Love Them Fiercely

More for the mommy-inspiration files, from Kim at Upward Call. I asked her if I could share this here, because it wasn't originally posted on her blog or written with mothers in mind. Instead, these were ideas she was mulling and had in mind for a younger group of Believers, those who are not yet parents. Still these were the words I needed to read and again turned my heart towards Christ and my children.

As a parent, I have learned a lot. As a parent, I have re-visited how I was parented and how I behaved as a child. Of course, sin mars all we do, and there were mistakes I made as a child that I wish I could erase. While Christ has forgiven me for them, they remain in my memory.

It is the same thing with being a parent. I am sure that someday, I will have even more regrets than I do already for things done and not done.

One thing I can say, however, in encouragement to you who have yet to be parents is this: encourage your children.

There is nothing more devestating than being a child who never gets any encouragement for what he does. Some parents will tell all their friends how wonderful their children are, but will never tell the child to her face. Some parents are full of criticism, condemnation, and rules that have no rational explanation, and the kid never know which way is up. I know that I have not always been encouraging as a parent. I need to daily, verbally, emotionally, and even with a hug, encourage my kids.

Kids who grow up with no encouragement may become people who don't encourage. Kids who grow up with unmerciful, legalistic rules may become unmerciful, legalistic people. I have been married long enough to know how difficult it is to shed the baggage from my childhood. Sometimes, without meaning to, we simply mimick parenting we received. Now, if it's good parenting, that's one thing, but all too often we repeat the mistakes of our parents. We need to pray to God for deliverance from ungodly parenting ways.

So, young people, when you become parents -- and that is not all that far in the future, you know; just think how fast the past ten years have gone and you will realize how fast the next ten are going to go -- ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILDREN. Tell them when they've done well. Discipline them IN LOVE AND WITH MERCY when they make mistakes. And love them fiercely.


May 04, 2008  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Chew on This

ChewyMom on Instant-Gratification Parenting.


January 16, 2008  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Loving in the Face of Unloveliness

A reminder to lean into the Lord, especially when we and our children are both struggling.

For the Mommy-Inspiration Files.


December 11, 2007  |  Comments (2)  |  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 didn’t 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! . 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! . 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! . 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 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! . 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 .

*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.

Related Tags: , , , , , , , ,


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



Nannies Know: About Ezzo

Nanny Katherine Ross wrote an article summarizing Babywise for the professional newsletter published by the International Nanny Association. While I haven't found the newsletter available online, the author has made her article available in full.

It's interesting to see thoughts of someone whose educational background and daily experience is focused on normal child development, as they evaluate some of the teachings of Gary Ezzo.

Want to read more? Check out the GFI / Ezzo / Babywise archives here at TulipGirl or the classic Ezzo.Info.


May 29, 2007  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Still Need That Shoulder

What About Mine?

When you cried as a little baby
Mom and daddy let you cry
Thought that that was the best way maybe
To make you grow all strong inside
Now that you're older
You need someone's shoulder
What about mine?

Growing' up your mind was closed
For repairs for a long long time
You could feel the loneliness in your hairstyle
Just like mine
Now that you've grown up
You still need that shoulder
What the hell are you waiting' for?
It's mine

I promise not to chase you
Only to embrace you
I promise not to bug you
Only just to hug you all night

When you was a little baby
Mom and dad they let you cry
They thought that's the best way maybe
To make you all strong inside
(Were they) wrong? (Yes)
Mine……What about mine?

--Paul Westerberg

Hear it Barlowised.


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



Gary Ezzo: Philosopher?

Over at AwareParent.Net, is an interesting post about Gary Ezzo's philosophy and theology. Click here to read the full post, and feel free to comment (registration there is quick and painless.)

My wife and I have just recently completed Gary Ezzo's Growing Kids God's Way course. We learned of it through a couple in our church, for whom the couse manual is like a second Bible and Ezzo the Vicar of Christ on earth (forget the pope!). Of course, I'm exaggerating; but my satirical comments capture something of the tone of the course. My wife talked me into signing up, though I had reservations about the course because of its immodest title. My fears were quickly confirmed after I read Ezzo's introduction and sat through a couple of weeks of videos. I'll make my general concern about the course as explicit as I can in what follows:

I am deeply troubled by the brand of virtue ethics espoused by Ezzo. I am pursuing a career as a philosopher of religion, so I know something about this stuff. Growing Kids God's Way appears to be heavily influenced by Aristotle's thought on the essence of the human being (the "rational animal") and the ethical direction of human nature. In itself, this is not a bad thing - Christian theology and philosophy has, indeed, been influenced by Greek thought over numerous centuries. What troubles me is not the use of Greek categories per se, but the direction in which Ezzo's theology takes virtue ethics - a direction that I think is dismally unbiblical.

. . .

I want to be clear about one thing first: I am not accusing Gary Ezzo of uncritically adopting Greek virtue ethics. One thing that I find on both sides of the unfortunately polemically named "Ezzo debate" is a lot of lack of attention to careful details in the other side's position. What I am claiming here is that Ezzo's theological "system", if we can call it that, leans dangerously close to an unbiblical or extrabiblical account of human nature. The practical consequences of this theoretical fact, I think, are that Ezzo relies too much on the power of self-discipline and structure in the formation of human character to the exclusion of grace. I would even go so far as to say that his theological system is a sort of natural or rational theology window dressed with some hand-picked passages of Scripture that best fit the fundamental philosophical needs of the program.

Read the rest here.

I'm still reading, digesting, considering the points raised here. Your thoughts?


April 26, 2007  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Fifty Years for Florida Physician

(Like the alliteration of that title?)

"Knowing your patients is one of the benefits of a practice in a small town," (Dr. Arnold) Tanis said. . . The doctor, whose patients affectionately call him Dr. Bud, has 40 families that he has been seeing for three generations. "I'll see a kid who's causing terrible distress and I'll look at the father and say `You did the same thing, you know.'"

As chairman of the Health & Accident Prevention Committee of the Florida Pediatrics Society, Tanis was part of the movement to get the state's first child restraint law passed in 1979. . .

The pediatrician is also a staunch advocate of breastfeeding. "It is the healthiest, both for the mother and the baby," he said.

Besides promoting safety and breastfeeding Dr. Tanis was among the pediatricians who early on questioned the soundness of the medical advice given in Gary Ezzo's "Babywise." This led to an AAP review and warning issued about scheduled feeding, such as what is promoted by Gary Ezzo.

Resolution 53SC: Evaluating Infant Management Programs
Resolution 22T: Investigating the Ezzo Program and FTT Infants Associated With It
Dr. Tanis's notes to The Florida Pediatrician

Read the full tribute to pediatrician Dr. Arnold Tanis .


January 18, 2007  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo.Info Updated

The long-established, carefully documented website about the parenting teachings of author Gary Ezzo has been updated and reorganized.

I've been browsing through the site this evening and really like how easy it is to find key information.

Check out these sections:
For Pastors
Quick Start Page
Concerns About Divisiveness
Voices of Experience (Updated!)

If you are a parent who is using Babywise or other materials by Gary Ezzo and wonders "what's all the fuss about," I encourage you to take some time and surf around Ezzo.Info.

Consider the stories of other parents, like you, who liked and used Ezzo's materials and then discarded them. Take note of the documentation and references. And remember that more than any "parenting philosophy" out there, children grow up well when surrounded by parents' love and God's grace.


November 18, 2006  |  Comments (13)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Monty Python Meets Gary Ezzo

Q: What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

(Jump into the conversation.)


September 21, 2006  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Week Follow-Up

I want to express my gratitude to all of those who participated in Ezzo Week 2006, through blog postings, online awareness-raising, and real-life conversations.

I couldn't keep up with all of the blog and forum postings during Ezzo Week. However, here are some more links from those who joined in:

Mary promotes Ezzo Week at BlogHer--thanks for highlighting concerns about Ezzo parenting and helping to spread the word!

I Want My Candy Back groups Ezzo with Newt Gingrich and Bill O'Reilly--and not in a favorable way!

Curious Goldie ponders trying Babywise on her puppy. . .

Indelible Grace clarifies some thoughts on Gary Ezzo. Her first two posts are here and here.

The Baby Blawg joins in Ezzo Week, too.

Seven Realms gives Ezzo Week a nod as well.

Ezzo makes the DollyMama's "Three Things" list.

Jenn highlights some interesting things in her Ezzo Week post.

Jade boggles at what she sees in Babywise families, even as she prepares for her little one arriving soon. (Congrats!)

Some people have asked me why I still draw attention to the concerns about Ezzo parenting--after all, no one still actually follows Babywise, right? Sadly, that's not the case, and several new parents are implementing Ezzo ideas wtih their little ones:

Ethan's mommy
talks about Babywise in the first week. As does Eliana's parents in their post Sleepless Nights 101. And Bree is reading Babywise with her newborn. Eli's parents give a four week report and praise to Gary Ezzo. And the Tidwell's little one still isn't born, but they're wondering if Babywise becomes second nature.


July 31, 2006  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Week 2006 -- Ending With a Bang!

Guess what? I've been named over on the EzzoTruth site!

I guess that means I've made the big time. (Thanks, Hank, for letting me know!)

While I haven't quite earned the distinction of being spotlighted like Dr. James Dobson, Pastor John MacArthur, Hank Hanegraaff and Kathleen Terner, Frank York, Rebecca Prewett. .. still. . . singled out by name by Tom Reed and Gary Ezzo? I feel honored. *grin*

What earned me this distinction? I stumbled across a messageboard for alumni of a certain school, and saw someone on staff from Grace Community Church affirm that GCC's original concerns regarding Gary Ezzo are ongoing and unresolved, and posted about them here at TulipGirl.

I considered it signficant that GCC's concerns are current. Some have said that the problems with Gary Ezzo and his teachings have been addressed through revisions in his books and Ezzo "starting over" at a new church. Others have said that these character issues are of no current importance, as Grace Community Church's original statement was in 1997 and the latest public statement was in 2002. (The church discipline and excommunication statements from Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship, Ezzo's church following GCC, were published in 2000.) Ezzo's character concerns are ancient history, some have implied.

When I saw someone from Grace Community Church affirm the church still considered the matter with Gary Ezzo unresolved and a significant concern, I believed that was noteworthy.

I did not contact the author of the post before making it public. After all, what is posted publicly online is considered to be in the public realm. To clarify the context, the author of the post was writing on an alumni discussion board, informally with people he knew, and did not realize his words would be distributed in the way they were. Hence, he used the imprecise phrase "disciplined out of our church."

To state it precisely, Gary Ezzo was not "discipline out of" Grace Community Church.

However, the elders did meet Gary Ezzo and called him to accountability especially in regard to the content of his teaching. Gary Ezzo assured the GCC elders that he "was making himself accountable to a group of men he trusted--the pastor and elders of Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship (LHEF)." LHEF elders--those whom Gary Ezzo stated he trusted and was being accountable to--eventually proceeded to excommunicate him.

Grace Community Church did not excommunicate Gary Ezzo. However, the elders of GCC have stated "his departure from Grace Church left a disturbing number of conflicts unresolved and concerns unaddressed."

Those are the actions taken. Consider them for what they are. Actions taken by a church and board of elders, in concern for a member and leader in the church. Church discipline?

Then reflect on the vigorous protests from Tom Reed of EzzoTruth about the wording "discipline out of" --claiming it to be "false, possibly to the point of absurd. . . erroneous and slanderous. . . the sin of lying about the Ezzos, spreading gossip, cheating them out a chance to defend themselves, and stealing their reputation. . ."

That is a pattern that has been commented on repeatedly by others--Gary Ezzo's (and now Tom Reed's) propensity to focus on a matter such as wording and to ignore the substance of an issue, like church discipline.

I did hesitate to remove the original statement from my blog—and honestly, it would have been wise to write what I’m writing now when I did remove it. I hesitated in removing it because of the very scenario which we are seeing played out right now: a vicious attack on the original poster in avoidance of the real issues.

Tom Reed states, “It was also posted to the anti-ezzo forum, TulipGirl on June 1st, 2005. She has since removed the post from her site after ezzotruth communicated with her about the documented evidence that [the original poster] lied, knew he lied, but did nothing to remedy the situation.”

In the interest of factual accuracy, Tom,

1. is my personal website and blog. This is not an “anti-ezzo forum,” though issues related to Gary Ezzo, GFI, and Babywise are discussed here and “Ezzo Week” has become an annual event.

2. Tom Reed's “documented evidence” and veiled threats of legal action did not prompt the amendment on my blog.

3. I edited the post out of consideration for the orignal commentor. His words were intended for a small circle of friends, and reflected that Grace Community Church remains concerned about unresolved issues with Gary Ezzo--albeit through a regretable phrasing of words.

4. The fact that there have been disciplinary actions in regards to Gary Ezzo is indisputable.

Simply speaking, regardless of how it is worded or who states it, the truth remains that Gary Ezzo has a pattern of eschewing accountability and church discipline, and has unresolved issues related to both Grace Community Church and Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship.

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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July 19, 2006  |  Comments (17)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



More Ezzo Blogging Links. . .

Hooray for all who are joining in the spirit of Ezzo Week 2006!

A scientist posts her thoughts--and feelings--in Ezzo, Ezzo Everywhere.

Issues of faulty theology and church discipline are raised at Indelible Grace.

And Pastor Bixby delivers! More, On the Cultic Mindest, Ezzoism, and Sleeping through the Night. (Related to this, if you haven't yet read it you really must--More Than a Parenting Ministry: The Cultic Characteristics of Growing Families International.)

muses about parents' views of children and Ezzo.

And then there is a bit of Ezzo discussion, back-and-forth, on myspace. It seems Dara began it with a post which only mentions Ezzo in passing. (Btw, Focus on the Family does NOT endorse or produce the Ezzo materials.) The conversation grew, and seems to have spurred this post by Krystann.

Both Melanie and mommy to Maddy and Livy share the beginnings of their Babywise'ing. For little Livy that meant, "Due to our own faults, the rockings and holdings and walking around were getting ridiculous again and we decided to put our foot down and have Livy sleep trained once for all. The child screamed one hour and forty minutes straight yesterday. Ok, with only five minutes in between while she whimpered and gave daddy false hope that she’s “done” only to re-start her never-winding-down cries. I conceded after one hour and left the house to go grocery shopping. Fourty minutes later, daddy conceded and picked her up ..."

And Hank promises us more updates on Gary Ezzo's Growing Families International National Leadership & Alumni Conference* (which concluded this weekend.)

* Like I said, Hank, that's quite a mouthful, huh?

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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July 17, 2006  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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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July 16, 2006  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Today's Ezzo Blogging

If you are new to the idea of Ezzo parenting or have only heard about Babywise but don't understand the controversy, katiekind has posted a great background piece that summarizes the teachings and concerns.

Pastor Bixby writes more about Ezzo parenting in his post Clarifications--and he alludes to more posts on the topic to come.

Bec at BawlingBabies seems to specialize in writing about infant crying, and mentions Gary Ezzo in her summary of authors who promote controlled crying.

Brian asks What's an Ezzo? Of course he knows. . . as he has added his insight to Ezzo discussions in the past.

Zatera Ul joins us in promoting Ezzo Week 2006. Thanks!

Am keeps promising a Babywise review. I hope it gets posted during Ezzo Week! (And if you haven't yet read a review of Babywise, I recommend this one.)

Reon praises the fathers who know enough and care enough to get involved in parenting.

Also this week, a couple of people have posted "it's worked for me" tidbits about Babywise--here and here.

Update: Found the first blog post written about the GFI conference from an attendee! Thanks, Allen!

Did I overlook your Ezzo Week 2006 blog post or web page? Feel free to link to it here--and thanks for joining in!

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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July 15, 2006  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Blame the Parents

Ezzo Week 2006 is not about blaming parents.

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 cannot prevent all the harm that can come to families via Ezzo parenting.

I disagree with some who say that people who have turned to Ezzo’s ideas for parenting do so out of either perfectionism, coming from a weak family background, or Christians who have not been grounded in Scripture. Each of these factors may be involved in why a parent is initially drawn to Ezzo parenting, and I say that because that is what some parents themselves have said. However, I do not believe that it is necessary for someone to have one of those factors for him to be vulnerable to Ezzo parenting. I do not blame parents.

Let’s leave the blame game to Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. One of the things that saddends me most about the Ezzo materials is how proponents of the program are quick to blame the mother when the promised results of the program are not seen—especially when it comes to Babywise/Along the Infant Way. If it "works"--then it is to the praise of the Ezzo books! If it doesn't, either the parents were not being consistent with the principles or they were being "too flexible."

For those who are reading who have used ideas from Gary Ezzo’s teachings, I want to reiterate that I am not criticizing you. I have criticized the materials as they are written and taught by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. However, I know that when someone criticizes ideas we like—especially in the realm of family and parenting—it can very easily feels like someone is criticizing *us* personally.

It's very hard to leave behind Ezzo parenting. Many of the Voices of Experience stories are from parents who were teachers and leaders with GFI for many, many years. And it is hard to admit to oneself that, "Oh, I love my kids--but maybe I made some wrong choices for them--while trying to do the best for them."

Obviously, I'm outspokenly critical of Gary Ezzo and his parenting ideas. I want it to be plain that's what I am--critical of a set of ideas or "philosophy" as Ezzo calls it—not critical of parents who love their children and are seeking to raise them with truth and love.

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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July 14, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo 'Round the Blogosphere

Kim at Upward Call has a thoughtful, balanced post on Ezzo parenting. She speaks first-hand, having used the Ezzo ideas with her children, and then distancing from them when she saw the negative impact it had on their family. "It creates a situation where "performance" is so focused on that one cannot really be sure that the child is obeying because they want to or because they're just good at providing the correct response." The comments are worth reading as well.

Phil Johnson gives a nod to Ezzo Week in the sidebar of the PyroGuys blog. I'm blushing. He goes further into the ongoing patterns of avoiding accountability in the comments at Kim's.

Camille, aka Dr. Lewis, highlights Ezzo Week for her readers and students.

SchoolOfMom questions what qualities one would look for in a parenting teacher. Personally, I find that I listen to my own mother more and more as the years go by.

Gid gets the the heart of grace in parenting when he writes, "Am I parenting my children the way that God parents me? Though, the problem with my last question is that a lot of Christians are so busy punishing, chastising, disciplining, and belittling themselves that they don't have a clue how God parents them. . ."

Did I overlook your Ezzo Week 2006 blog post or web page? Feel free to link to it here--and thanks for joining in!

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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July 13, 2006  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



A Pastor's Commentary on Ezzo Parenting

I just read a very insightful commentary on Ezzo parenting by Pastor Bob Bixby of Morning Star Baptist Church in Rockford, Illinois.

Pastor Bixby's chief concern is the impact of Ezzo parenting and thinking on the parents. I believe this is important and often overlooked.

Very many parents have found that in spite of love, good intentions and "common sense," Ezzo parenting was harmful for their families.

Update: More from Pastor Bixby--Clarifications. (And it looks like he'll be writing more on Ezzo parenting in the coming days.)

