I disagree strongly that all parenting techniques are equal. There are many poor choices parents make, some even resulting in children being removed from the parents’ care. Others are less obvious or not as detrimental, yet still leave lasting marks on the heart and soul of a person. Among other fields, science and psychology are working with us to understand the importance and outcomes of parenting practices. These discoveries shouldn’t be ignored “because I’m the mom”. Adults are a direct result of those good, mediocre, and bad parenting choices. Our children deserve our open minds and open hearts.
Crying-it-out is sending one, and only one, message to the child: they have a need you, their only parent(s), refuse to meet. Babies do not cry to manipulate. Babies do not cry without reason. Babies do not cry because they are evil or giving you attitude or want to ruin your day. Babies, like every other human, will cry when there is something wrong. Do you cry only when there is something physically wrong with your body? Of course not! Most of the reasons humans cry are not at all about physical needs but emotional feelings. These are still needs.
The most important thing in a baby’s life is their own life. Self-preservation is crucial to our existence as a species. If we still lived in the wilds of Africa, leaving your baby to cry, or at all, would almost certainly mean death. We are animals. We are mammals. Instead of pouches and fur, we have arms to carry and cuddle. Instead of talons or massive teeth, we have brains to protect and outsmart predators.
Our offspring are designed to seek out their parents to prevent being killed and devoured. Crying is a sign of distress because the instinct is to be near the caregiver until the child is interdependent and capable of steering clear of danger. This simply doesn’t occur until several years after natural weaning has taken place and fundamental abilities developed and acquired. The desire to be comforted during times of fear or pain or sadness, however, will remain for a lifetime. This is not a bad thing- this is to be human.
While modern society has changed drastically, our babies have not. Our children are still born in the wild, fearful of being preyed upon and in desperate need of their parent, their protector. They know only their instincts. To attempt to “train” them to be anything else is to break this essential nature that has kept our species from fading out. If crying no longer served a purpose, our babies would be born utterly silent.
I truly feel this brokenness is pervading every corner of our society. Learned helplessness is an epidemic that is solidifying our dangerously individualistic culture and leaving human beings to feel constantly abandoned throughout our entire lives. I know some people don’t see it as that big of a deal… How, I do not know.
– Leticia Kruppenbach