I Don’t Expect My Children to “Cry It Out”… But I Do Ask Them to Wait.
We’ve all been through the lame spell that is sitting in the doctor’s office waiting room. We sign in, we ask for a same-day appointment, we fill out the required (repeated) paperwork, and then we sit there.
We wait, and we read (flip-through) the old magazines. We cross and uncross our legs in the uncomfortable chairs. We disinterestedly look at the talk show we never watch playing on the ancient TV monitor that must have at some point, some time, fallen and crushed at least a waiting room chair (I’m not the only one who has worried about that before, right?).
But the point is, we could wind up sitting there for hours, but we do it, because we know our turn will come. Our name is on the list, and our doctor will be with us “shortly.”
I offer you this scenario, because I want to use this analogy to explain one small corner of my parenting.
Though when I call it “one small corner” of my parenting style, I mean that it’s only one decision I’ve made in my parenting, among the thousands (millions?!) of others. But I know this decision I’ve made also carries with it a major impact: a lesson that radiates out through my entire relationship with my children.
Specifically, it’s my decision to not use the self-soothing or “Cry It Out” method with my children, whether it’s during the day when they need something or during the night when they wake in their beds.
To clarify, the “Cry It Out” method was intended specifically for sleep-training, allowing babies and toddlers to cry for a set period time before appearing at their bedside to help. But in my opinion, based on some parents I have talked to, they have taken this method to a whole other level.
Not only do they expect their children to self-soothe throughout the duration of the night (even when their children don’t sleep through on their own), they also implement this approach in their daily life. I’ve heard so many stories of children who only eat at mealtimes, because they couldn’t get a snack on their own, or who remain in pajamas because…