Christian Leaders With Publicly Stated Concerns About Ezzo Parenting

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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July 13, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What Gary Ezzo Says About. . .

At times, those who raise concerns about Ezzo parenting are told "Well, you just don't understand what Gary Ezzo is saying. . ."

So let's go to the source.

I encourage you to click on the links below to see what Gary Ezzo REALLY says.

What Ezzo Says About Me. . .

What Ezzo Says About My Kids. . .

What Ezzo Says About Babies and Toddlers. . .

What Ezzo Says About Punishment. . .

Thoughts? Comments?

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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July 12, 2006  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



It's Ezzo Week 2006!

*drumroll, please*

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, moms and pops. . . Welcome to the third annual blogosphere Ezzo Week!

Gary Ezzo's Growing Families International National Leadership & Alumni Conference* is being held in Dallas, Texas** from July 13-15, 2006.

In recognition of this annual event, here at TulipGirl we will be featuring posts related to Gary Ezzo 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.

Why the hoopla? What's the excitement? This explains a little of why we make a big to-do over Ezzo week.

So come one, come all--it's Ezzo Week 2006!

* That's a mouthful, huh, Hank?
** The actual conference location not publicized online, as the media is not welcome. A reporter visited the 2004 Detroit conference. However, I believe it may be located at Legacy Church.

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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July 11, 2006  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babywise 2001: Conflicting Messages

A new review of the most recent edition of Babywise by Gary Ezzo has recently been published online at

Conflicting Messages--A Review of Babywise (2001 edition) highlights the double messages that exist within Babywise 2001. While the authors claim that BW 2001 is "updated" in such a way to minimize the problems of slow weight gain, breastmilk supply problems, and other issues historically associated with Babywise, this review highlights how the core ideas linked with these problems are still being taught.

Part of the review really stood out to me, in how it illustrated that Babywise gives parents a false set of ideas on which to make decisions about infant feeding.

According to Babywise, the baby's hunger will begin to line up with mealtimes. However true to experience this patterning may be for some adults, for growing breastfed babies, hunger and feeding are dynamic processes. The infant's stomach size and gastric emptying rate, and the mother's breastmilk storage capacity and rate of milk synthesis affect how often an individual baby needs to feed --and hunger also rises and falls dynamically to accommodate growth spurts, milk supply fluctuations, hot weather, illness, teething, activity levels, and more.

Babywise, however, connects the issue of feeding frequency to age:

"How often you should feed your baby depends on your baby's age. As a general rule, during the first two months you will feed your baby approximately every 2 1/2 to 3 hours from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next....With these recommendations you can average between eight to ten feedings a day in the early weeks. These times fall well within recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics." ( p. 74, emphasis added.)

This instruction allows for about 8 to 9.6 feedings per day. Targetting a subset at the low end of the normal range is setting some parents and babies up for failure or frustration--and is not intended by the AAP's discussion on the normal range of 8 to 12 feedings for breastfed babies.

Often parents will come away from reading Babywise, envisioning a fairly linear path of increased infant sleep at night and decreased number of feedings during the day. Any deviation from the linear progression is assumed to be very short-lived, a few days of "growth spurt" or teething. This often leads Babywise parents to misinterpret hunger cues, not view deviations from the schedule as legitimate, or overlook the early signs of slowed growth.

Parents who have had several babies are more aware that infant growth and development is on a less linear path than Ezzo presents it. A "growth spurt" may last more than just a few days. A developmental spurt may necessitate increased nighttime feedings, even while daytime feedings may remain the same or decrease. Illness or teething can impact the infant's ability to adapt to an eat/wake/sleep routine, and may need more than a day or two on a more ad-lib routine.

I encourage all parents to read this review. If you currently are using Babywise (or have had in the past), what do you think? To what extent have you been aware of the conflicting messages? When you talk to other parents about Babywise, how to you help them see this and implement this while avoiding the difficulties commonly associated with Babywise? What conflicting messages have you seen in other materials by Gary Ezzo?

Feel free to discuss BW 2001 and Ezzo parenting here. Or, if you like, join the conversation over at AwareParent.Net.


June 23, 2006  |  Comments (18)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Pediatric Nurse Discards Babywise

We followed the advice on feeding and sleep schedules very closely, until my 5 week old son began failing to gain weight. Fortunately I am a pediatric nurse and noticed the early signs before his health was severely affected. I visited a lactation consultant and learned that my milk supply was almost gone. . .

I dismissed the idea that his feeding problems could be related to the Babywise program (I don't know what I was thinking!) and continued with the program.

Read more from this pediatric nurse and former Babywise mom.

Several people influenced us in our decision to use the Ezzo parenting ideas--one was a NICU nurse. I trusted that the materials were medically sound because they were from her, even though they went against much of what I had learned about breastfeeding and early infant development before then.

Read more Voices of Experience from families leaving behind Ezzo parenting.

(Via Ezzo.Info)

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April 17, 2006  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What's the Fuss About Michael and Debi Pearl?

You may (or may not) have seen the call to boycott Homeschool Blogger/The Old Schoolhouse because of their ongoing, outspoken support for Michael and Debi Pearl's materials, specificly their extra-biblical parenting teachings. This attention is a result of a little boy who died at the hands of his mother. The mother had sought guidance from the Pearls' materials.

For quick reference, here are some articles that may illustrate the grave concerns people have about what Michael and Debi Pearl teach.

Here at TulipGirl:
On the Pearls and Parenting
Pearls Po-Russki
Biblical Relationships or Behaviourism
Children, Good and Grown

Authoritarianism and Isolationism Among Us (small type, worth the effort of reading)
The Pearls: The Basics, On Original Sin
To Train Up A Child Review
TTUAC: One Family's Experiences
Chapter-by-Chapter Review of TTUAC
Avoiding Millstones
TTUAC Short Review

Other Related Blog Posts:
An Alternative to HSB
Click-and-Go Boycott Guide
I'm Okay, You're Okay


March 31, 2006  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Avoiding Millstones

It broke my heart to read this today.

I have seen within the Christian subculture a lot of very well-meaning abuse at the hands of loving parents. Parents who don't want to be and don't intend to be abusive. A lot of what I've seen is due to the emphasis on "being consistent." While the Pearls and others teach that "being consistent" will mean fewer spankings, what the reality is in many families and for many children is that "consistent" spankings results in very freqent, increasingly harder, spankings.

I've been in conversations with mothers, worrying about whether bruises on bottoms would show. If CPS would be called. If a trip to the pediatrician should be changed. And these were loving mothers, who in general were gentle and soft-spoken. But the repeated teachings of spank 'em, and spank 'em harder until they obey did result in what could objectively only be labeled abuse.

Anyway, this whole very sad situation reminds me of an article I once read, and that all those who give advice, write books, or encourage others in Christian parenting should read.

Avoiding Millstones.


March 18, 2006  |  Comments (35)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



In the "What Took Them So Long" Category

Ezzo devotees have finally launched their response to the well-documented, factually accurate Ezzo.Info site.

Let's welcome to the world wide web, EzzoTruth.Com!

One of the interesting tidbits at EzzoTruth.Com, is the veiled encouragment by his supporters for Gary Ezzo to sue those who are vocally critical online of his teachings:

Although no determination has been made on whether an American libel suit will be filed, it is EzzoTruth's hope that this legal victory will cause US Internet critics of the GFI ministry to more carefully evaluate the information they present as fact.

Through the many years Ezzo.Info has been online, I've seen those involved in adminstrating the site invite Ezzo supporters to bring to light any inaccuracies on that site.

And while Ezzo supporters may disagree with how the information is presented and the conclusions drawn, the factual content of Ezzo.Info is well-documented, accurate and dare I say it? Truth.

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March 06, 2006  |  Comments (19)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



ChewyMom: Mentors and the Ezzos

"I have no trouble with the way GFI started–it was a natural progression of events. It was a Titus 2 situation–older women teaching younger women, older men teaching younger men.

But now? Well, if I saw a family within my church who had two children, one of whom has no contact with them and the other of whom embezzeled 1/2 million from his company, I might question their parenting. The picture of their family would not be the goal I set for mine. I am imperfect, and I could well end up with children who have struggles–don’t get me wrong. But that is not my goal.

And so I seek out parenting role-models and mentors from among those whose relationships with their children I admire. I do not seek out those who have very serious problems in their relationships with their children–to the point that there is no relationship–as my parenting examples." --ChewyMom

Related to this, I encourage you to read these uplifting reminders that I've copied on my blog from one of my mentor-moms:

Biblical Relationships or Behaviourism
Children, Good and Grown

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February 13, 2006  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Continuing the Dialogue. . .

Blogs may not be the ideal medium for continuing a discussion Shawn Wood and I are having regarding church discipline, especially as it pertains to Seacoast Church and Gary Ezzo.

So, I've started a thread at AwareParent.Net and invite those interested to join us.

You're welcome to jump into the conversation there. Registration is quick and easy, moderation is light, and all are welcome.

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January 29, 2006  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babywise "Trade-Offs"

Ezzo discusses "trade-offs" with Babywise:

"We wish everything in this book worked perfectly for each mom/baby combination when it comes to lactation.

" parenting there will always be tradeoffs...while most moms can [breastfeed longterm*] with Babywise, we recognize not all moms can because no philosophy comes without trade-offs."

-- Babywise, pp. 63, 64

* while "longterm" is not defined, Babywise says mothers using the program breastfeed for just over 8 months on average.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a minimum of one year of breastfeeding.

(Via Ezzo.Info)

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January 13, 2006  |  Comments (17)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Life, Theology, and Motherhood

A must-read post from ChewyMom.


January 11, 2006  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



I Thessalonians 2:7-8

7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

I Thessalonians 2:7-8


December 17, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



John Calvin: Theologian and Lactivist

John Calvin, in commenting upon Genesis 21:7 states:

". . .the Lord does not in vain prepare nutriment for children in their mothers' bosoms, before they are born. But those on whom he confers the honor of mothers, he, in this way, constitutes nurses; and they who deem it a hardship to nourish their own offspring, break, as far as they are able, the sacred bond of nature. If disease, or anything of that kind, is the hindrance, they have a just excuse; but for mothers voluntarily, and for their own pleasure, to avoid the trouble of nursing, and thus to make themselves only half-mothers, is a shameful corruption."

(Via calvinist and lactivist Pastor Lane)


December 02, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Joining the Ezzo Conversation. . .

The discussions have been picking up over at the AwareParent board. This is a forum designed for parents from a wide range of backgrounds to discuss the pros and cons of the parenting ideas taught by Gary Ezzo. Come join in. . .

And related (even if the titles don't seem so):
Gary Ezzo Would Make an Excellent CEO for Walmart…or Not
I Love Teenagers
Kid Friendly Home Decor

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November 07, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Debate Board Closing

The Parent's Place Ezzo Debate Board is somewhere I lurked when I was still using Ezzo's materials and thought all the nay-sayers "just didn't understand."

When I first started questioning Ezzo parenting, the Ezzo Debate Board was where I was able to ask my questions and be treated with respect and get thoughtful answers.

As I left behind Ezzo parenting, it was a place where I vented and dealt with a lot of the hurt and anger and confusion that came with having believed something and then seeing how unBiblical it was.

And the Powers That Be have decided to close the board.

Sure, the traffic hasn't been that high on it lately, but it really is a unique place online. The other Ezzo-related resources just don't fill the same niche.

Unprepared for Parenting isn't a "debate board" though discussion on various aspects of Ezzo's teachings is welcomed. does encourage dialogue and discussion, but it isn't as public as the Parent's Place board has been.

The FreeFromEzzo Yahoo group is focused on "recovery" from Ezzo parenting, not debate. is an amazing and well-documented clearinghouse of Ezzo related information. But no debates are hosted there.

So. . . I'm sad. . . And I really appreciate the people who spent so much time with me and other Ezzo mamas, gently and patiently challenging our assumptions.

Key threads from the archives:
Ezzo Parenting Controversy 101
Evaluating Biblical Arguments
Evaluating Ezzo's Logic
Logic Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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September 26, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Call Me -- Skeptical

This is a comment that was recently made on a previous thread here. It brings up some very interesting points. Welcome, Skeptical. I hope you don't mind me highlighting your comments. I believe they will stimulate some interesting discussion.

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.


And to continue the discussion, from Skeptical. . .

Hmm. Okay, that comment came out sounding meaner than I intended. I truly don't want to be unkind to parents who genuinely regret their prior behavior, and who seek to become better, kinder, more gentle caregivers. So I apologize for sounding like a *insert inappropriate word here*. But my initial confusion still stands. If someone told me to turn my heart away from my children, I'd tell him to go *blank* himself. I cannot imagine any such hateful doctrine taking root in the community of which I am a part. So why has it taken up residence in yours?

Now I'm verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves.

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September 14, 2005  |  Comments (25)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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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August 31, 2005  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Chewy Mom, Contact Mom, Concerned Mom

ChewyMom is continuing her series of posts about her families involvement with Ezzo parenting / Growing Families International.

It's a must read. ChewyMom is candid and vulnerable, as she shares what she found good in the Ezzo materials and the struggles the Lord has brought her through.

Read the whole series:
How I Got Involved with GFI
Why I Loved GFI
Becoming a Contact Mom
Red flags With GFI
Disassociating from GFI
My Parenting Post-GFI

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August 22, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



How One Mama Got Involved With GFI

A huge part of my almost 15 years of parenting has involved the Ezzos. I have either been using their materials, heavily involved in their organization, questioning their ethics, or opposing them, pretty much in that order. This is the first of what I am sure will be many blogs on the subject. . . . Here’s part one, “How I got involved with GFI.”

This is the first of a series of posts by a former Ezzo/GFI Contact Mom. ChewyMom really explains how for Ezzo families, it's not simply a feeding/sleeping routine at stake, but their child's whole future:

I could look ahead and see that if I gave in by 5 minutes this feeding, and that continued all day, the whole schedule would be thrown off, and then the nights would get messed up, and the week would be off, and then the month, the year, his whole life would be a mess! So, I kept to that 3-hour schedule faithfully.

Read the whole post.

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August 16, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Evaluating Ezzo's Leadership, Part 3: Other Concerning Patterns

When asking ourselves "Is Gary Ezzo someone I trust as a resource in my Christian walk?" there is more to consider than the pattern of unresolved church discipline.

One of the Bible passages on qualifications for Church leadership comes from I Timothy 3. It is not the only passage in the Bible about what is required for leaders, and I encourage you to look up other passages as you evaluate Gary Ezzo's qualifications.

Must be above reproach:

1. Gary Ezzo has not only been confronted about issues of integrity by elders in his church, but has a pattern of formal church discipline action that is still not resolved.

2. He has not been above reproach in the area blurring the business/ministry lines to GFI's supporters. Gary Ezzo has had questionable financial situations that resulted in Ezzo's accounting firm of nine+ years, Hamilton, Boynton, & Speakman, choosing to end its business dealing with Ezzo and GFI. Chris Hamilton, who was a long-time friend of Gary Ezzo and a partner at the accounting firm stated that Ezzo lied to him regarding an embezzlement investigation at GFI.

3. He has had prominent leaders in the Christian community publically voice concerns about his materials and qualifications for Christian leadership.

Sober-minded and Self-controlled

1. Is it sober-minded to fabricate quotes, as Ezzo did for World Magazine's Roy Maynard and quintuplet-dad Scot Shier?

2. Is it self-controlled to borrow so heavily from an article like Barbara Lerner's National Review article "The Killer Narcissists" that reading Ezzo's "Parental Affection and Character Development" seems like flagrant plagarism? Gary Ezzo was confronted about this privately, but it was not until it was mentioned in a public article that he footnoted the article to give any credit to Ms. Lerner.


1. Do you think it is a sign of respect when key employees, board memebers and supporters begin disassociating themselves from Gary Ezzo's ministry? These include:

The Abels: Eric Abel, GFI's Director of Ministries, resigned in September of 1994 because of concerns about Gary Ezzo's integrity. Eric and Julie Abel were among the original co-founders of GFI and featured on some of the earliest GKGW videos.

The Williams: Dirk Williams was president of GFI at one point. Dirk and Cheryl Williams ended their involvement with GFI and concerns about integrity were a factor.

Frank York: Read the full account of his employment with and then distancing from Gary Ezzo and GFI in Adventures in Ezzoland.

Bob Gaby: GFI's non-profit counterpart is Christian Family Heritage (CFH). Mr. Gaby resigned as Chairman of the Board and voiced concern over Ezzo’s response to church disciplinary actions of LHEF. He had been a member of the board for nine years.

Sharon Nelson: A medical doctor who has endorsed Ezzo’s books resigned as the CFH board secretary in August 2000.

Mark Severance
: A GFI spokesman and an assistant to Ezzo resigned without comment.

Paul Luedke: Ezzo’s son-in-law who had resigned without comment.

2. Is it a sign of respect when former supporters, teachers and Contact Moms distance themself from Gary Ezzo?

Laurie Moody: A prominent GFI “Contact Mom” who handled many calls about lactation concerns also resigned, stating Ezzo’s response to LHEF was a factor in her decision.

Contact Mom M: A pastor's wife and Contact Mom who was vocal on the now-defunct GFI support forum. (Sidenote: This is a mama who was very encouraging to me through the early years of motherhood. I still look up to her today. Reading what she shares in the above link really meant a lot to me.)

Another Contact Mom: Who states she no longer supports Ezzo in any way.

A 10-year GFI Teacher: Taught GFI/GKGW materials for ten years before realizing it was detrimental to her family.

Another 10-year Ezzo Family: Writes about deep regrets using Ezzo's materials.

Able to teach

1. Gary Ezzo is can be charming and convincing in his teaching videos. He can be persuasive to young parents striving to do the best for their children. But is he able to teach material that is theologically sound?

2. Is he able to effectively communicate what is Biblical and what is simply cultural? Is he able to help his readers differentiate between what is his opinion and what is fact? Looking objectively at his materials, can it really be said Gary Ezzo is able to teach?

Not quarrelsome:

1. Consider Ezzo's reaction to the World Magazine article that reported on controversies about Gary Ezzo's teachings:
"Ezzo pressured WORLD to retract statements in the article, even objecting to the word "controversial" in the subtitle claiming it created a negative spin. Ezzo also "sent letters to World editor Marvin Olasky suggesting the magazine consider asking for Maynard's resignation. He asked Maynard's church elders to take disciplinary action against him." from the Timeline.

2. Ezzo unsuccessfully attempted to press charges against Steve Rein of the Red Rhino Ezzo-related website for "hacking". No charges were filed. Steve Rein is now owner of the meticulously-documented website.

3. Ezzo successfully filed charges against Australian psychologist Robin Grille. Australia has noticably weaker free speech laws than the US, which is prehaps why Ezzo has not yet filed suits against his stateside critics. The current status of this lawsuit is unknown.

Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders

1. Consider Salon magazine's article, Getting Wise to Babywise. This is not simply a case of "being persecuted for righteousness' sake" but rather having a poor reputation among non-Christians because of conduct.

