzoWeek@gmail.com . Please let me know whether you want to be anon or if you want me to identify you and your blog.

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2007 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.


July 16, 2007  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



TulipGirl's Fourth Annual Ezzo Week!

It's that time of year again for our much-anticipated annual Ezzo Week 2007 blog-a-thon!

As always, Ezzo Week here corresponds with Gary Ezzo's Growing Families International National Leadership and Alumni Conference.* This year the conference will be held at Grace Pointe** in Naperville, Illinois, from July 19th through July 21st, 2007.

In recognition of this annual event, here at TulipGirl we will be featuring posts related to Gary Ezzo (of Babywise infamy) and his parenting teachings.

Feel free to jump in to the conversation here! Blog your own experiences and thoughts about Ezzo parenting. Or, pop on over to the AwareParent discussion board.

Wondering why we'd even bother with Ezzo Week? Start here.

And. . . a new addition to Ezzo Week 2007 is the QotD--each day I'll try to answer a question asked by my adored (if not adoring) readership about Gary Ezzo and his parenting teachings. If you are interested in asking something--anything--to be part of our Question of the Day, feel free to e-mail me at EzzoWeek@gmail.com .

*Quite a mouthful to say, huh? Though I'm careful to type the whole title up after being chastised for using the shorthand of "Ezzo conference" several years ago.
**Grace Pointe has not indicated whether or not they support this conference. In years past the GFI Conference was held at churches which hosted but did not endorse Gary Ezzo.

Down memory lane. . .
Ezzo Week 2004 Announcement
Ezzo Week 2005 Announcement
Ezzo Week 2006 Announcement
Ezzo Week 2007 Announcement

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2007 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.

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July 16, 2007  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 14

Q. 14. What is sin?

A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.

transgression of the law of God
Leviticus 5:17; James 4:17; 1 John 3:4

(via OPC/CRTA)


July 15, 2007  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




...Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. Col. 4:5 (MSG)

Lord, my mouth....

I remember when these kids were toddlers and we would laugh when they mimicked our tone of voice or an oft-said phrase. They are mimicking still. A dozen times a day I hear my impatience, irritation, and lack of kindness coming out of my children's mouths.

Lord, make me gracious in the face of adolescent sensitivity. Gracious at the end of a long, hard day. Let grace be the substance that pours out of me when I am bumped and bruised, tired and worn.

Teach me how to listen to them, to hear what is not being said; to understand their hearts behind the words and frustration.

I pray that every time I open my mouth I'll be able to make Christ as plain as day to them.

Teach my Your ways, Father. I am listening.


I'm really struggling with my words and my tone, especially with my children. All of them, especially my oldest seem so vulnerable. I want to draw them close, but my tone is pushing them away. A mom I recently met said:

i love being a mother, but i'm not very good at it. . . . i used to take great pride in my "accomplishments" as a stay-at-home wife and mother . . . as my kids grew older, i realised that these things don't make me a good mother; i can practice all these ideals and still be ill-tempered and impatient and mean. . . . i grew tired of perpetuating the rounds of "self-congratulations". . . . i also realise that i was not truthful about myself . . . but, thank God, i've caught a glimpse of Grace. . . .i am moved by it, i am motivated by it. wait: Grace moves me, it motivates me. i'm still not a good mom, but God is still good to me and my children.

So here I am, struggling to show love to the ones I love most. Brokenhearted at the words of my mouth and the mediations of my heart. Tired, weary. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.


July 10, 2007  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



World Breastfeeding Week: August 1-7, 2007

World Breastfeeding Week is quickly approaching. I've already seen other mothers, bloggers, lactivists posting about WBW--now is the time to start planning how you will be involved, in your local community or online.

Need ideas?

Caption contest at The Lactivist.

Florida WBW Events

New Zealand Sponsored World Wide Latch-On

Why Aren't Black Mother Breastfeeding?

Historic Breastfeeding Photos

WBW Photo Contest (Not the official one.)

The "official" WBW Photo Contest

Arte de Leche Exhibition This looks so cool--I wanna go!

BabyTalkers WBW GiveAway

Here at TulipGirl, we'll have a week of posts and links and art for World Breastfeeding Week 2007, as we have in years past. Our little part to encourage breastfeeding mamas.


July 10, 2007  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Counting Down the Days. . .

Sidenote: And while I respect not all families like Harry Potter, I echo Hubby's sentiments when he says, "Enough bytes have given their lives already to endless debates over the ostensibly pagan nature of Harry Potter and his alleged ability to turn nice kids into warlocks. I'll confine my remarks to something I wrote the other day on a blog I frequent: If your child's grasp of Christianity is so tenuous that Harry Potter can turn him to the dark side, then you have failed in your covenant duties as a parent. Further, Hogwart's is little more than a fanciful adaptation of British public school life. I think a much greater threat than children turning to witchcraft is that they may develop a desire to wear knickerbockers and speak in fruity little English voices. Now THAT is something to fear."


July 09, 2007  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

I've been rereading and meditating upon the Nicene Creed lately.

The women's book club at our church is reading Faith of Our Fathers: A Study of the Nicene Creed by L. Charles Jackson. I just started reading it yesterday, and I'm really looking forward to discussing it.


July 08, 2007  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



For a Friend, Remembering

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. . . . I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. . . . Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

Selections from John 14


July 07, 2007  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Review: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. No, this book isn't about Charismatics losing their faith, but rather about a Hmong family in California navigating the medical system while caring for their little girl with epilepsy. Read the full (long) review below the fold.

Continue reading "Review: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down"


July 06, 2007  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



For Demographic Fiends

Faith Communities Today: Final Report 2001


July 02, 2007  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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