Friday, September 13, 2013

Mothers: Love Your Kids With Wild Abandon.

Someone posted on facebook about her child losing a tooth.

Someone else responded that her child had just lost his first tooth.

She told how she had told him to wash it in a bowl of water, but the child had instead tried to wash it in the faucet, and the tooth had slipped away down the drain.  She proudly told how he had cried for two hours over his loss, and she had no sympathy for him whatsoever.  Instead, she made him write a letter of apology to the tooth fairy, saying he was sorry for disobeying his mother by not washing his tooth in a bowl.

My thoughts?  Not very charitable.  And they included a not nice word for the mom.

This mother was a major Ezzo/Babywise enthusiast back in the day when she was pregnant with her first child.  There was a lot of fallout in the relationships at our church due to that crap.

So it was not surprising to see that, just as she was taught to be disconnected, rigid, and cold with her babies, she continues to do the same with her children as they have grown.


Another friend on facebook was asking for suggestions of mean things she could do to her daughter to make her get up more quickly in the mornings.

Suggestions like: ice cubes, loud music, jumping on the bed, putting her hand in a bowl of warm water, strong lighting, etc.

This is a homeschool mother.  I assume they don't actually have an emergency need to get out the door by a certain time most days.

While many people gleefully added their cruel and rude suggestions to the list, I told her my belief:

For all of my parenting career I have held the belief that I want every day to end with peace and love and security, and I want every day to begin with the same.

Therefore, I have never been willing to have my children cry themselves to sleep, and I do not allow people to be rudely awakened in the mornings.

Amazingly, my older children have been able to get themselves up and out the door in the early mornings without any help from me at all.  The younger ones don't need to yet, but I trust that when the time comes, they will be able to as well.

My goal is for home to be a safe, loving place where people feel accepted and cared for.

Not everyone wakes easily in the morning.  Different ages and stages require different amounts of sleep.  Homeschooling allows us the freedom to be gentler most of the time, and that is a beautiful thing.  But even without homeschooling, you can allow people the opportunity to wake up in a way that isn't rude.

Children deserve our respect, just like everyone else does.  You wouldn't wake a visiting guest with an air horn or ice cubes.  Why treat your precious children this way?

Sadly, the ice-cube-wakeup-mom is also an Ezzo/Babywise supporter.


I strongly, STRONGLY believe that the way we approach welcoming pregnancy, birth, and nurturing our babies informs our parenting through all the ages.  Sure, you can make changes and improve (and don't we all need to, on some level?!).  But, the mother's heart (and father's heart) that you have for your children, and the relationships and trust (or lack of) and memories and goodwill are all forming the foundation of a lifetime (and for generations!) with your children.

My oldest child is 21.  I still see the power of the love and attachment between us in our relationship.  He has traveled around the country, lived away from home for quite awhile, paid his own bills, gotten good employment, and had healthy and successful relationships with others.  Extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, not letting him cry it out, not sending him away to school when he was young....none of these things seem to have done anything but build positive things.  He exhibits none of the nonsensical traits that people like the Ezzos warn will come of parenting with deep love and attachment.  I am seeing the positive results of loving with wild abandon, and choosing to not violate my own conscience in my parenting choices.

I'm on the tail end of my parenting journey now.  The "baby" is 10, and we'll be seeing 5 more of our chickadees flying from the nest on a regular basis over the next 8 years or so.  It is good to have so few regrets.  (and exactly -zero- of those regrets come from loving with wild abandon.  They come from the few times that I allowed someone else to sway me into something I knew instinctively was not right for us.)  I wish other parents could feel the same.

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