2. Does a seeker-sensitive church really desire to promote materials by someone so distrusted by the secular community?

3. The American Association of Pediatrics has investigated Babywise and found it be be lacking in sound medical advice, and therefore issued a broad statement against scheduled designed by parents.

4. Multnomah Press dropped the high-revenue Babywise book.

Not double-tongued

1. Anne Marie Ezzo recently stated that they do not teach "cry it out." However, crying before naptime is considered "normal" from five to forty-five minutes and many Babywise users and Contact Moms encourage one another to apply the Ezzo teachings in a way that is supportive of crying-to-sleep-train.

2. Ezzo has published a comparison chart between the Babywise teachings and AAP teachings, in spite of AAP warnings about schedules determined by parents.

3. Gary Ezzo has a pattern of name calling both in his books and in communications both privately among his supporters and publically. These include dismissing critics because of their gender, "Wow, talk about women and emotions. . . I feel like I walked into the hen house during egg laying. . ."

He has also belittled those who challenge him publicly, publicly criticized those who come to him privately, and circulated private letters against those who speak out about him publicly--as they did with an 18-page letter to close followers in response to the Christianity Today article. This letter included disparaging comments about the article's author and the critics quoted, including Frank York, former GFI editorial director.

Let them also be tested first; then let them serve if they prove themselves blameless:

After doing the research yourself, are you convinced that through the years of "testing" and ministry that Gary Ezzo has "proved himself blameless"?

Evaluating Ezzo's Leadership, Part 1: Why Bother?
Evaluating Ezzo's Leadership, Part 2: Church Discipline
Evaluating Ezzo's Leadership, Part 3: Other Concerning Patterns


July 28, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Evaluating Ezzo's Leadership: Church Discipline

One of the key facts that people should know in evaluating Ezzo as a Biblical teacher, is that Gary Ezzo has a pattern of not submitting to the discipline of the elders of his home church.

How can a person be trusted to teach on discipline within the home when his life shows a failure to understand discipline within the Church?

Gary Ezzo says, "A text without a context is a pretext." While I'm left scratching my head at that phrasing, to better understand the context of this church discipline post, I refer you to A Timeline of the Ezzo Controversy.

Please note that the following account of Gary Ezzo's pattern of unresolved church discipline is not "gossip." It is a factually accurate record to provide Christians with the information to evaluate Gary Ezzo's qualifications as a teacher. Read here for a complete documentation of the original sources of the below quotes. If necessary, please contact the churches for verification.

New Hampshire Church Discipline

By late 1979 -- Ezzo was considered to be one of the leaders/elders of His Vantage Point Church in Laconia, NH (This church came to be known as Lakes Region Bible Church.)

1980/1981 -- Ezzo became pastor-teacher of this church

1982 or 1983 -- Ezzo was asked to step down from leadership in this church amid complaints of authoritarianism, exclusivism and divisiveness.

Grace Community Church

Spring 1993 -- Grace Community Church elders "asked Gary Ezzo to be more accountable to them" Source: Oct '97 GCC Elders' Statement Regarding Gary Ezzo and Growing Families International

June 1993 -- Ezzo announced plans to resign from the pastoral staff at GCC but to continue as a lay elder.

Mid-1995 — GCC's pastoral staff met with Gary to discuss concerns about doctrinal and biblical content of GFI materials. Gary "promised to make changes in his material to alleviate everyone's concerns."

Mid-1995 — The promised changes were never submitted to the pastoral staff. Instead, Gary resigned as an elder and withdrew from GCC completely.--Source GCC Statement Regarding Gary Ezzo and GFI

July 18, 1995 — Gary's pastor at GCC, Dr. John MacArthur, wrote to Gary upon Gary's resignation from the elder board to summarize and "put to rest" an apparently unfruitful discussion concerning GCC's decision to drop GFI materials and remove them from the church's bookstore. While MacArthur expressed his affection for the Ezzos he also noted his dissatisfaction with Gary's behavior. . .

October 16, 1997— Grace Community Church issued a public statement "A Statement Regarding Gary Ezzo and Growing Families International" to explain why GCC is no longer affiliated with Gary Ezzo and GFI and why they no longer use or endorse GFI materials.

October 26, 1997—The Ezzos' initial public response to GCC's statement stated that they were "under the care and guidance and spiritual authority of the elders" at Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship and promised that these elders would conduct a "thorough investigation." Two of the three elders were on GFI's staff at the time.

November 11, 1997— The Final GFI response to Grace Statement disputed at length issues like the dates of the meetings mentioned in the GCC elders' statement and whether the GCC elders had pursued resolution of the issues aggressively enough. It was "reviewed" and "approved" by elders at Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship. No longer available on GFI's website, but I have reproduced it here.

June, 2005--Grace Community Church staff pastor Adam Bailie reaffirms GCC's position that Ezzo was under church discipline when he left GCC and confirms that Ezzo's children have chosen to limit their interaction with him. (See the linked posting and also the clarification in the comments thread.)

The concerns about Gary Ezzo and Grace Community Church can be summed up by what Pastor John MacArthur, who knew and worked with Gary Ezzo for many years, wrote "It appears rather obvious on biblical grounds that Mr. Ezzo's refusal to heed his own church's discipline disqualifies him from Christian leadership or public ministry in any context. After all, the first and most important qualification for those who would lead the church is that they be above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2, 10; Titus 1:6)."

Original Grace Community Church Statement
Revised Grace Community Church Statement
Note from Phil Johnson, GCC statement author
Pastor John MacArthur's Comments

Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship

September 1999 -- Gary approached his pastor at Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship for advice regarding his son-in-law's misappropriation of GFI money.

December 1999 — Ezzo's pastor/elders at LHEF recommended that he take a "personal and spiritual sabbatical" to focus energy on repairing broken family relationships and the crisis within his company. Gary refused and started to express concerns about LHEF leadership, spreading an "ever widening circle of lies".
Source: LHEF's excommunication statement

Mar 9, 2000 – The Ezzos informed LHEF that they were withdrawing from the church, claiming concern over the elder board's integrity. Source: Resignation Letter, dated Mar 9 2000

April 2000 — LHEF issued an excommunication statement citing Gary Ezzo's pattern of sin and unrepentent behavior.

Aug 2000 – Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo sent a report to GFI supporters about their church's discipline of them and how they responded to it.

"In our attempt to stay above reproach and respond prudently
to LHEF's accusations, we invited two committees of men,
independent of each other, to come to Los Angeles, review the
charges, and evaluate the context of our departure."

One committee was composed of GFI Regional Administrators (GFI 'full-time missionaries' who assist in training GFI class leaders, etc), and the other was a committee of unnamed supporters. Both groups concluded they could "continue to affirm" the Ezzos. In other words, they may have been independent of each other, but they were not independent of GFI. --Sources: GFI documents: "Independent Committee Review, July 14, 2000" and "Regional Administrator's Committee Summary, July 10, 2000.

I agree with the heartfelt sentiment that sums up the LHEP statement, "Although his excommunication from our church means that LHEF is no longer carrying out a process of restoration we pray that God will use this measure to win back Gary's heart and restore truth and integrity to his life."

Original LHEP Discipline Statement
Expanded LHEP Discipline Statement

Seacoast Church

At this point, Gary Ezzo is active at Seacost Church in South Carolina. It is unclear how the pastoral staff/elders at Seacoast have addressed Gary Ezzo's issues of unresolved church discipline nor is it clear to what extent Gary Ezzo has placed himself under the authority of the local church.

Seacoast Church has allowed Gary Ezzo to distribute information about his materials and endorsed the use of GFI materials as part of their "Parenting Ministry."

Evaluating Ezzo's Leadership, Part 1: Why Bother?
Evaluating Ezzo's Leadership, Part 2: Church Discipline
Evaluating Ezzo's Leadership, Part 3: Other Concerning Patterns


July 23, 2005  |  Comments (16)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Evaluating Ezzo's Leadership: Why Bother?

In a previous post, the question was raised:

Please help me understand the emphasis on the author [Gary Ezzo] rather than the materials. . .

Gary Ezzo was a pastor and is now the head of an international for-profit ministry that espouses to teach "Biblical parenting" to Christian families and use its secular materials as an outreach and resource to non-Believers.

While not currently in a pastoral role, because of the nature of his ministry he is in a leadership position in the Church. As a leader, he should meet the Biblical qualifications of a leader.

I Timothy 3 is just one passage that teaches Christians about the qualities a leader in the church should possess.

Because the Bible places an emphasis on the qualifications for a church leader, I place emphasis on providing information for Christians to evaluate whether Gary Ezzo is someone they are willing to accept as a Biblical teachers in their lives.

I didn't always do this. At one point in my life I assumed that Christian teachers were, in general, trustworthy. That if a good Christian friend recommended a teacher, then that teacher was a good source of Biblical teaching. I regret that I have not always been careful and discerning in the teachers I have trusted.

I once believed that Gary Ezzo was a trustworthy resource for Biblical teaching. I now see that I was not discerning.

Evaluating Ezzo's Leadership, Part 1: Why Bother?
Evaluating Ezzo's Leadership, Part 2: Church Discipline
Evaluating Ezzo's Leadership, Part 3: Other Concerning Patterns


July 23, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Week 2005 Round-Up

Gary Ezzo's 2005 Alumni and Leadership Conference at this church in South Carolina ended this weekend. Reportedly, over 300 people from all over the world were in attendance to be trained. I haven't yet seen an article or blog post about the conference, but am interested in feedback from attendees or an official report from the Ezzos.

Interestingly, Gary and Anne Marie's home church, Seacoast, didn't host this conference or publicize it online. (Seacoast Church and the head pastor several pastors, Geoff Surratt, Chris Surratt, Shawn Wood, have their own blogs.) I wonder how they reconcile the fact that Gary Ezzo still has unresolved church discipline issues still lingering, from the last two churches he attended?

Speaking of. . . On the fairly new Pyromaniac blog, Phil Johnson mentiones "shady" Gary Ezzo in yesterday's post. Considering he has firsthand experience Gary Ezzo and even wrote the Grace Community Church statement of non-endorsement, I wonder whether he's going to continue to help enlighten the evangelical community about Ezzo's faulty teachings? Thanks, Phil, for joining in Ezzo Week 2005 blogging.

Ezzo-related blogging this week:
Yellow Rose has posted a series from the old GFI Forums.
Conversations 1 * Conversations 2 * Conversations 3 * Conversations 4 * Conversations 5 * Conversations 6 * Conversations 7

Maternity Genes mentioned Ezzo specifically in a post more generally about "Cry It Out," and got quite extensive responses.

Christine asserts God is wise. . . Ezzo not so much!

The Seven Realms questions whether Anyone Has a Millstone?

Mama Domain makes some controversial comments--and doesn't limit them to just Gary Ezzo.

Ellen reigns her new path as a stay-at-home-mom with the decision to wing it--not wise it.

The RE's Muse is struggling with whether to follow the Babywise advice, and to what degree. She calls herself a "new mom with no clue." Ezzo is very appealing to new mamas in that he offers confident and certain advice, and promises happy results.

Hank and family are thankful they get to go to the GFI Conference, and mention how it was a blessing---though it required great faith to leave their special-needs baby with other caregivers.

Christian offers a positive book review of Babywise, but with a caveat.

Metamorphosis isn't looking forward to the new GKGW class--and feels like she ought to be.

Bravus and Suze like the Ezzo's principled approach to politeness training. Ezzo's words can sound good, but looking at his pattern of behaviour, well. . .

And as mentioned earlier this week:
Fresh Milk Delivered Daily: Beneath the Stains of Time the Feelings Disappear
SandKsMama: Growing Kids Gary's Way
: Prep Transcripts
Reasons Why: Ezzo and the Shy Child

Any I've missed? Please let me know!

And so this wraps up Ezzo Week 2005--unless we end up doing an Aussie version at the end of September. . . Feel free to join the ongoing conversations at AwareParent.Net and the PP Ezzo Board.

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July 17, 2005  |  Comments (23)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babywise and Breastfeeding: The Realities

Dr. Matthew Aney a practicing pediatrician in California, states:

"On Becoming Babywise, has raised concern among pediatricians because it outlines an infant feeding program that has been associated with failure to thrive (FTT), poor weight gain, dehydration, breast milk supply failure, and involuntary early weaning. A Forsyth Medical Hospital Review Committee, in Winston-Salem N.C., has listed 11 areas in which the program is inadequately supported by conventional medical practice.

. . .

I have reviewed numerous accounts of low weight gain and FTT associated with "Babywise" and discussed them with several pediatricians and lactation consultants involved.

. . .

This advice is in direct opposition to the latest AAP recommendations on newborn feeding (AAP Policy Statement, "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk," Pediatrics, Dec. 1997):

"Newborns should be nursed whenever they show signs of hunger, such as increased alertness or activity, mouthing, or rooting. Crying is a late indicator of hunger. Newborns should be nursed approximately eight to 12 times every 24 hours until satiety."

Ezzo-related delayed growth, slow weight gain and Failure to Thrive is sadly common. Our son was one of those babies who seemed to do great with Babywise and then was diagnosed Failure to Thrive. Lori's son was hospitalized when he was less than a month old due to dehydration and FTT.

For every Failure to Thrive diagnosis, there are many undiagnosed examples of delayed and slowed growth. If you spend any time among Ezzo mothers, you'll commonly hear reassurances that it is common for babies to thin out, be "petite", slow their growth rate, be smaller than their peers. And yes, while half of babies are below the 50th%--this common pattern of Ezzo mothers are seeking reassurance for their small babies is disturbing.

Chapter Four of Along the Infant Way (the "new" Preparation for Parenting and "Christian" Babywise) is titled "Facts on Feeding." That title implies that the material contained within that chapter is factually accurate. On the contrary, it is mostly comprised of Ezzo's opinions, the Parent Directed Feeding "philosophy," partial-truths, and medically unsupported claims about breastfeeding the PDF way.

Sadly there are just enough actual breastfeeding facts scattered about the chapter, that a new mother with limited knowledge of breastfeeding will assume the rest is accurate. Without more experience or knowledge, it can be difficult to discern Ezzo's faulty feeding "facts."

I recommend to all mothers, both those who are planning on using Ezzo's ideas and those who have rejected them, to read the following carefully-documented articles about how breastfeeding works:

How Does Milk Production Work?
by By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

Examining the Evidence for the Cue-feeding of Breastfed Infants
by Lisa Marasco, BA, IBCLC and Jan Barger, MA, RN, IBCLC

While what Ezzo teaches about feeding may line up with the needs and supply of some infant/mother nursing dyads, there is a hard-to-ignore pattern of Ezzo's parent-directed feeding undermining mothers' milk supply. This collection of case studies was documented by a then-GFI supportive breastfeeding counselor who was volunteering as an Ezzo Contact Mom.

The mothers I have known who have breastfed while using the ideas presented in Babywise have usually struggled with milk supply, typically around 4-5 months, and often transitioning early to formula feeding. It is also common to hear Ezzo moms discussing starting solids earlier than the AAP recommended 6 months because their babies seem hungry and unsatisfied with breastmilk. Again, these situations are common among mothers who are very supportive of Babywise and are seeking advice among other pro-Ezzo parents.

Of course, Gary Ezzo will disagree with the breastfeeding information provided in this post--and he does in this article on the GFI website, "Myths and Misconceptions". Gary Ezzo can be persuasive--but look closely at what he writes. Does he really back it up with medical documentation or simply make assertions based on his opinions?

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2005 series focusing on Gary Ezzo's parenting teachings.


July 16, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Breastfeeding and Babywise: The Practicalities

The mamas I've known who have been successful in breastfeeding until one year (per the AAP recommendations), have usually altered the Ezzo PDF guidelines significantly.

These are the most common modifications.

1. Never going beyond 3 hours between feedings, except for when baby is sleeping at night. (Current Ezzo materials assume it is normal for babies at 9-15 weeks be going between 3-4 hours, and be down to 4-6 liquid feedings at 4-6 months.) After losing my milk supply while breastfeeding my first, I attempted to never go beyond 3 hours when feeding my second. I still lost my milk supply, but not until 6-7 months.

2. Follow an Eat/Wake/Eat/Sleep cycle, instead of the Eat/Wake/Sleep cyclef. I have seen this advocated by a Contact Mom, but can't remember who. This is what we started to do when our third son was born. (Later we went the route of cue-feeding. I was able to successfully breastfeed my third while cue-feeding, and may have been able to on an eat/wake/eat/sleep cycle.)

3. Breastfeed at night. While one of Ezzo's selling points is the promotion of "sleeping through the night" from an early age for babies, because of the way the breastfeeding hormones work, many mothers have found the best way to keep up their milk supply is to have at least one and possibly two night nursings throughout the duration of the nursing season. Experienced moms have found that this night nursing does not cut into their rest or their baby's rest as much as Ezzo warns.

4. Switching to cue-feeding, and building routine and rhythm in other areas of their infant's day.

I think these article provides some good ideas:
But I Don't Want to Nurse All the Time OR Watch the Clock!
Establishing a Routine While Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding and the Bible

Soooo. . . feedback from breastfeeding, Babywise moms. . . What's worked for you?

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2005 series focusing on Gary Ezzo's parenting teachings.


July 16, 2005  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Finding "God's Way" in Parenting

The class ended, and we "graduated'. I was so excited aboout all the knowledge we had acquired -I felt like I had *THE* key to parenting, and couldn't understand why everyone that I told about it wasn't as excited as I was. I so wanted "likeminded" friends, and began to struggle over whether or not to continue friendships with non-Ezzo families. I was very worried about the potentially negative influence on Susannah by those children who were not being raised "God's way". I was feeling a little isolated, but was finally confident in my parenting - I just KNEW that I was doing the right thing and raising Susannah the right way.

Well, as life will, things changed. In a relatively short period of time, I got pregnant, had a *major* falling out with my best friend, my sister moved away, my husband's company fell apart, and our church split. Suddenly, some of those black and white "principles" weren't working in what was our new reality. . .


SandKsmama has posted part one of her experience with Growing Kids Gary's Way. I hope she's able to post part two online soon!

Many parents I have spoken to have said they finally realized that they weren't alone, when they started reading about the experiences of other families who used Ezzo's ideas. They saw that the struggles they had were not because they weren't being consistent with the principles--but that the ideas were flawed and not good for their families.

Read more stories from Ezzo parents at Voices of Experience.

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2005 series focusing on Gary Ezzo's parenting teachings.


July 15, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




Today I've been getting a lot of training a puppy, puppy training, how to train a puppy spam.

Reminds me of PuppyWise.


July 15, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo-made Morality?

KatieKind provides for her readers a partial transcript of a Gary and Anne Marie teaching tape. You can read the conversation and see how Gary Ezzo abandons Biblical morality for moral standards of his own making--in this case making a feeding schedule into a matter of morality.

Related to this is Tony Payne's article, The Ethics of Ezzo, published by Matthias Media in Australia where Ezzo's influence has been growing.

