Here is a re-run of something I wrote four years ago. I still hold to my main concerns. One of the problems with Ezzo-ism is that it is abusive to the parents! Abused people often become abusively hyper-judgmental of other people, particularly parents who don’t apply the same measures of discipline to their children that they believe is right. They need healing.
This poor mother needed healing. Such is the nature of Ezzo’s abusive system that crushes parents under unrealistic expectations. It is abusive to make a mother feel guilty for her motherly instinct.
There is a lot of thoughtful criticism out there for the Ezzo method, but I will simply enumerate a few more things with little to no explanation:
1. It is shortsighted. It turns every skirmish of the will into Armegeddon. We are seeking to make disciples who are pursuing the will of God; not robots crafted to perform our will. A long view is better than fomenting a tempest in a teacup for the sake of winning the battle of the wills.
2. It is traumatizing to both child and parent, psychologically abusive to parents.
3. It incites parents to pursue dangerous ambitions in every discipline scenario (i.e. ‘breaking the child’s will’), a tactic that even God, the All-knowing Father, does not pursue with His own children.
4. It results in children being shaped into — and pressured to become — trophies of their parents’ control skills.
5. It masks the reality of human nature and the Doctrine of Total Inability.
6. It breaks the spirit of children, turning them into pleasers who are rewarded for conformity while denying them the richness of authenticity and the reality of Divine power to do what is right. (This applies to older children, of course.)
7. It damages both parents and children by encouraging them to believe that leadership is control and promotes in them a mind that instinctively think of a God that will bring down the hammer of His discipline on the slightest infraction. It capitalizes on the the feeling of guilt.
8. I personally think Babywise in its effort to avoid the evils of child-centeredness (and is child-centeredness always evil?) gives suggestions that ultimately promote selfish parent-centeredness. Get your lazy butt out of the bed and feed the child when its little body says it needs it.
In short, I think parents who start looking for short cuts in the hard work of making disciples are beginning a dangerous journey that will prove to be longer, more painful, and ultimately disastrous.