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2005 series focusing on Gary Ezzo's parenting teachings.


July 14, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Gary Ezzo and the Stains of Time

Mollie blogs on the concerns she sees at the heart of the Ezzo issue in beneath the stains of time the feelings disappear

". . .the darkest aspect of the teachings of ezzo and the like is not in the abandonment of babies and small children to cry themselves to sleep, not in the slapping of infants and toddlers for acting on God-given curiosity, heinous as i believe those abuses of power to be. these are only glimmers of the scariest thing of all, the obsession with having control. the need to look the part of the perfect Christian parent, to never be embarrassed by a disruptive toddler, a goofy looking teenager. the need to have every moment a picture of perfection, with children who do not express any emotion other than smiling compliance at every command, the family climate set at a breezy sixty eight degrees year 'round.

. . .

does Christ demand perfection of me? no! my only perfection comes from Christ alone, not from orchestrating a perfectly regimented lifestyle. why would i expect more of my child than Christ expects from me?

does Christ taunt me with sin and then slap me down and manipulate me and punish me every time i disobey? no! he covers me with grace and mercy for every minute of my life. when the King has forgiven my debt of "twenty years' wages", why would i in turn expect my child to pay to me the debt of "one day's wage?" (matthew 18:21-35)

does God answer me when i cry out to him, my father? yes! there is comfort and healing found in Christ. why would i then not answer the cries of my infant?

why would i not do everything i could to parent my child in the way God parents me?

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2005 series focusing on Gary Ezzo's parenting teachings.


July 13, 2005  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo and the Moral Reasons Why

Reasons Why is joining in our Ezzo Week blogging with a post focused on normal development, shyness and the Ezzo's weird moral constructs.

Brian sums it up in Ezzo on the Shy Child:

"This may seem like a trite example but it is typical of the way Ezzo constructs his program. Good principles like respecting age(as he mentions in the last sentence) are twisted to fit Gary's own personal application of that principle and then he elevates it to a moral standard which never existed in the first place.

Don't say you haven't been warned."

Update: This Reasons Why post is included in this week's Christian Carnival.

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2005 series focusing on Gary Ezzo's parenting teachings.


July 12, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What is Ezzo Parenting?

Ezzo Parenting Controversy 101: A summary of Ezzo parenting and the context of the Ezzo parenting discussion.

Gary Ezzo and Babywise: Key concerns in Ezzo's character and the teachings found in Babywise, from a Christian perspective.

Timeline of Ezzo Controversy: In this document, you'll see that the criticisms of Gary Ezzo stretch back over time, because of consistent patterns of behaviour and problematic teachings.

Want to learn more? Ask your questions in the friendly discussion atmosphere of, a meeting ground for concerned parents across the spectrum to dialogue in the interest of truth and loving our children.

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2005 series focusing on Gary Ezzo's parenting teachings.


July 11, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What Ezzo Says. . .

Pulling from the archives, these quotes were gleaned by an online friend who doesn't blog. All of these quotes are directly from Gary Ezzo. They speak for themselves.

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. . .

This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2005 series focusing on Gary Ezzo's parenting teachings.


July 09, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



It's Ezzo Week 2005!

Gary Ezzo's GFI National Leadership & Alumni Conference will be held next weekend at Citadel Square Baptist Church in Charleston , SC. In recognition of this annual event, we will be featuring posts related to Gary Ezzo and his parenting teachings.

If you want to join in the conversation, feel free to post in the comments. Or, pop on over to the AwareParent discussion board or the PP Ezzo board.


July 09, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Biblical Relationships or Behaviourism

This is written by one of the "older women" God has put in my life. I'm copying it here, so I can find it easily to reread when I need it.

Behaviorism is not a biblical means of dealing with PEOPLE. God has given people mental, emotional and spiritual faculties, a conscience, emotions, etc, and His Word shows over and over again that it is through those avenues that He reaches us and disciplines us and it is through those avenues that we are authorized to reach others and teach and discipline them. Here are some examples--observe the lack of Pearl-style training and instead the presence of grace based discipline:


"we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ" --Col 1:28

"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another..." Col 3:16

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart" Col 3:21

"We proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children, having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to are witnesses and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory."--1 Thess 2: 7 and following

"we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk) that you may excel still more for you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus."--1 Thess 4:1-2

"We request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you...and we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with all men...."--1 Thess 5:12 and following

"In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following." 1 Tim 4:6

And so on, and so on. In fact the very existence of the Bible itself is an example of grace-based discipline. God COULD have made it so that we didn't have a Bible, we just had bolts of lightning hit us when we got out of line. In a world like that, there would be no need of a Bible.

In the above examples, perhaps someone would say that it doesn't apply because Paul is teaching the churches how to disciple adults in the community of faith, but I believe that this emphasis on teaching, encouraging and admonishing is an EXAMPLE of the biblical relational model for teaching and learning, and although he is not discussing (for the most part) a parent/child situation he is discussing the situation of how people in some kind of spiritual authority are to disciple the rest. But notice too, when motherhood and fatherhood do come up in Paul's discourse, his tone and language does not change--and mothers are held up as a known example of gentleness, fathers are held up as known examples of patient instruction.

If we fail to notice and appreciate Paul's "grace-based" model, perhaps it's because it is too familiar and we take his level of civility and restraint of power for granted.

Thanks, katiekind. My continual prayer is to understand and integrate God's grace and the Gospel in my inner and external life.


June 12, 2005  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



AwareParent.Net is Back

After having the messageboard hacked, AwareParent.Net is back online.

AwareParent.Net serves as a forum intended as a friendly debate/discussion in order to promote truth and good parenting. We are a group composed primarily of Christians who have concerns about parenting principles such as those taught by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo and who feel called to encourage discussion about them.

I'm not a moderator for AwareParent.Net, but I know the mods there and they promote logic and good discussion. Those of all parenting persuasions are welcome.


June 06, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babywise Struggles -- Jenn's Story

I hated how weak I was. I hated to admit how much his crying affected me – tugged at my heartstrings. According to the book, I had to be strong and just do what was best for my child. Why was I having such a hard time with this? Didn’t I want to be a good parent? Didn’t I want a well-behaved baby?

Those feelings and fears are a motivating factor for many of the mothers I've known to use and keep using Ezzo's parenting materials. Read the rest of Jenn's story on how using Babywise impacted their family.

Jenn was interviewed by her local Fox affiliate, and the interview will be airing today, May 2nd.

Update: Read Jenn's thoughts on the interview. Read the interview transcript by going to, in the left sidebar click on "News" and then on "Fox Files." It's currently the top story.


May 02, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo in the Blogosphere

Check out these posts from the last week/last month related to Gary Ezzo, Babywise, et al.

Gary Ezzo and Babywise, from This Classical Life:
An excellent, well-reasoned summary of the problems with Gary Ezzo's parenting teachings.

The Stench of Legalism, from Chief Executive Mom:
Integrating the Gospel and grace in all areas of life, including parenting.

the ezzo nazi, from offsprings:
Interesting look at the impact of the Ezzo program in Singapore, along with the stereotypes of non-Ezzo families that Gary Ezzo promotes.

Babywise is Nasty, from dAdventure:
A guy's reaction to Babywise.

Anti-Ezzo Blogging, from Yellow Roses:
A summary, like this one, of Ezzo blogging. This is a newer blog, and one to watch.

All I Can Say is Wow, from Jenn's Blog:
Jenn has been interviewed by a Fox reporter--I wonder where this will lead?

You're Crunchy?, from Welcome to My Brain:
Thoughts on "crunchiness" from a mother who thought Gary Ezzo's ideas were good--before she had kids.

Sleeping Through the Night, from Uncle Sam's Cabin:
Questioning the holy grail of infant sleep--from a mother with an infant!

Ezzo in a Can, from @Large:
A lighthearted look at a cranky traveller dreaming of peaceful sleep, and a land where all parents use Ezzo.


April 25, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



On the Pearls and Parenting

This is an e-mail conversation I had with a young woman not long ago about the Pearls and their highly punitive parenting ideas. Although I'm more concerned about helping parents see the problems with Ezzo, I decided to make available here some of my thoughts about the Pearls/To Train Up a Child/No Greater Joy.


Hello, TulipGirl. My name is *******, and we've crossed each other's paths on a board by a woman named ********* talking about the book To Train Up a Child by Michael and Debi Pearl.

Hi, *******!

I remember you from *******’s blog. *grin*

I've been researching all I can about the Pearls, and I've come across your name a couple of times.

Research is good. I’m sure you’ve found a mixed bag of people who are thrilled with TTUAC and those who aren’t--as well as those who are rational about their opinions about TTUAC and those who are very emotional or accusatory. The Pearls aren’t my “pet issue” so I’m a bit surprised you came across my name a few times. I looked back through some things I’ve posted online and realized I had written more than I thought about them.

First, I'm interested to know what you (and others) find so objectionable about the Pearls.

The heart of the issue is that they are teaching something they claim is Biblical, but is instead based on Behaviour Modification and building a subculture. They are very persuasive, especially to young parents. I believe their underlying philosophy goes against applying the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our family life.

One way this comes up is, while there is mention of "tying heart strings", there is far more that leads parents/children into an antagonistic relationship. The parent/child antagonism is one of the key problems I have with the ******** site, in spite of the many professions of love and delight in children. The attitude behind “ambushing” children is antagonistic. The attitude of “power struggles” and “outlasting” is antagonistic. And, I believe, unsupportable Biblically.

Galatians 6 talks about discipline. . . “Brothers, if someone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. . .” Restoring gently, being careful yourself--that sounds nothing like the Pearls.

This antagonistic attitude towards children also comes across in things like their constant comparison between children made in the image of God and likening them to mere animals--horses, dogs, etc. For example:

"I became anxious and started pushing him to perform. He was making me look silly. "What right does he have to do this to me? Me, of all people. My family would have thought I was so smart, and now I look dumb. Stupid dog. Must be inbred." Sensing my disapproval, he started to shy away from me. To get my approval, he must make me look good in public. After all, what is a dog good for, but to elevate his master?"

Of course, the Pearls were talking about their dog here--but in the context of training children. The message is “What is a child good for, but to elevate his parent?” The focus shifts from discipling the little blessings God has given us, to placing our children’s worth on how well they perform. As well as deriving our worth as adults on our children’s performance.

Sadly, I know a lot of Christian parents who fall into the trap of thinking that way--that our children must be perfectly behaved, especially around others--and that leads parents and children into legalism, rather than into building a stronger relationship with one another and trusting in God. Pride and trusting one's "child training" can sometimes quench one's trust in God.

Another problem I have with the book is the theology. As Doug Wilson aptly said,

"The innate sinfulness of the child is denied, which leads the Pearls to sharply distinguish training from discipline. Training is what the innocent infants and toddlers get, and is identical to what puppies get when they don't go on the newspapers. Discipline supposedly comes later when sin enters the picture. While this is not a book of theology, a Finney-like Pelagianism runs near the surface. And while there are some similarities between animal training and child-discipline, the distinctions between the two are not adequately maintained in this book. The result of this confusion is not only heretical, but also offensive to any parents who value the dignity of their children."

I believe our parenting should be shaped by our theology--and I've found as I've grown in my walk with the Lord and in studying theology that it has impacted my parenting in a very big way.

I read a passage in the TableTalk devotional recently that pointed out to me, yet again, how theology impacts parenting.

"God is Father (James 1:27) and therefore loves His children deeply. Yet God is Judge (James 5:9) and thus is required to punish sin. God's love and righteousness, we know, motivated Him to accomplish redemption for us based on the sacrifice of His perfect Son who suffered the punishment we all deserve." --Robert Rothwell, TableTalk January 2005

Our children are part of the Covenant, and I believe Christ has already suffered the punishment for their sin on the Cross. I do not need to “punish” them when they do wrong. I do need to discipline them, disciple them, help them see their sin and repent, as well as help them learn the “rules” of living in polite society. I am not permissive. But I do not think that using a rod to spank my toddler, ala Pearl, will cleanse them of sin. Nor do I see any command in the Bible for parents to punish children for their sin--I do see many commands to disciple, discipline, teach, love, train and chastise.

I did a study on the Fruit of the Spirit several years ago. One of the things that surprised me was that in so many passages that talked about gentleness, it was linked with discipline. God puts the two together. There are other things related to what I’ve studied in the Bible and theology that leads me to have concerns about the Pearl’s parenting, but I don’t want to overwhelm you.

As I posted before, I don't agree with 100% of what they say,

Is there anyone that we would say we agree with 100%? *grin* I’m curious what you disagree with that they teach?

But their principle - that children should obey their parents - seems sound.

Biblical, even. *grin* Btw, it isn’t “their” principle or even that which is what is controversial about what they teach. I’m not sure whether I mentioned over at ******’s or not, but I started my parenting journey with a strong view that I was required to make my children obey. Now I believe that I am called to help them obey, as they become the people God has created them to be. There is a world of difference between the ideas make and help.

And, a look at Ephesians 6 reminds us that God is talking to His littlest disciples in that passage, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” That’s quite a difference from if it read (as many seem to assume) “Parents, make your children obey you, for this is right in the Lord.”

And again, while sometimes they go overboard, I think their style of parenting - strict - works in the long run.

In what ways do you think they go overboard? Are you aware that there are many parents who are strict who don’t embrace a Pearl parenting style? You’d probably agree with a “mean what you say and way what you mean” attitude in parenting. Are you aware there are parents who do that without resorting to either “ambush” swats or bribery?

I mentioned on xxxx that according to one study, children who had strict boundaries were less likely to end up taking drugs as teenagers.

Firm boundaries, I believe, are a good thing. The Pearls don’t have the corner on the market for that. That is not unique to their teachings. One friend of mine, Joanne, is very firm in her boundaries but enforces those boundaries in a way that isn’t laced with Pearl-esque Behaviour Modification. Take a look Joanne's Discipline Resource Center.

One characteristic of those teens who did take drugs was that their parents had difficulty punishing them as children.

I’d be interested to know what is meant by “punishing.” I no longer punish my children. Christ has borne the punishment for their sins on the Cross. I do enforce boundaries and discipline my children. Personally, I have wider boundaries than I used to have with them--but they are older now and I’m less of a control freak than I was when I was a younger mom. *grin*

Second, I think a lot of people tend to lump Pearl and Ezzo together in the same boat as a knee-jerk reaction.

Knee jerk? Some people online do seem to be a bit reactionary, don’t they? *grin* The vast majority, though, seem to understand the issues either from experience, evidence-based concerns or the Bible.

I usually see Ezzo and Pearl discussed separately--only linked when misuse of the Bible is being talked about in the context of parenting teachings (or, like over at ******, when one is presented as an alternative to the other.)

I respect a parent's decision never to spank, but somehow to me the anti-spanking movement has become a bit of a cult: Thou shalt not spank.

I can’t defend the anti-spanking movement as I’m not part of it, per se.

And somehow the anti-Pearlers, and anti-spankers in general, seem to take a "more enlightened than thou" approach:

I think we need to clarify before going on. While anti-spankers will almost always be anti-TTUAC, not everyone who has serious problems with TTUAC is an anti-spanker. Lumping them together may lead to people not seeing the concerns in TTUAC as valid. (Saying this to clarify that I know spankers who do not like TTUAC in the least.)

that they, not the parents of that particular child, know what's best for somebody else's family.

That’s interesting. I hear more “This is the only way to raise Godly children” from people advocating the Pearls, the ******, the Ezzos--and a lot of condescension to those poor mothers who don’t know any better or are too “afraid” to spank.

To be honest, I would love to see more grace and patience shown to mothers with different values in parenting from all involved. I am completely convinced that parents who embrace a Pearl style of parenting are doing so out of love for their children.

However, love is shown by actions as well as attitudes, and the actions the Pearls advocate are very often unloving.

The final thing: the "Pearl" method of parenting is similar to that our parents and grandparents used, to some extent, and which they still use in some countries today. It's hard to believe that modern-day North American kids, who are less likely to be physically punished, are really so much better off psychologically than everyone else.

Likely, we will all be psychologically messeed up in one way or another by mistakes our parents made. I believe a mother’s love and God’s grace cover a multitude of mistakes.

Having known people both brought up in a Pearl manner, as well as talking with the older generation you appeal to, well, I see plenty of problems.

One friend (parents were Pearl followers) continues to be estranged from her parents. Another (older generation) person I know, a dear believing woman, has gone through much counseling and spiritual growth in dealing with the constant “you don’t measure up” messages from her childhood. (And while the Pearls may deny that is what they say, they are communicating performance-based worth to their children.)

Another guy I know was the poster child for Pearl parenting. He courted a young lady, they did everything “right”, were married and divorced two years later. Only then did it come out that he had been living a double life--the “good kid” around the homeschool groups and church, and the rebellious adult he had become. Good, godly, strict parents. . .

Another family’s oldest son started sleeping around at 12 (again, a family who was doing everything “right” by the ideals taught by the Pearls and related subcultures) and is still involved with drugs at 25.

These were dear, praying, active Christian families who were strict and didn’t “spare the rod” but were sure to use it. They were consistent, involved in church, homeschoolers (all of them) and definitely “tying heartstrings”. I’m sure you can find good results to balance each of these sad results--but that’s not the point.

The point is the almost-blanket-guarantee that is given by the Pearls is just not sound. Early child training through quick swats when kids disobey will not guarantee an obedient child, a non-rebellious teen, or a spiritually secure and emotionally healthy adult.

I suppose the only way to "test" the Pearls' method would be to compare, say, 100 families who used the Pearls' method and 100 who did not. And even this would be difficult because the two groups of families would probably differ in many other ways too. Most of the anecdotes I hear about the Pearls are positive, so in some ways I don't know why if it worked for others it would not work for me if I had kids.

*L* Well, I guess I got ahead of the flow of the e-mail with the above descriptions of some problem-child Pearl scenarios.

Whether or not it “works” is in large part determined by how you define “works.” My goal is to help my children become the people God has created them to be, with an emphasis on them relying upon God’s grace for their daily living. I want to help them learn to recognize their sin and turn to God in repentance. I want to model for them what it looks like to lean into God when we are struggling.

Meeting these goals is how I’ll eventually be able to measure whether my parenting choices are “working.” But, I can tell you now, that the teachings from the Pearls will not “work” for meeting these goals.

So I guess I just wanted to know the reason for your animosity towards the Pearls (and I'm not advocating the Pearls; I'm just curious as to why some people are so vehemently against them).

I hold no personal animosity towards the Pearls. I do oppose their teachings because they teach Behaviour Modification and call it “Biblical training.” I oppose their teaching because while it may seem to “work” in the short term for some families, it sets up an antagonistic parent/child relationship based on control. I oppose their teachings because it leaves little room for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of the parents or children, and does not turn the children towards the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Grace and Peace,

Other Related Resources:
Authoritarianism and Isolationism Among Us
Parenting Decisions: Discipline
Biblical Discipline: Conclusions
TTUAC Review by Wendy
Why Not "Train A Child"?
Avoiding Millstones
AwareParent Forum

Update: Related blogging this week at Carol's Storybook, Knitted in the Womb and My One Long Day.


March 13, 2005  |  Comments (43)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What Ezzo Says About Punishment. . .

This is the last of a four part series. Thanks to elcollins and Cheryl Tyler for compiling these quotes.

Guilt and Spankings: "A child knows when he has broken the rules, and his guilt continually reminds him of his violation. Guilt is the reminder of sin. Chastisement (Ezzo's term for spanking) is the price paid to remove the guilt thus [sic] free the child from his burden. If the parents do not remove the guilt, the child lives under the weight of sin. When an offense calls for chastisement, parents should chastise. If they substitute a lesser punishment, the guilt remains, and the child will suppress it. That, in turn, leads to more antisocial behavior." (GKGW p. 212)

Spanking, Chastisement and Punishment: Three chapters in GKGW are devoted to spanking with Biblical passages to support Ezzo's theory. The type instrument to use is described as: "a somewhat flexible instrument (that) stings without inflicting bone or muscle damage…if there is no pain, then the instrument is probably too light or too flexible" (p. 217). Children as young as 14 months are spanked with three to five swats (per incident); older children receive more (an ambiguous term that could result in abuse).

Spanking Toddlers: "75 to 80 percent of all spankings will take place between 14 and 40 months. The last 20 percent will come sporadically over the next ten years" (i.e. when a child is around 13 1/2 years of age) (Ezzo & Ezzo, 1997, p. 218).

Spanking and Pain: Ezzo claims that pain (of spanking) "plays a part in the developmental process." He explains that pain is the "natural outcome of wrong behavior," and it needs to be "artificially created" (p. 199).

"Chastisement" Tool: "A wooden spoon could possibly break fingers that get in the way, cause vertebral damage if struck too high, or damage skin tissue. Nor should we chastise with a instrument that is too flexible, such as a father's belt, a wire or any whip-like object. However, a somewhat flexible instrument stings without inflicting bone or muscle damage, since the flex itself absorbs much of the shock at contact. If there is no pain, then the instrument is probably too light or too flexible." In an interview, the Ezzos say they used a wood paint stirrer on their children, but that a rubber spatula would work fine, too.

Punishment during Potty Training
: “As a general rule, parents who have trained their child to first-time obedience have fewer problems in potty training than those parents who have not. If soiling continues to be a problem with a child who is over two-and-a-half years of age, hold the child accountable for his or her accidents. By that we mean the child should clean up himself or herself, plus the soiled clothes.” (Babywise II, p128-9)

Spanking Toddlers and Removing Guilt: (BBC Interview)
Paxman: Could you explain why it is that smacking is the only way to get a child aware of guilt?
Gary Ezzo: Get, get rid of his guilt?
Paxman: Get rid of a child’s guilt, yes.
Gary Ezzo: No, I can’t, because we don’t necessarily believe that in the context in which you’re presenting it. What we’re talking about is there’s got to be removal of guilt somehow. Smacking, as we’re talking about in young children, is one of the ways. To say it’s the only way is probably—well, that’s 1993, and this is 1999. There’s been like six editions since, so….

Ezzo on the Parent / Child Relationship: "Your task is to get control of the child so you can effectively train him." (GKGW)

Parent's Job or Holy Spirit's Job?: "The job of a parent is to transform the heart from what it is to what it should be." (GKGW p 308)

Christ's Work on the Cross Does Not Apply to Children: "We cannot make a true comparison between a child's disobedience towards his parents and the parents' disobedience toward God. God does not deal with us on the basis of what we do, but on the basis of what Christ has done. Someone had to pay the consequences in order to allow God's grace and mercy to be poured out. The price was pad in full by our mediator, Jesus Christ, at Calvary." (GKGW, p 317)

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: Related conversations are continuing at Carol's Storybook, SandKsmamas Space, Wyatt's Torch, CJ's Thoughts, Happy2bMama, Batesline Blog, Anne's Cafe, Curious Goldie and more Goldie, Starbellys, Knitted in the Womb, My Bloggy Blog, Caroline, Spiritual Ingenue, Plum Crazy< and The Powers that Blog. And Hubby has quite a bit to say on Ezzo's Spanking Fetish.


February 21, 2005  |  Comments (23)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Parenthetical Parenting Thought

I got to thinking about what I have learned in the way of parenting over the years and why I parent the way I do. I thought I would share some things here. Now, please do not take this as a judgement from me that if you do not do things "my way" you are wrong. That is not what I am saying at all. My children are not your children and they are each individuals - therefore I treat them and raise them as such. I am not looking down my nose at anyone on this issue. We do what we know and what we feel is best for our own children. --Leann

Over the past few days I've been mulling over how I want to state some of the ideas that Leann has shared.

Obviously, I'm outspokenly critical of Gary Ezzo and his parenting ideas. I want it to be plain that's what I am--critical of a set of ideas, or "philosophy" as Ezzo calls it--not critical of parents.

One of the things that saddends me most about the Ezzo materials is how proponents of the program are quick to blame the mother when the promised results of the program are not seen. If it "works"--then it is to the praise of the Ezzo books! If it doesn't, either the parents were not being consistent with the principles or they were being "too flexible."

I believe that when parents make decisions based on faulty premises, those well-meaning and loving decisions can still be harmful to their children. Gary Ezzo's ideas are medically and--dare I say it--philosophically flawed.

That's how devoted, loving mothers like CR can end up with a child with a serious attachment disorder. Or a spiritually strong pastor's wife like M, can come to a point where she realizes she's putting the Ezzo books ahead of The Book. Or a gung-ho breastfeeding advocate can end up with major milk supply problems and an infant losing weight. Or the mom who used the Ezzo materials for 10 years deeply regrets the impact these ideas had on her children as they got older.

Were any of these mothers less loving or less committed to their children? No! But they were making decisions based on unsound medical information and a set of ideas that goes against true Biblical principles.

Are there families who use ideas from Gary Ezzo and have wonderful kids? You bet! But I am convinced that the success they see is not due to these "principles" but directly due to having loving, involved, active parents and God pouring out his grace.


February 16, 2005  |  Comments (30)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What Ezzo Says about Babies and Toddlers. . .

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

These quotes illustrate Gary Ezzo's attitude towards infants, his lack of understanding of normal childhood development, and tendency to turn normal growth and development into "moral" issues.

My three-week-old baby starts to cry one hour after his last feeding and appears hungry. I've tried to stretch his time but can't get him to go longer. What's the problem?

If baby is hungry, feed him. Then, spend some time investigating the probable cause of his uncooperative stance. Most often, a baby fails to make the 2 1/2-hour minimum (especially babies over two weeks of age) because the order of daytime activities is reversed. . . . But investigate why he is not reaching the minimum mark and start working toward it. (From the GFI Web Site)

Ezzo on Crying:
"Crying for 15-20 or even 30 minutes is not going to hurt your baby physically or emotionally, especially if the cry is a continual start-stop cry. He will not lose brain cells, experience a drop in IQ, or have feelings of rejection that will leave him manic depressive at age thirty." (See here.)

"When your baby awakens [in the middle of the night] do not rush right in. Any crying will be temporary, lasting from 5-45 minutes." (Speaking of babies 8 weeks and over)

Ezzo on When Not to Let Baby Cry
"When special situations arise, allow context to guide you.... You are on an airplane and your six-month-old begins to fuss loudly. You last fed him only two hours earlier. What should you do?.... The context and ethics involved require that you not let your baby’s routine disturb the flight for everyone else. Failing to act will bring stress both to you and to the rest of the passengers. Although you normally wouldn’t feed him so soon after his last feeding, the context of the situation dictates that you temporarily suspend your normal routine." (The inference here is that it is ethical to feed this hungry baby at two hours and not three hours ONLY because his cries will disturb others and stress out the mom?)

"You and your ten-month-old daughter are staying overnight in the home of a friend. She usually sleeps through the night, but this night she wakes at 3:00 AM. What is the morally correct action to take? Pacify the child and help her return to sleep. Yes, at home she may fall back to sleep in five minutes with a little bit of fussing or crying, but you’re not at home--you are a guest in someone else’s home, and your child is disturbing the sleep of others."

"Your life will be less tense if you consider the context of each situation and respond appropriately for the benefit of everyone." (Babywise II, p 21-22) (Please notice that the only time to tend to your baby before you want to is when it bothers other adults.)

Ezzo on Separation Anxiety:
"If you had a weekly date night with your spouse before the baby was born, continue that practice as soon as you can. . . A child does not go through separation anxiety when his mommy is with his daddy." (Prep p32)

Ezzo on High Chair Manners

"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 5-15 month olds)

"Even at mealtime, be looking for training opportunities in order to avoid retraining. Don’t allow poor eating habits-- such as fingers in the mouth, playing with food, and spitting out food--to become a normal pattern of your child’s behavior. It only means correcting the child at a later date." (Babywise II, p44 - again for 5-15 month olds)

"It’s possible to train your child not to drop his or her food by giving immediate attention to the offense. First, correct the child verbally. Next, provide an attention- getting squeeze or swat to the hand, if necessary. Finally, isolate him or her in the crib.... If the child persists in the behavior (and some will), mealtime may be over and naptime might begin.... In the past, educators were concerned with parents who pushed their children too fast. Today, we are concerned with parents who don’t push their children enough." (Babywise II, P62)

"Included in the group of common highchair violations are: flipping the plate; dropping and throwing food; playing with food; placing messy hands in the hair; banging on the tray; standing in the highchair; arching the back; spitting 'raspberries'; screaming." (Babywise II, P61)

Four to six months: "He strings together several different sounds (badabadaba), and he blows raspberries." (A developmental action and a highchair violation?) (Babywise II, p 117)

Ezzo on Waking Up Happy
"Your baby’s disposition upon waking can be happy and content when you follow three basic rules.
Rule One: Mom, not baby, decides when the nap starts.
Rule Two: Mom, not baby, decides when the nap ends.
Rule Three: If your baby wakes up crying or cranky, it’s most often because he or she has not had sufficient sleep...If you leave the baby in the crib, even though the baby may fuss or cry, he or she will probably go right back to sleep (within ten minutes) for another rest period that extends thirty to forty minutes." (Babywise II, p 106, Preparation for Parenting, p130-1) (Wake up "happy" or cry. Naps are not based on infant cues or need to sleep, but mother's decision.)
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: Related blogging at Yellow Porch, The Prattling Pastor's Wife, Rebbeca Writes, Powers that Blog, Keel the Pot and A Capable Wife. For a differing point of view, see My Three Pennies.


February 15, 2005  |  Comments (25)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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 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.


February 13, 2005  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What Ezzo Says About Me. . .

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

According to Ezzo, I am. . .

Not Parenting As A Christian: "Working from a biblical mindset and practicing demand-feeding can never be harmonized since the two are incompatible philosophies." quote is the 1993 Christianity Today article

“In their thinking, they are Christians up to a point...That creates a false dualism...the notion that there are sacred and secular sides of life” [Secular defined by Ezzo is parenting styles other than his] (Preparation for Parenting, p 18)

"Mothers who demand feed say they love their children because they tend to their every need. That is not biblical love; it's idolatry." (Prep) [Note that Mr. Ezzo says the idolatry is in meeting their needs, not wants]

Disobedient: “*find* a demand feeding baby and a demand feeding family–-ask yourself,..."Is this what we want from a child...*Look* at the child's behavior. *Listen* to the mother's excuses. Is *that* what you want? ... If you don't, come on over to routine, and see what routine can do for you and your family. Put yourself in a position to be blessed by God! ... By being obedient to Him, from the beginning. “ Quote from tapes

Ignorant: "Asked in a telephone interview if Christian mothers could, in good conscience, practice attachment parenting, Anne Marie Ezzo would only concede that such mothers could probably be excused for their ignorance." (from Neo-Evangelizing..)

Hurting my babies: "Of course you can hurt a baby by picking him up too much." (Prep pg 141)

Abusive: In reference to family bed "Emotionally, this method is passively abusive. It may create a state of abnormal dependency on the sleep prop to the point that the child actually fears falling asleep when transitioned to his own bed." (GKGW pg 72?)

In bondage: "There is a much better way than being in bondage to your baby's sleep needs." (GKGW pg 71?)

Negatively Submissive
: Feeding times are guided strictly by the single variable of hunger cues. (Cues include baby putting fist toward mouth, making sucking motions, or whimpering. Crying is a late signal of hunger.) The constant of time is not considered. The parents' role is to be submissive to hunger cues (Growing Families International Web Site)

Secular and Freudian: [attachment parenting is a] Neoprimitivistic school of child care (Prep 5th ed.. pg 42)

Self-limiting: AP bolsters a limited view of women (Prep pg 43)

Unfashionable?: Marsupial mothering is on the way out (Prep 5th Ed. pg 54)

Not Glorifying God: Anne Marie says something like "There is nothing glorifying to God about a baby with carrots in his hair" in Growing Kids God's Way Tape

Damaging My Child’s Intelligence: "During the 1970s, playpens were dismissed as a hindrance to a child's natural development. Today researchers know better. Playpens are necessary to help parents optimize their child's development. The most basic academic skills, sitting, focusing and concentrating, start in the playpen....The repertoire of skills a child attains through these activities could otherwise be seriously delayed if he misses out on structured playpen time." --Prep for Parenting, edition 5, p175-177 (note, Ezzo has provided no research to back his claims about "playpen time.")

: "When a baby cries and gnaws at his hands, we often assume he must be hungry and should be fed. There are many reasons babies cry, but it is amazing that hunger is the only reason the average person considers!" (pg 139) [Again, I don’t know anyone who automatically equates crying with hunger]

Evil: Ezzo is adamant in his advocacy of a parent-centered family structure, and conversely, he deplores, almost obsessively, the "evils...of child-centered parenting," (14) referring to it as "Satan's tool to destroy the family." (13) (From Neo-Evangalizing) (13= GKGW: Ethics for Parenting) (14=Prep for Parenting: A Biblical Perspective)

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: Related blogging this week from Hubby, Carol, Jen N Tonic, PhotoGrove, Dina's Diary, Bloggy Blog, Reasons Why, Smart Christian, A Capable Wife, Knitted in the Womb and the AwareParent discussion board. Among Ezzo supporters are posts from Structrue For Babies (sic) and BabySchedules.


February 12, 2005  |  Comments (20)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




Suppose: A company called "Puppywise" sells as its principle product a device called the SDC: the Shock-Delivering Collar, which they recommend you use to housebreak your puppy.

A veterinarian and member of the respected AADT (American Association of Dog Trainers), Dr. Meany, becomes aware of a number of cases of over-aggressive dogs who were housebroken with this collar. He sends a letter of concern to the AADT signed by himself and over 100 other vets and animal care professionals. As a result, he is invited to write a commentary for the AADT Newsletter entitled "Puppywise linked to agression."

At the same time, the AADT releases a statement to the media reaffirming its long-held position that "collars which deliver shocks may lead to over-aggressive pets" and that "the best collars for puppies are those which are not electrified."

Which of the following statements, then, is most correct?
A) The AADT supports Puppywise
B) The AADT is neutral on Puppywise
C) The AADT is against Puppywise

Read the rest of the analogy from lmf3b.

Related Links:
AAP Media Alert: Scheduled vs. Demand Feeding
AAP Resolution on Infant Management Programs
Florida AAP Raises Concerns About Babywise
AAP Policy: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk Updated Feb 2005!


February 01, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo in the Blogosphere

While Gary Ezzo has barely been mentioned here the past few weeks, his name has been coming up all over online. Interestingly, it isn't the mamas who are blogging about him, but the dads. . .

For example, everyone's favorite goddess-loving daddy-blogger, The Zero Boss, admits he struggles against the Christian stereotypes he holds and praises the Christians who vocally point out the errors of Ezzo's ways.

In that article, he mentioned Hubby's post Sex Ed, Repressed Authoritarian Style. Be sure to read the full critique of Reflections of Moral Innocence and comments from Dr. Barbara Francis.

Gid has a new baby in the house, and so is thinking more about cue-feeding and how PDF feeds into a parent's need to control.

And Jenn's husband almost hijacks her new blog--but instead asks her to post a collection of links he's uncovered about Ezzo.

Late addition: Also, read Carol's info on Ezzo-style crying, and comforting the needy infant.


January 21, 2005  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Kids vs. Marriage

"A deeper problem I have with the advocacy of date nights is the underlying message behind them. Invariably the message that is clearly stated . . . or subtly alluded to is that children are a hindrance to the marriage, and parents must be regularly separated from the children to maintain a healthy marriage. . . . I think setting them up as adversaries to the marriage is unhealthy. The Bible states that children are a blessing. But far too often I think that in Christian society we don’t really see them that way. We see them as "in the way" far to often. . . "

While I personally enjoy date nights with Hubby, I think Jenn is right on in her essay Children vs. the Marriage?

I have heard teachers and writers too often encourage antagonistic relationships within families--parents vs. children, husband vs. wife. (Gary Ezzo springs to mind.) While I don't believe these teachers or parents are desirous of that outcome, their ideas set people up for interacting in controlling, conflict-ridden ways within families.

Wouldn't it be great if the Church encouraged adults to embrace attitudes ones of "We're all on the same team! We're in the same Body of Christ!" within their families?


January 18, 2005  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Love in the Family

More for the Mommy-Inspiration files. . .

You cannot spoil anyone by truly loving them (meaning always doing what is best for them, not what is expedient or easy). Loving means meeting needs as you see them. And that can and does include the important skill of delaying gratification and learning to live WITH your fellow human beings, all at appropriate ages.

If love is your motivating force, you will be able to enjoy a relationship with your family from birth to old age. That isn't to say all will be rosy, but at least you will know that your motivation is on track even when your practice is a bit out of whack for a time. I remember telling my oldest when he was 12 that he could always trust my motivation was love for him even if things didn't always seem that way in the moment.

I try to live that every day, to love and act from love all the time. And even when I fail at it from time to time, I know where the mark is again. . . .Just live, love and be loved. We only get this moment right now... --Patti, Mom to 9 in Ohio


January 15, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Bible Guide To Sex and Marriage

Top 10 Biblical Ways to Acquire a Wife
This is satire.

Christian Sex-Ed, Repressed Authoritarian Style
This isn't.


January 14, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Get Off Your Butt Parenting

My friend Joanne, aka The Happy Homeschooler, has been updating her Positive Discipline Resource Center website. If you've heard the phrases Get off Your Butt Parenting or Pass the Bean Dip, you've already been introduced to Joanne's common sense and witty style of encouragement. It's worth the time to surf and be inspired.

For more Mommy inspiration and ideas, check out:
Parenting Decisions
The Family Corner (The Prewetts)
Gentle Christian Mothers


January 10, 2005  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Adoption and Attachment Resources

A friend of mine was asking me the other day for which resources I've found online concerning adoption and attachment. A good friend of hers is in the process of adopting an infant, and has been encouraged by church friends to use Gary Ezzo's "Babywise" manual with this adopted child. It's hard--I have an Ezzo-mama friend whose son was dx'd RAD, and an adoptive mom friend whose older child was dx'd RAD.

While one cannont conclusively say that "CIO/Ezzo --> Attachment Problems," there are many resources that indicate the parenting ideas expoused by Ezzo do undermine the development of parent/child attachment. Sadly, these parents do love their children dearly, even when their actions may be preventing a strong and healthy attached relationship.

Attachment Disorders
Adoption and Attachment

Here at TulipGirl:
Loving Families and Reactive Attachment Disorder
Mommies, Babies, and Chemistry
Different But Equal


January 02, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Real Ultimate Ezzo!!!

Have you seen the "cult classic" webpage, Real Ultimate Power Ninjas?

I first saw it linked from Mike and Kristen's blog. It spawned a whole slew of parodies.

The latest is one I think y'all might get a laugh from:
Real Ultimate Power Ezzo!!!!



November 22, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Gary Ezzo Expose Update

WXYZ - Detroit, MI
Reporting by Steve Wilson and Ann Mullen
Baby Care Controversy, Part 1
Baby Care Controversy, Part 2

KAKE - Witchita, KS
Reporting by Rachel Phillips
Unwise Advice?

Be sure to view the video feeds for the full stories.

Update: Also blogging on the Ezzo investigations:
Uncle Sam's Cabin
Breastfeeding News Weblog
Muslim Mother's Thoughts
Le Sabot Post-Moderne
BatesLine Blog
Reasons Why
This Classical Life


November 17, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Investigative Reporting: Gary Ezzo


The report is up, Baby Care Controversy.

"It is dangerous to do it the way he describes," Pediatrician Dr. Rosemary Shy says of Ezzo's technique. "It puts these babies at risk for jaundice, at risk for dehydration, and at risk for failing to thrive, all of which we’ve seen."

"Alleged Baby Expert Investigated"

Gary Ezzo has built a big business telling parents he's a baby expert. But his controversial advice has put some infants in the hospital. Chief Investigator Steve Wilson goes after the facts in this man's world of books and videos. A 7 On Your Side Investigation Monday at 6:00PM on 7 Action News.

Detroit's ABC affiliate, WXYZ Channel 7, will be airing an investigative report on "alleged baby expert" Gary Ezzo. Those in the Detroit area can catch it at 6 pm, Monday, November 15th.

For the rest of us, the clip will be available from the WXYZ website after the program airs.

For more information about Ezzo parenting, I recommend visiting the Ezzo Controversy Timeline or the AwareParent.Net discussion board.


November 15, 2004  |  Comments (14)  |  TrackBack (2)  |  Permalink



Ezzo.Info: Fall Focus '04

Professional critiques of Growing Kids God's Way

Growing Kids God's Way?
by Dr. Barbara Francis

An Evaluation of the Ezzo Parenting Programs
by Dr. Kent McClain

Focus on the Family statement of concern
-- received from FOTF Sept 04

(Via Ezzo.Info)


October 29, 2004  |  Comments (13)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Help for de-Ezzoing

Courtesy of's Listmania:
Help for De-Ezzoing.

Also recommended:
Aware Parent Forum
FREEfromEZZO Yahoo List
Unprepared for Parenting
Ezzo Parenting Discussion


September 18, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Discussion Invitation

You'll see me there. *grin*

"[T]here is a new message board for open debate and discussion of ezzo parenting and issues:

Metochoi and I (taketime) are moderating and I know our hope and that of the founders of the board is to have a similar respectful, civil environment that we have grown to enjoy here and that has made this a real "debate ministry" -- strange as that may seem! :-) The hope is that zippier software (and no pop-up advertising) will make for a nice environment. There was a lot of grumbling and a big drop-off in participation when PP changed the messageboard environment here, and we're hoping the new board may fill a need.

Any questions? You can email me at taketyme_007 AT (there's an underscore between the taketyme and the 007)

Now: wherever you fall on this issue---consider yourselves warmly invited; feel free to pass word along to others who may be interested in an open discussion/debate!


(via Ezzo Debate Board)


August 25, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babywised and Hospitalized

Today, Ezzo.Info's "Voices of Experience" has added a new account of yet another family that has suffered from applying the parenting principles taught by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo.

He was admitted to the hospital after being diagnosed with FTT (failure to thrive) and severe dehydration. As I was frantically gathering things for the hospital, I collapsed from grief and cried aloud asking "Am I going to lose my baby?" The torment I was feeling at that moment, allowed me to begin questioning what we had been doing.

Read the full story, Our Journey to Freedom.

And yes, this is the same mother I quoted last month, but now her whole story is available at Ezzo.Info.

Update: Blogs4God mentioned Sozo's post about this family's experience with Ezzo. Our Anne also uses this story to warn parents about Babywise. And Carol's post about the Pearl's "To Train Up a Child," also provides information on Ezzo this week.


August 24, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babywise in Russian, part II

Earlier this year, I sadly discovered that Babywise is now being published in Russian, under the name "How to Teach A Baby to Sleep Through the Night."

Here's the advertising blurb, po-russki:

Как научить младенца спать всю ночь? Именно так и называется книга Гарри Эззо и Роберта Букнама, изданная новосибирским издательством «Посох». Эта книга из серии «Тихая ночь» посвящена воспитанию детей первого года жизни. Каких только методик по воспитанию детей не существует!

Thanks to my friend Maria, we were able to get our experience with Ezzo parenting translated into Russian.

Yesterday, Hubby and I went to a Christian bookstore here in Kyiv. I asked the manager whether or not they had the Russian Babywise in stock. He assured me that while it wasn't on the shelf, he had recently ordered it. I handed him a copy of our story in Russian. After reading it, he was very upset. Hubby clarified some of the medical and Scriptural problems with Babywise. It was too late to cancel this order, but the manager said they wouldn't order it again.

We'll be going back in a few weeks, and I'm planning to take enough copies of our story so the manager can enclose them with the books and parents can, at least, get more information before choosing to implement Babywise's faulty ideas with their own children.

More Info:
At least 7000 copies published, from at least one publisher.
See the cover of Как научить младенца спать всю ночь: Книга о воспитании детей первого года жизни: Система "Тихая ночь", and read more at Ezzo.Info.

Перевод текста.


August 18, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babywise Backlash

Robert Williams shared his observations of how Ezzo's teachings are impacting the families in his church.

Babywise is fairly popular in our church, even among more family-oriented people. One thing I've noticed is that none of the "babywise" kids are cuddly. They don't like to snuggle up to Mom and Dad. Some of the "babywise" moms have said they are a little bit happy when their kids get sick, because then their kids *want* to cuddle up to them. One of them was holding one of our babies once and, since she knew we weren't "babywise", went ahead and indulged herself by rocking him much longer than Ezzo would approve of. Another was actually apologetic because while her daughter was ill, she rocked her to sleep. "I know you're not supposed to do this, but you know, every once in a while it doesn't hurt."

And of course, these parents rarely talk about the horror stories of letting their children scream themselves to sleep. Of finding, after an hour or more, that their son was screaming because his foot was stuck in the crib slats. Of coming in much later to find that their baby had thrown up all over herself from screaming. Of finding the next morning that their daughter had thrown up in bed and fell asleep with her face in it.

It's cool, I guess, that these moms can deposit their wide-awake toddlers in bed in a darkened room and walk out, without being burdened by such things as singing, stories, or rocking them. But it's not a price I'll pay. My sleep and my priorities aren't quite that important. So what if my kids cramp my style.

from comments by Robert Williams

This captures the way Ezzo-thinking impacts families--mothers apologizing for rocking babies to sleep, being fearful of starting "bad habits", being thankful kids are cuddly because they're sick. The problems with Ezzo parenting include a lot of intangibles and subtle attitudes--not simply the breastfeeding or growth issues that are most often discussed.


August 14, 2004  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Let’s Ask Ezzo

As controversy has increased around Babywise author Gary Ezzo in the United States, he has expanded his business into international markets. One of the most lucrative of these markets has been Australia.

During one of his early promotional tours Down Under, Ezzo was confronted by Christian mother and childbirth education instructor Allison Hilbig. If you are at all familiar with Gary Ezzo, it is well worth reading both the Timeline of the Ezzo Controversy as well as Allison Hilbig’s account, A Personal Encounter with Gary Ezzo.

Some highlights:

Allison: . . .My question is: why should we use your program when I have 97 pages of articles from Christian organisations and health professionals expressing their concerns about the material in your program.

Gary: Honey, honey, you have no idea what you are talking about.

Allison: Why is it that some Christian groups will not endorse it and even your former church where you were a pastor will no longer endorse your material and will no longer use it within the church?

Gary: Honey, that material has been in the church for the past 12 years - so don't tell me it won't still be used.

Allison: Why did your church release a public statement to say it would not endorse your material and if I can quote from it: "Gary Ezzo is prone to ....."

Gary: That was all politics. You know why they said that - because they're jealous. Because I'm over here ministering and they don't want me to be.

. . .

Allison:. . .Why are you unable to back up any of the claims you make in your manuals? Where is the evidence to support your claims?

Gary: It's all there sweetheart. It's all there if you want to look at it.

Honey has a brain and did her research. Ezzo doesn't seem to like his "expert" status being questioned. If you have a copy of Babywise or another of his parenting books, you'll see, as Sweetheart did, that Ezzo's footnotes are more for extraneous comments than for backing up his claims with valid research.

Gary: And where are you children right now?

Allison: I don't think that's any of your business.

Gary: See, everyone, she doesn't even have children of her own.

Crowd: Typical, ha.

Allison: Excuse me, but I do - I have 2 children.
[This was true in 1997; today Allison has 4 children--ed.]

. . .

Gary: And does anyone look at your children and comment on how well behaved they are? Do people ask you how you've parented them? No, they don't, do they?

Allison: Well actually they do. Many people have commented.

Gary: Oh... well ... that's good. But do you have an international ministry? Do you - no!

What good is an "international ministry" when the best thing that you can say about your own relationship with your grown children is that it is merely "cordial," as Gary Ezzo has? And when does having an "international ministry" free someone from being accountable to the elders of his own church?

Allison: Well - why did Christianity Today publish an article expressing their concerns.

Gary: Christianity Today? That was a joke. Just a joke.

These articles published by Christianity Today are a joke?
Brave New Baby
Unprepared to Teach Parenting
Growing Criticism

Gary: You're an attachment parent, aren't you? You've demand fed your babies, haven't you? You're ashamed of it, aren't you? You are, aren't you? Go on - admit it - you're ashamed you've demand fed...

ROTFLOL!!! I can't speak for Allison, but the idea that Gary thinks any mother is "ashamed" of having demand fed their babies simply cracks me up. If anything, I'm ashamed that I trusted Gary Ezzo to provide factual information when I was making decisions with my first two children.

Again, I recommend Allison's A Personal Encounter with Gary Ezzo to better understand Ezzo parenting and why it doesn't belong in Christian families.

Update: Sozo, Robert and Anne are both blogging on Ezzo this week, too.


August 10, 2004  |  Comments (16)  |  TrackBack (2)  |  Permalink



Babywise and Failure to Thrive

Not long ago, Tim Challies blogged about Babywise & Other Ezzo Nonsense. In the comments, one mother shared about the negative impact Babywise had in their family:

"My son suffered terribly because of the Ezzo teachings (Prep for Parenting**). He was hospitalized at 3 weeks old because he was severely dehydrated, failure to thrive, weight loss, etc. We, as his parents, were horrified to know that we had unknowingly caused our precious son to suffer. . . .We hope and pray that some how Ezzo will realize the danger he brings to families and stop his abusive teachings."

I'm so sad for this mother. I want to put my arm around her and comfort her. And I rejoice that her little one is doing well today.

Some have said that all the "harmful" elements have been taken out of the newest Babywise. Sadly, that's not the case. This baby was hospitalized for Failure to Thrive less than a year ago.

You may not be aware that since Babywise was first published in 1993 (and the original Prep sometime around 1987) there have been several revisions of both. Some Ezzo apologists dismiss articles critical of Babywise because the quotes do not exactly match the edition they own.

However, since Ezzo claims that his message and "philosophy of parenting" has remained the same, articles which quote older editions of Babywise and Prep are still a helpful resource for evaluating Ezzo parenting. And even a cursory comparison of older and newer editions show that the harmful advice is still included even in the "updated" versions.

One of the most striking things is the mother's hope that "Ezzo will realize the danger he brings to families and stop. . ."

Gary Ezzo is well aware of the faulty information in his books, he is well aware of the theological and medical criticism of his teachings, and he is well aware that his program undermines healthy weight gain in infants and abundant breastmilk production in mothers.

He is well aware of these problems, and yet continues to promote materials which are harmful to families, under the guise of a "family ministry."

Failure to acknowledge problems in his teacings is similar to Gary Ezzo's failure to acknowledge sin, as is seen in Gary Ezzo's reaction to church discipline. The elders of Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship saw it necessary to publically address issues related to church discipline in 2000, saying, In the end, it was his impenitence that caused us to put him out of the church.

I join with the mother in desiring that Gary Ezzo would acknowledge the problems in what he has promoted, publically issue a statement recalling his parenting materials, and seek reconciliation with the churches who have disciplined him and others in his life that have been hurt by his actions.

** Just a reminder: "Preparation for Parenting" is the version of "Babywise" that supposedly is taught from a Christian worldview, with Christian philosophies and Biblical principles. It's now published as "Let the Children Come Along the Infant Way."

Update: The Cat's Meow and WillowTree are also blogging on Babywise this week.


July 27, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



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. . .


July 15, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Myths and Misconceptions

I just finished reading GKGW Myths and Misconceptions. This pastor's wife and former Contact Mom writes about her struggles and mistakes in a humble and moving. Her story illustrates how easy it is for mature Christians to set aside discernment when reading the parenting materials by Gary Ezzo*, and accept the principles because they "sound right."

Some quotes:

"One thought that seems to be communicated is that every behavior has some kind of a "fix," and that if parents just do things "correctly" they can fix the problem and be done with it. Children become projects, something to fix instead of someone to love. . . .

"I thought that if I could learn all the rules, guidelines, and Biblical principles, I would know what to do--that there's always answers and it's just a matter of me learning the right answers. And subtly, inside, I believed that when I learned all the principles, I could set Christ aside, I wouldn't need to draw on Him because I could draw on my own strength. How awful! I don't blame that all on GFI, I had to take responsibility for this as my struggle. . . .

"I'd add that GKGW makes reaching the child's heart the parent's responsibility, when instead it is truly the Holy Spirit's."

Read the whole article. I can hear this mother's humility and hard-learned wisdom coming through. I'd like to have her over for a cup of coffee and ask some mom-to-mom advice like what she offers:

"If you have used GKGW and are feeling discouraged over mistakes you've made, let me encourage you, it's not too late. God can and will work in your life and in your children's lives. You can rebuild your relationship with your children if it's been damaged. Pray, search the scriptures, put the parenting books aside for awhile, and seek the Lord. Most of all, seek how you can show grace to your children."

* 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. For more information, see Ezzo.Info.

Update: Carol is also blogging on Ezzo this week.


July 06, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Just in Time

Another new story at Voices of Experience:

"When J. was about 3 and a half months old, I started thinking he looked a little skinny. Everybody told me I was silly. Then he started fighting when I wanted him to nurse. And sometimes he would wake up half an hour into his nap crying. I, being a "mother in charge", let him cry himself back to sleep. It only took a few minutes usually. But I was concerned. What was going on?

We went to his 4-month appointment and he weighed in at 11 pounds, 6 ounces. He had lost nearly a pound in 2 months, where he should have gained at least 3.

I was horrified."

It was hard for me to read K.M.'s story, because it was so similar to what we lived through when applying the principles from Ezzo's Babywise* book. Thankfully, K.M. quickly connected the cause of Ezzo's misinformation with the effect of her son's weight loss, sleep problems, and milk supply loss and had a wonderful outcome when she tossed out Babywise with the bathwater.

*Babywise is the secular version of Let the Children Come Along the Infant Way, formerly known as Preparation for Parenting.

Update: Tim at has some interesting things to add about Ezzo. Konkadoo, Rasita, and Shane are also blogging about Ezzo this week.


June 22, 2004  |  Comments (13)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Babywise in the Manse

New, on Voices of Experience:

"I read the book and thought it would solve all my problems. I was so excited. The book seemed to understand where I had messed up my baby and promised to fix her and make her a model citizen.

"I had assumed from the beginning that "crying it out" was the only way to get a baby to sleep. I started the three hour feeding schedule and thankfully she did it with no problem. We started putting her down at night awake, no sleep props, etc. She would cry and cry and cry.

. . .

"I remember laying on the couch listening to her cry and cry thinking motherhood wasn't supposed to be like this. And seriously considering not having more children. Yet I was convinced this was the only way to have a baby that was not in control of me and my marriage. My husband went along with it but I think if he had had a little more experience he would have put a stop to it sooner. "

Read the rest of M.H.'s story, A Pastor's Wife's Experience and Observations at Ezzo.Info.


June 11, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Nutrition for Brain Dev't

"How often do we, as adults, need to eat to keep up our metabolism? Doctors recommend "six small meals a day" to keep up our energy, to repair tissue, and we don't even have to worry about making synaptic connections or growing and developing at an exponential rate the way infants do! . . . I have a real problem with someone telling mothers that their newborn, the baby with a stomach the size of its fist (look at a newborn's fist!) is supposed to do all that work off feedings that are spaced three hours or more apart." --Dy

The size of an infant's stomach.
Nutrition and early brain development.


June 10, 2004  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Frazzled Babywiser

I was totally convinced that Ezzo was the way to go. In fact, before my daughter was born, nobody could convince me that Ezzo was bad. I was very determined to have a "good" kid. However, I was an extremely uptight, frazzled Babywiser. . .

Read the rest of K's story at Ezzo.Info's Voices of Experience.

Considering our previous discussion here about RAD, I found it interesting that this mama mentions

at the time we stopped using Ezzo's methods, she did not smile for me, would not be held, and gave no eye contact. By that time, she actually cried in our arms until we put her down! I actually stumbled across the website as I was researching Reactive Attachment Disorder due to these worrisome behaviors.

Update: Dy, Matt Hall and Michael Bates are also blogging on Ezzo this week.


June 03, 2004  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Free Groceries for Life

A mother-friend of mine wrote this analogy which illustrates how scheduled feedings work against the way breastfeeding works. A good read for breastfeeding and expectant mothers. And for the scientific side of things, read this article.


May 17, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Gary Ezzo and Good Hermeneutics

I recently picked up and was skimming through Gary Ezzo's program, "Growing Kids God's Way."* On page 317, Ezzo declares that something he disagrees with is poor hermeneutics.

I wasn't sure whether to laugh or throw the book across the room.

While Gary Ezzo makes asserts he is teaching "biblical" parenting principles, in reality he is teaching his own ideas presented in a way that is persuasive to many Christians.

I recommend to all Believers this short series of essays on Biblical Hermeneutics. It is written with the Christian parent in mind, and uses examples from Gary Ezzo's faulty thinking.

* GKGW Fourth Edition, 14th Printing, Winter 1997.
This course is now called "Let the Children Come Along the Virtuous Way."


April 27, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Blogging in tongues?

If you are wondering, as Rev. Mike was, about that slew of posts in Russian, you can read the English version of "Confessions of a Failed Babywiser" here:

From Voices of Experience
From Gentle Christian Mothers

I really appreciate the help of two great mamas, Maria and Victoria, for translating my article into Russian. *grin*


April 20, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



«Как научить младенца спать всю ночь»

Как я чуть не приучила ребенка спать всю ночь

Исповедь бывшей последовательницы книги Г.Эццо "Babywise"

В этой статье я хочу признать свои ошибки и исправить их. В прошлом я убедила многих матерей следовать материалам Эццо, и сейчас чувствую себя обязанной рассказать о том, почему следовать этим материалам на самом деле опасно. Еще я хочу на своем примере рассказать о том, как эта программа может увлечь даже здравомыслящих родителей.

В Интернете существует много источников, описывающих проблемы, связанные с Гари Эццо и его программами воспитания детей - проблемы медицинского, богословского и психологического характера. Я же ставлю себе целью рассказать о негативных последствиях следования Эццо на примере одной семьи.

Я держала своего шестимесячного ребенка на руках. Джонни мирно спал. Слезы струились по моему лицу, и мысли одна страшнее другой проносились в голове. Я смотрела видеозапись, сделанную моей сестрой во время рождения Джонни - пересматривала ее в первый раз после того, как он родился. Я вновь переживала радость от того, что новый человек пришел в мир. Но в то же время я испытывала страх - страх того, что это чудо новой жизни будет отнято у меня. Здоровье моего ребенка было в опасности, и я не знала, что с ним. Я смотрела запись, продолжая плакать. Диагноз Джонни еще не был поставлен - это могло быть легкое нарушение, но возможно, что его болезнь была смертельной.

Утром того дня мы с Джонни пришли на плановый медосмотр к врачу. При каждом нашем визите доктор спрашивала меня: "Вы все еще кормите грудью?" и, услышав мой положительный ответ, хвалила меня: "Молодец, мама!" Я всегда светилась от гордости при ее словах. Конечно же, я кормила грудью - перед глазами у меня был пример моей мамы, выкормившей меня и моих младших братьев и сестер, и я не могла представить, что бывает как-то иначе. Только намного позже я узнала о противостоянии между сторонниками искусственного и естественного вскармливания. Джонни с рождения сосал много и с удовольствием. Мы в шутку называли его "наш маленький борец сумо" и любовались пухлыми складочками на его ножках. В три с половиной месяца он весил целых 7 кг 300 г, что было очень много для его возраста - на графике веса для детей своего возраста он попадал в верхние 5%.

Именно поэтому резкое снижение веса Джонни до 6 кг 400 г так насторожило педиатра. Я видела ее обеспокоенное лицо, хотя она и старалась быть спокойной, говоря со мной. Мы записались на прием к специалисту в Тампе на понедельник следующей недели. Педиатр также объяснила нам, в каких случаях мы должны будем позвонить ей немедленно.

Мы измучились, ожидая нашего визита к врачу в течение тех выходных. Это были самые долгие дни в моей жизни. Ожидание и неопределенность вселяли в нас страх - страх потерять нашего первого ребенка, нашего малыша.

В понедельник муж отпросился с работы и мы вместе поехали к специалисту. Мы приехали в Детскую Больницу в Тампе, находившуюся в двух часах езды от нас. Специалист держался спокойно и пытался успокоить нас. Он рассмотрел вместе с нами возможные диагнозы. Среди них были врожденный дефект желудочно-кишечного тракта, недостаток в организме ферментов, способствующих обмену веществ и другие заболевания - начиная от сравнительно легких вплоть до опасных для жизни. Доктор порекомендовал нам избрать консервативный подход к диагностике, чтобы не подвергать ребенка медицинским исследованиям, пока мы не увидим, что в этом есть необходимость. Первое, что он предложил нам делать - это следить за тем, сколько он съедает, наблюдать за ним и регулярно взвешивать. Я видела диагноз, который записал доктор на карте Джонни - "Гипотрофия".

Доктор предложил мне сцеживать мое молоко и давать его Джонни из бутылочки, чтобы я могла видеть, сколько он съедает, а потом докармливать его концентрированной смесью. Я уже пробовала сцеживаться раньше, и у меня никогда не получалось набрать больше 30 граммов. При кормлении грудью я не знала бы точно, сколько он съедает. Это настолько беспокоило меня, что мы тут же приняли решение - я перестаю кормить Джонни грудью. Он высосал свою первую бутылку смеси по дороге домой из Тампы. Я завела журнал, где записывала, сколько он съел и когда.

Мы взвешивали Джонни через день в течение первой недели и раз в неделю после этого. Во время последующих визитов к врачу и разговоров по телефону со специалистом был поставлен диагноз, так что необходимость в исследованиях отпала. Врачи определили, что Джонни отставал в развитии из-за недостаточного потребления калорий.

Я морила своего малыша голодом.

Часть 1 Исповедь бывшей последовательницы книги Г.Эццо "Babywise"
Часть 2 "Что же случилось со здравым смыслом?..."
Часть 3 "Все работало прекрасно!... Я всегда была хорошо отдохнувшей. Мой ребенок спал хорошо".
Часть 4 Изменять режим по мере необходимости?
Часть 5 Новый этап воспитания
Часть 6 Нехватка молока и раннее отнятие от груди - несмотря на модифицированный режим
Часть 7 Эццо и научные факты. Эццо и доктрина благодати.
Часть 8 Свободное вскармливание наконец приводит к успеху

Охраняется авторским правом А.Буш
Переведено и напечатано с ее позволения
Вы можете посетить ее вебсайт по адресу TulipGirl

Translated by Maria Gorodetskova
Proofread by Victoria Nesterova
English Version, Copyright 2003
Russian Version, Copyright 2004


April 20, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (2)  |  Permalink



Часть 2

"Что же случилось со здравым смыслом?..."

Часто люди говорят в защиту материалов Эццо: "Это отличная методика - просто нужно использовать свой здравый смысл, а не следовать инструкциям в точности..." То есть, предполагается, что с методикой Babywise все в порядке - в неудачах виноваты родители, не умеющие здраво мыслить.

Я с детства мечтала быть женой и матерью. Помню, как я говорила знакомым, частью искренне и частью - чтобы шокировать их: "Я хочу иметь шесть сыновей!" В старших классах я начала много читать на темы образования, развития детей, беременности и родов и воспитания детей в семье. В колледже я работала добровольцем в Центре ухода за будущими матерями. Я читала все, что могла найти о беременности, родах, уходе за детьми. Я брала в библиотеке медицинскую литературу и читала разделы, относившиеся к этой теме, и даже подумывала о том, чтобы получить специальное образование в этой области. В библиотеках я встречала много литературы, датированной 70-ми годами, говорящей о естественном воспитании, в этих книгах было заметно влияние культуры хиппи. Конечно же, я планировала рожать своих детей в домашней обстановке, как это делала моя мама. Грудное вскармливание, домашнее обучение, здоровое питание - все эти вещи мы сейчас назвали бы элементами "стиля сближения" (Attachment Parenting), но в то время они не были частью какой-либо методики. Просто делать все это казалось мне правильным. Это соответствовало тому, как растила нас моя мама, и было построено на любви.

Как же получилось, что хорошо образованная, разносторонне начитанная женщина отбросила всю информацию, полученную раньше, и предпочла ей книги Эццо? Почему меня не насторожило ни одно из более тридцати не соответствующих истине медицинских заявлений, найденных в книге Гари Эццо "Babywise" (в русском издании - "Как приучить ребенка спать всю ночь")?

Очень скоро после свадьбы я забеременела. У меня с самого начала было чувство, что это мальчик. Я старалась следить за тем, что я ем, следуя советам доктора Брюэра (Brewer) о важности здорового питания во время беременности. Я хотела делать все правильно, так, как лучше всего для моего ребенка. Как можно скорее я связалась с акушеркой и начала пересматривать литературу о беременности, которую я собрала за все эти годы. Но теперь это было не просто что-то, о чем я читала в книгах. Все это на самом деле происходило в моей жизни!

А затем я получила по почте посылку от своей близкой подруги, матери которой я в прошлом помогала, когда та работала из дома и двое ее сыновей были маленькими. Она прислала мне две книги. Одной из них была книга Гари Эццо "Babywise". То, что было в ней написано, было интересно, хотя немного странно - совсем не похоже ни на одну из книг о воспитании детей до года, прочитанных мной раньше. Но книга была написана убедительным языком и я снова и снова брала ее в руки.

Когда другая моя подруга, медсестра, которой раньше приходилось в отделениях интенсивной терапии для новорожденных, позвонила мне, чтобы поздравить с беременностью, она с восторгом говорила о программе воспитания детей, преподававшейся у них в церкви. Мы с ней познакомились в нашу бытность активистами в колледже. "Я пришлю тебе философский раздел книги "Подготовка к воспитанию детей" ("Preparation for Parenting")", - обещала она. Когда я перечитала присланные мне фотокопии, я решила узнать об этой книге больше. Ведь в ней сравнивались библейский подход к воспитанию детей и подход, проповедуемый светскими, гуманистическими философами. А я все-таки была христианкой. Я выбрала истинный путь для воспитания моего ребенка - гуманистические философии нам не годятся.

Так и получилось, что я внимательно прочла книгу в голубой обложке под названием "Babywise" еще до того, как мой сын появился на свет. Незадолго до его рождения я выяснила, что наша церковь проводит классы по книге Эццо "Подготовка к воспитанию детей"! Мы начали заниматься в этих классах, когда моему сыну исполнилась неделя.

В книгах и видеокассетах серии "Подготовка к воспитанию детей" Гари Эццо негативно отзывается о "стиле сближения". Этот стиль, по его словам, учит родителей следовать светским, гуманистическим философиям и поощряет крайнюю вседозволенность. Он затем заявляет, что его методика воспитания детей построена на библейских принципах. Учитывая крайне высокий уровень моральной расплывчатости и релятивизма в современном обществе, я стремилась научить моих детей отличать добро от зла и воспитать у них характер, который позволит им принимать правильные решения в жизни. Именно мое стремление дать детям все самое лучшее и повлияло на мое решение - следовать методике Эццо.

Часть 1 Исповедь бывшей последовательницы книги Г.Эццо "Babywise"
Часть 2 "Что же случилось со здравым смыслом?..."
Часть 3 "Все работало прекрасно!... Я всегда была хорошо отдохнувшей. Мой ребенок спал хорошо".
Часть 4 Изменять режим по мере необходимости?
Часть 5 Новый этап воспитания
Часть 6 Нехватка молока и раннее отнятие от груди - несмотря на модифицированный режим
Часть 7 Эццо и научные факты. Эццо и доктрина благодати.
Часть 8 Свободное вскармливание наконец приводит к успеху


April 20, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Часть 3

"Все работало прекрасно!... Я всегда была хорошо отдохнувшей. Мой ребенок спал хорошо".

Я вспоминаю, как мы с мужем просмативали материалы Эццо и параллельно - Библию. Мы видели принципы, на которых основывалась методика Эццо, но не могли понять, как именно они связаны с Библией. Это настораживало нас, но мы не придавали этому особого внимания в то время, потому что у нас все "работало" и выглядело вполне логично.

Итак, наконец, мои теории воспитания детей изменились на 180 градусов - от естественного воспитания к жестким режимам Babywise. Все молодые семьи в нашей церкви посещали классы по методикам Эццо - "Подготовка к воспитанию детей" или "Воспитание детей Божиим путем" (Growing Kids God's Way").

Программа работала, на наш взгляд, прекрасно! Джонни в основном вписался в режим. Он сразу же после рождения начал правильно сосать и ел всегда хорошо и много. Я была в восторге от программы и агитировала всех знакомых прочитать книгу или записаться в класс. Я даже раздавала листки с названием и номером телефона нашей церкви беременным женщинам, которых встречала в продуктовом магазине! Я была уверенной в себе матерью, точно такой, как обещал Гари Эццо. Я всегда была хорошо отдохнувшей. Мой ребенок спал хорошо. Мы делали все правильно и я сочувствовала всем измотанным матерям, чьи дети не следовали режиму Эццо.

Одна из кассет класса "Подготовка к воспитанию детей" была полностью посвящена грудному вскармливанию. Я до сих пор помню, как Энн Мари использовала игрушечного мишку, чтобы показать нам, как правильно держать ребенка во время кормления - животиком к животу. Грудному вскармливанию было уделено ровно столько времени, с использованием ровно такого количества фактов, чтобы информация о нем выглядела правдоподобной. Однако, большая часть этой информации неверна, особенно в контексте цикла "кормление-сон-бодрствование", которому учит Эццо.

На меня произвело особенно сильное впечатление их описание "цикла спрос/предложение" в грудном вскармливании. Они подчеркивали, что важна сумма всех трех составляющих - частота, продолжительность и интенсивность кормления. Поэтому, хотя режим Эццо и предусматривает большие интервалы между кормлениями, ребенку это не повредит, потому что во время каждого кормления от будет высасывать больше. Прикладывание к груди между кормлениями осуждалось и упор делался на том, чтобы научить ребенка съедать всю положенную порцию в каждое кормление. Вся эта информация выглядела логичной и большинство приводимых фактов казались истинными. Этого оказалось достаточно, чтобы я забыла все, что читала раньше в книгах, таких как "Искусство грудного вскармливания" ("The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding") и приняла на веру совершенно противоположные идеи.

Как я поняла впоследствии, Эццо не дал подробного объяснения грудного вскармливания с точки зрения физиологии. Он не учел того, что вместимость молочных желез у всех матерей разная, точно так же как размер желудка не одинаков у всех младенцев. Сочетание этих факторов способно породить проблемы с грудным вскармливанием.

Добавьте сюда, что моя подруга, порекомендовавшая мне методику Эццо, была медсестрой с опытом работы в отделении интенсивной терапии для новорожденных, и ее дети были несколько старше моих. Мне не могло прийти в голову, что программа, получившая ее одобрение, одобрение человека с ее опытом, могла быть несовершенна с точки зрения медицины. К тому же, это был 1996 год и волна протеста против учения Эццо в то время еще только зарождалась. Мне не было известно ни об одной серьезной проблеме, которая бы была связана с методиками Эццо - я думала, что его единственными противниками были люди, исповедующие "гуманистические" взгляды на жизнь.

Итак, даже после того, как моему первому ребенку был поставлен диагноз "отставание в развитии", я все еще оставалась сторонницей Эццо. Я бросила кормить грудью после того, как доктор посоветовал перейти на смесь с повышенным содержанием калорий. Теперь я снова была в состоянии забеременеть и вскоре мы ждали второго ребенка. Мы переехали в другой штат. Ни в одной из церквей на новом месте методика Эццо не преподавалась, поэтому мы с мужем связались с пастором нашей новой церкви и порекомендовали ему "Подготовку к воспитанию детей" и другие материалы. Это была растущая церковь, стремившаяся как можно больше предложить прихожанам, и они были согласны, чтобы мы вели у них классы по "Подготовке".

Оглядываясь назад, я не могу понять, как у нас с мужем хватило самоуверенности вести класс по воспитанию детей! Нашему старшему ребенку только-только исполнилось полтора года и назвать нас опытными родителями было никак нельзя! Но мы были в восторге от того, как работали в нашей семье методики Эццо (так, во всяком случае, нам казалось) и стремились помочь другим молодым родителям.

Часть 1 Исповедь бывшей последовательницы книги Г.Эццо "Babywise"
Часть 2 "Что же случилось со здравым смыслом?..."
Часть 3 "Все работало прекрасно!... Я всегда была хорошо отдохнувшей. Мой ребенок спал хорошо".
Часть 4 Изменять режим по мере необходимости?
Часть 5 Новый этап воспитания
Часть 6 Нехватка молока и раннее отнятие от груди - несмотря на модифицированный режим
Часть 7 Эццо и научные факты. Эццо и доктрина благодати.
Часть 8 Свободное вскармливание наконец приводит к успеху


April 20, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Часть 4

Изменять режим по мере необходимости?

Поскольку нашему первому ребенку был в свое время поставлен диагноз "гипотрофия" из-за потери веса, во время каждого из наших классов мы предупреждали слушателей о необходимости следить за тем, укладывается ли их ребенок в возрастные нормативы роста и веса, и изменять режим кормлений по мере необходимости. С нашим вторым ребенком мы решили строго придерживаться 2.5 - 3-часовых перерывов между кормлениями и днем кормить не реже, чем через три часа. Я надеялась, что это поможет избежать проблем с нехваткой молока, которые были у меня с первым ребенком.

Именно в это время я впервые услышала о противниках Эццо. Я не придала им большого значения - наверное, думала я, эти люди просто не понимают методики. Должно быть, это либеральные родители, во всем потакающие своим детям, которые пытаются оправдать свои методы воспитания. Несмотря на то, что мы сами сталкивались с очень серьезными проблемами в собственной семье, нам не приходило в голову, что проблема может быть в самих принципах, на которых построены методики Эццо. Мы думали, что это мы делаем что-то не так.

Мне казалось, что Теннисон, наш второй сын, начал спать всю ночь с раннего возраста - так, как было написано в книге "Babywise", и как было с Джонни. Только моя сестра, когда она жила с нами несколько месяцев, помогла мне осознать, что на самом деле я перестала воспринимать его ночной плач. Я просто не слышала крик ребенка, и он никак не откладывался в моем сознании - сестре приходилось будить меня ночью, чтобы я подошла к ребенку, а наутро она спрашивала: "Разве ты не слышала прошлой ночью, как он плакал?"

Часть 1 Исповедь бывшей последовательницы книги Г.Эццо "Babywise"
Часть 2 "Что же случилось со здравым смыслом?..."
Часть 3 "Все работало прекрасно!... Я всегда была хорошо отдохнувшей. Мой ребенок спал хорошо".
Часть 4 Изменять режим по мере необходимости?
Часть 5 Новый этап воспитания
Часть 6 Нехватка молока и раннее отнятие от груди - несмотря на модифицированный режим
Часть 7 Эццо и научные факты. Эццо и доктрина благодати.
Часть 8 Свободное вскармливание наконец приводит к успеху


April 20, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Часть 5

Новый этап воспитания

Тем временем с Джонни мы начали переходить на следующий этап программы - "Подготовка к воспитанию ребенка, начинающего ходить" ("Preparation for the Toddler Years - Babywise II"). Эта программа требовала от родителей контроля за действиями и играми ребенка в течение дня. Хотя специалисты по детскому развитию и утверждают, что режим дня и расписание занятий полезны для здоровья маленьких детей, режим Эццо весь сосредоточен вокруг контроля. К этому времени я обращалась за инструкциями по воспитанию детей не только к книгам и материалам Эццо, но также и к другим мамам - на Интернете или моим личным знакомым. Время игры в комнате, время игры в манеже, время занятий в стульчике, время игры на одеяле... это жесткое расписание имело целью научить моего ребенка самоконтролю, но на самом деле оно помогало мне, маме, контролировать моего ребенка. Я вспоминаю, как я, по одной из рекомендаций мам-сторонниц Эццо, учила Джонни: "Иди к маме" - и затем "наказывала" его (этим словом Эццо обозначает физические наказания, шлепки), когда он не выполнял мою команду. Помню выражение на лице моей сестры, наблюдавшей за этим. Сейчас я понимаю, что, обучая его при помощи шлепков, я закладывала почву для конфликта, которого можно было избежать. Мы могли научить его выполнять эту же самую команду другими способами - способами, которые не подразумевали противостояния между мной и моим ребенком.

Аналогичных уроков было много, и каждый раз от меня, мамы, требовалось контролировать моего ребенка силовыми методами, закладывая тем самым основы враждебных отношений между нами.

И даже тогда мне не приходила в голову мысль, что что-то может быть не в порядке с программами Эццо.

Часть 1 Исповедь бывшей последовательницы книги Г.Эццо "Babywise"
Часть 2 "Что же случилось со здравым смыслом?..."
Часть 3 "Все работало прекрасно!... Я всегда была хорошо отдохнувшей. Мой ребенок спал хорошо".
Часть 4 Изменять режим по мере необходимости?
Часть 5 Новый этап воспитания
Часть 6 Нехватка молока и раннее отнятие от груди - несмотря на модифицированный режим
Часть 7 Эццо и научные факты. Эццо и доктрина благодати.
Часть 8 Свободное вскармливание наконец приводит к успеху


April 20, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Часть 6

Нехватка молока и раннее отнятие от груди - несмотря на модифицированный режим

Хотя Теннисон и не имел проблем с набором веса, подобных тем, какие были у его брата, но молока у меня хватало едва-едва. Когда я заболела гриппом, моя сестра несколько раз дала ему смесь из бутылки, я начала кормить меньше, что, в свою очередь, привело к возвращению способности беременеть. Когда я забеременела снова, молоко начало убывать и Теннисону его уже не хватало. Я помню, как он присасывался к груди на минуту и сразу же начинал плакать, потому что он не наедался. Мы старались не прикармливать его, так что, за исключением тех нескольких бутылочек смеси, которые он получил, когда я болела, он сосал исключительно материнское молоко. Когда я узнала, что у меня снова будет ребенок и что из-за этого у меня становится меньше молока, я начала докармливать Теннисона смесью. Скоро он совсем бросил грудь. Ему было только 7 или 8 месяцев.

И все же я предпочитала кормить своих детей по режиму. С третьим ребенком я задалась целью выкормить его грудью. Я была уверена, как уверена и сейчас, что организм матери создан для кормления ребенка грудью. Если кормление по режиму вступало в конфликт с грудным вскармливанием - значит, наш организм не создан для кормления по режиму. Впервые я позволила себе усомниться в выбранной мной методике. С моим третьим ребенком, Рейганом, я решила попробовать цикл "кормление-гуляние-кормление-сон". Мы переехали на новое место, съездили в длительный отпуск с нашими родными. Все это привело к тому, что режим стал более расплывчатым.

Я переживала, что не кормлю "по режиму" и все еще не могла согласиться на свободное вскармливание - кормить ребенка тогда, когда он этого просит. Меня беспокоило, что если я буду кормить "по требованию", у меня вырастет избалованный ребенок. Я боялась, что я не буду высыпаться, что не будет высыпаться мой ребенок, что нам обоим от этого будет плохо. Все эти страхи были посеяны в моем сознании книгами Эццо и его ложным противопоставлением "библейской философии" воспитания (под которой он подразумевал собственные методики) - воспитанию детей методами "светских мистиков".


Часть 1 Исповедь бывшей последовательницы книги Г.Эццо "Babywise"
Часть 2 "Что же случилось со здравым смыслом?..."
Часть 3 "Все работало прекрасно!... Я всегда была хорошо отдохнувшей. Мой ребенок спал хорошо".
Часть 4 Изменять режим по мере необходимости?
Часть 5 Новый этап воспитания
Часть 6 Нехватка молока и раннее отнятие от груди - несмотря на модифицированный режим
Часть 7 Эццо и научные факты. Эццо и доктрина благодати.
Часть 8 Свободное вскармливание наконец приводит к успеху


April 20, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Часть 7

Эццо и научные факты. Эццо и доктрина благодати.

Что же в конечном итоге заставило меня прозреть?

Главным образом - информация из Интернета. Я читала статьи, в которых подробно описывались физиологические процессы, связанные с грудным вскармливанием, в том числе информацию с сайта Ла Леч Лиг (La Leche League) о гормонах и выработке грудного молока. Интересно, что именно сухие, научные факты помогли мне объективно оценить философские рассуждения Эццо. Также очень полезной для меня оказалась статья "The Evidence for Cue-Feeding" ("Доказательства в пользу свободного вскармливания ").

Я посетила дискуссионный форум на тему Эццо на сайте "Parent's Place" в качестве тайного сторонника Эццо. Там я увидела, что критики Эццо - образованные христианские отцы и матери, а не бесхарактерные родители избалованных детей, какими изображал их Эццо. Я прочла анализ методики Эццо с богословской точки зрения на странице Ребекки Прюэтт (Rebecca Prewett), оказавший на меня большое влияние.

Мой муж в свое время оставил большую политику и стал работать проповедником. Он рассказывал мне о том, как пришло к нему это решение. В один прекрасный день он проснулся и вдруг понял - даже если с его помощью к власти придут те благочестивые руководители, которых он поддерживает, даже если они примут самые замечательные законы, даже если население будет этим законам следовать, все, что получится в результате всей этой работы - язычники, владеющие хорошими манерами. Эта ситуация повторяется и с методиками Эццо. Они подаются как христианское воспитание, но на самом деле просто учат родителей, как вырастить детей, владеющих хорошими манерами. Сердце же наше может изменить только Бог.

Я подумала и о своих собственных духовных исканиях, в особенности о тех из них, когда я пыталась понять, как проявляется Божия благодать в моей жизни. Я - законопослушный человек, мне нравится следовать правилам и вести себя хорошо. И однако, не проходит дня, чтобы я не впала в грех. Как поступает Бог со мной и как Он реагирует на мои грехи? Я поняла, что я поступала с моими детьми совсем не так, как Бог поступает со мной. Я хотела, чтобы мои дети "повиновались, сразу, полностью, и со счастливой душой". Однако сама я так не делаю. Я откладываю дела на потом. Я жалуюсь. Я бросаю начатое на полпути. Я спорю с Богом. Хорошо ли это? Нет - и я надеюсь, что у моих детей получится лучше. И тем не менее Бог проявляет гораздо больше понимания и деликатности в обращении со мной, взрослым человеком, чем я проявляю в обращении с моими детьми. Мы часто описываем Бога, как "Бога человеколюбивого и милосердного, долготерпеливого и многомилостивого..."

Когда я требовала от моих детей послушания по типу Эццо, я поступала с ними не так, как Бог поступает со мной. Конечно же, я любила своих детей! Иногда я бывала даже долготерпеливой. Но многомилостивой я не была, да и терпение мое чаще всего было хрупким. Бог позволил мне увидеть мою греховность, мое непослушание, мою ежедневную потребность в Иисусе и Его милости - и, когда Он открыл мне глаза на все это, я увидела также и то, что учение Гари Эццо не соответствует библейским принципам воспитания.

Часть 1 Исповедь бывшей последовательницы книги Г.Эццо "Babywise"
Часть 2 "Что же случилось со здравым смыслом?..."
Часть 3 "Все работало прекрасно!... Я всегда была хорошо отдохнувшей. Мой ребенок спал хорошо".
Часть 4 Изменять режим по мере необходимости?
Часть 5 Новый этап воспитания
Часть 6 Нехватка молока и раннее отнятие от груди - несмотря на модифицированный режим
Часть 7 Эццо и научные факты. Эццо и доктрина благодати.
Часть 8 Свободное вскармливание наконец приводит к успеху


April 20, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Часть 8

Свободное вскармливание наконец приводит к успеху

Итак, как обстоят у меня дела сегодня?

Моего третьего ребенка я начала брать к себе в постель для утреннего кормления. Я кормила его по требованию и смогла выкормить его до года и 7 месяцев, после чего мне пришлось отнять его от груди, так как я была беременна четвертым ребенком, мы занимались очередным переездом, и у меня не было сил.

С нашим четвертым ребенком я решила с самого начала сосредоточиться в первую очередь на вскармливании, а не на вопросах дисциплины и контроля. Я кормила его по требованию. Мне удалось купить замечательный кармашек для ношения ребенка и мы с мужем в шутку называли меня "сумчатая мама". Этот термин впервые ввел Гари Эццо - так он с презрением называл матерей, использующих слинги-перевязи для ношения своих детей. Но мы называем так себя с гордостью. У меня ни разу не было проблем с выработкой молока. Сейчас моему ребенку 2 года 2 месяца и я все еще кормлю его грудью. Он просыпается ночью, чтобы поесть, или я бужу его и даю ему грудь перед тем, как самой пойти спать. До года он спал в нашей комнате, или в отдельной кроватке, или с нами. Сейчас он спит в детской комнате вместе со своими братьями.

Иногда кто-нибудь из детей приходит ко мне посреди ночи, и тогда я или пускаю их в свою постель, или сонным голосом говорю им, чтобы они постелили себе на полу. Я все еще с опаской пользуюсь термином "стиль сближения" из-за негативного подтекста, который вложил в него Гари Эццо - первые впечатления сильны до сих пор. Но если объективно посмотреть на то, как я сейчас воспитываю моих детей, наверное, это все же выглядит как "стиль сближения".

Бог много поработал в моей жизни, и тем не менее я все еще далека от собственного представления об идеальной матери. И все же я благодарна Ему за Его благодать и за то, что Он использовал мои ошибки и неудачи в воспитании детей, чтобы более полно раскрыть мне Себя. Я верю, что даже мои ошибки воспитания Он использует в жизни моих детей, чтобы сделать их такими людьми, какими Он хочет их видеть.

Часть 1 Исповедь бывшей последовательницы книги Г.Эццо "Babywise"
Часть 2 "Что же случилось со здравым смыслом?..."
Часть 3 "Все работало прекрасно!... Я всегда была хорошо отдохнувшей. Мой ребенок спал хорошо".
Часть 4 Изменять режим по мере необходимости?
Часть 5 Новый этап воспитания
Часть 6 Нехватка молока и раннее отнятие от груди - несмотря на модифицированный режим
Часть 7 Эццо и научные факты. Эццо и доктрина благодати.
Часть 8 Свободное вскармливание наконец приводит к успеху

Охраняется авторским правом А.Буш
Переведено и напечатано с ее позволения
Вы можете посетить ее вебсайт по адресу TulipGirl

Translated by Maria Gorodetskova
Proofread by Victoria Nesterova
English Version, Copyright 2003
Russian Version, Copyright 2004


April 20, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Exposé Wins Gold

A chilling account of the "Babywise" method of childrearing designed by a controversial evangelical Christian minister. Looking at the results behind the recommendations, the writer uncovers guilt-ridden parents who discovered the treatment to be harmful. . . A gripping read.

And with that summary, Parenting Publications of America awarded a 2003 Gold Medal in Investigative Journalism to Cindy Webb and Betty Casey of TulsaKids Magazine.

Update: See Hubby's related post, More Offal from Ezzo. And Sam chimes in with her two cents.

(Via Ezzo.Info)


March 25, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Islam and "The Rod"

Middle East Media Research Institute has just released a report on Islamic Shar'ia law related to wife-beating.

In January, Sheikh Muhammad Kamal Mustafa, a Muslim cleric in Spain, was sentenced for publishing his book "The Woman in Islam" which includes the application of Shar'ia law as it relates to wife-beating.

One of the interesting points brought up in this article is the various interpretations of what the rod is and how beatings should be administered. For instance, in Mustafa writes,

"The [wife-]beating must never be in exaggerated, blind anger, in order to avoid serious harm [to the woman]." He adds, "It is forbidden to beat her on the sensitive parts of her body, such as the face, breast, abdomen, and head. Instead, she should be beaten on the arms and legs," using a "rod that must not be stiff, but slim and lightweight so that no wounds, scars, or bruises are caused." Similarly, "[the blows] must not be hard."

Please pay attention to the description of the rod, "must not be stiff, but slim and lightweight so that no wounds, scars, or bruises are caused."

This is the same wording used by some Christians about the type of rod that should be used when punishing children. For example, Gary Ezzo teaches that children ought to be "chastised" with a "biblical rod" which he describes as "somewhat flexible, not stiff or unbending" instrument (GKGW, p.220). Ezzo families sometimes describe this being a wide strip of rubber tubing, a rubber show sole, a thin razor strap, or a large glue stick.

Michael and Debbie Pearl similary suggest that "a light, flexible instrument will sting without bruising or causing internal damage. Many people are using a section of ¼ inch plumber’s supply line as a spanking instrument."

Credenda Agenda suggests, ". . .wood seems the obvious choice. Look for something about a cubit long that flirts with flexibility, but be sure it's strong enough. . ." Volume 14, Issue 4

Both Ezzo and Pearl call for immediate obedience from children, followed by "chastisement" with the rod if they don't comply without delay.

At least the Muslims show more patience with their wives--beating with a rod is the third step in "wifely discipline." The first is gentle verbal admonishments and the second is being removed from the marriage bed.

From the photos in the MEMRI article, the Muslim's "small rod" is a bit bigger than a glue stick.


However, the photo of the "large rod" seems to be much closer to a shebet, the type of rod that is referred to in Proverbs.


For further reading, I recommend Laurie Moody's study on Biblical Discipline and Joan Sewell's study Suffer the Little Children.

Update: Though taking a different angle, this story is also being talked about by The Commissar, Chris, DhimmiWatch, Matt, John , Allah and Marsupial Mom.

(Via schoolraider)


March 20, 2004  |  Comments (20)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Growing Churches Ezzo's Way

The long-lived Christian satire magazine, The Door, had a recent spoof of Gary Ezzo and the church growth movement written by Kelley Reep. You can buy and read the whole magazine here, but here's my favorite tidbit of advice:

How to Handle Those Who Disagree With You: "Duct tape is marvelously effective for dealing with both rebellious children and rebellious elders. When they do not obey you the first time, place the tape over their mouth. . . . Philippians 1:17, 'ConDUCT yourselves in a manner worthy of the Lord.'"

March 06, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



New Voices of Experience

Ezzo.Info has some new stories posted in the Voices of Experience section.

Learning to Trust My "Non-Existant" Maternal Instincts

I'm a mom of 5, including a pair of twins. When took the Prep for Parenting class while pregnant with my oldest. I knew absolutely nothing about kids or babies, so I believed everything they told me--except I had a nagging uneasiness in the back of my mind because I felt they misused the Bible.

Conflicting Messages Undermine True Flexibility

"Of COURSE you can rock your baby to sleep! Just don't make it a habit." Before I had my baby, this actually made sense. After I had her, I remember thinking: "How much is a habit? I did it once yesterday ... can I do it again today? What if I did it twice in one day?"

I encourage you to click on the links and read the complete stories.

And again, 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.

(via taketime)


February 14, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Another Mom Speaks Out

Ezzo.Info's collection of stories at Voices of Experience continues to grow.

When I decided to stop using Babywise, it was not a sudden decision but rather a gradual process. . . .After I left Babywise principles behind, my eyes were further opened. For the first time, I could rock my daughter to sleep and not feel guilty. I found myself truly enjoying motherhood and breastfeeding in a new way. My milk supply returned as I nursed before and after her naps. I truly felt freed; because I was unshackled from a set of ideals and could love my daughter and do what I felt was best for her.

Read the rest of A.O.'s story, Mothering With Babywise: My Secret Pain.


February 04, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Loving Families and Reactive Attachment Disorder

What is RAD?

RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) is a psychological and neurological. . . disorder that occurs during the first two years of life when a child does not attach and bond properly to their primary caregiver. Fundamental processes do not occur resulting in on-going rage, fear of attaching to anyone, lack of trust, an unusual effort to control everything in their lives, a lack of self worth, and an inability to fully comprehend cause and effect.

Today I heard from a friend whose son has RAD. Her son and J7, my oldest son, are roughly the same age. We both used Gary Ezzo's "Preparation for Parenting" materials, as they were written and intended. We both love our children dearly and are devoted to them.

J7 was diagnosed with Failure to Thrive at six months old. J7 is still a little small for his age, but well within "average" and quite normal considering our family genetics. It took several years before my friend had an accurate diagnosis for her son's RAD. She shares about the evaluations her son went through, and how it linked back directly to her well-intentioned use of Ezzo's materials.

During these interviews and evaluations, they began to see what I had suspected all along. Finally, they asked me if his infancy might have been traumatic in any fashion, medically, emotionally or if he'd suffered abuse.

I froze. I had already been learning about the problems in the Ezzo materials. I had already done enough of my own research to know that extensive use of "crying it out" could cause major damage. And I began to talk and talk and cry and told about how we had implemented Ezzo methods with him.

The first question to me, after talking about the program was "do you think that during the times he was left to cry, that at any point he may have felt abandoned or hopeless?" I said "of course, I never thought it could hurt a baby, but now that I'm learning more, I know it can and I know he must have felt terribly afraid and alone."

My friend has worked hard at re-forming bonds with her son, and he has had a period of gains. But recently he has had some severe setbacks, and my friend is having struggles that no mama should have to go through with a child who is so dearly loved.

Reality is, the medical and developmental information in Gary Ezzo's parenting materials is severely flawed. His theories spring from personal opinion, not the Bible and definitely not medical fact. When parents make decisions based on inaccurate medical information, they are setting themselves up for medical problems.

Even when those choices are bathed in parental love and good intentions.


January 24, 2004  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Ezzo in Russian

I'm feeling very grumpy. I'd looked online and in bookstores here to see whether Gary Ezzo's parenting materials had been translated into Russian--and thankfully hadn't found any.

Until today.

One mom who is familiar with both the mother culture of Russia and the Ezzo materials has told me she is surprised that they have caught on at all. The Ezzo materials very much go against the way most Russian mothers think about their babies and families.

It makes me sad that some people embrace grace when it comes from God the Father, but then advocate raising children devoid of that same grace.

Update March 2004: Babywise is now being published in Russian, under the name "How to Teach A Baby to Sleep Through the Night." Bad News. Here's the advertising blurb, po-russki:

Как научить младенца спать всю ночь? Именно так и называется книга Гарри Эззо и Роберта Букнама, изданная новосибирским издательством «Посох». Эта книга из серии «Тихая ночь» посвящена воспитанию детей первого года жизни.
Каких только методик по воспитанию детей не существует!


January 09, 2004  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



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