Archive for April, 2010

There once was a rich lord, who was in need of a carriage driver. He interviewed several potential drivers asking them all the same question, “The road which leads to my castle has many dangerous areas. On one stretch of that road there is a steep mountain on one side and a sharp drop-off into a canyon on the other side. If you were to be selected to drive my carriage, just how close to that cliff do you think you could get the carriage without going over the edge?”

The first man said timidly, “Well, I am a good driver! I suppose could get your carriage to within 6 feet from the edge!”

The second man said more confidently, “I am an excellent driver! I could get your carriage at least 3 feet from the edge!”

The third man said boldly, “None surpass me in excellence! I am sure I could get the carriage right up to the edge of the road without going over!”

But for all their professed skill, it was the fourth man who was hired
The fourth man had said, “Sir, if you would give me the honor and privilege of driving your carriage, I would stay as far away from the edge of the cliff as possible.”

In the book, “The Ethical Use of Touch in Psychotherapy” by Mick Hunter and Jim Struve they say:
“Cultural norms that discourage touch are neither new nor unique to American culture. The depth of our understanding about the devastating impact of touch deficits is relatively recent, however. The reality that children may actually die from a lack of physical touch is demonstrated by historical events surrounding foundling homes and orphanages. These institutions were developed during the 19th century with the expectation of providing them (orphans) with a better future. 

Throughout the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century, however, as many children died as survived this form of institutionalized care.

A German foundling home at the end of the 19th century had a mortality rate exceeding 70% for infants in their first year of life, and a 1915 study of American orphanages revealed death rates for children ranging from 32% to 75% before the end of their 2nd year of life. That same 1915 study reported that child care institutions in Baltimore were estimated to have a mortality rate approaching 90% and that Randall’s Island Hospital in New York had a mortality rate close to 100% that same year.

Foundling homes and orphanages were solidly grounded in the prevailing medical and social norms that dominated European and American cultures during that period, constructs that forbade physical contact of any type between staff and children…”

The time babies in orphanages would spend alone in their cribs would represent one end of the scale as an extreme. The other end of that scale (the opposite extreme) would be a woman (probably a hippie or “native”) who uses a sling to carry her baby, sleeps with her baby, nurses her baby, and never separates herself from her baby at all.

Studies all over the world have shown that babies who are carried on the body and receive high amounts of touch and contact with their mothers and other family members flourish physically (have better immune systems and gain more weight the first year), emotionally (cry less and have reduced stress hormones), and intellectually (have higher IQs).

Then, as we see with the case of the orphanages, the other end of that scale, we have babies that although they receive food and shelter, are kept clean, changed, warm, etc., they sleep alone in cribs and are not rocked and carried and held…end up just dying for no apparent reason. Other babies who do not die are often small (failure to thrive), have emotional issues (anger), have behavioral issues, and have reduced intelligence (lower IQs). (As in studies done on infants in Romanian orphanages)

So, if you are hired by “the Lord” to have the tremendous honor of “driving His carriage” or caring for a baby that He gives you…just how close are you willing to go toward (parent toward) “that cliff”? How close to the “orphanage extreme” end of the scale do you want to go?

If not being touched and held enough is enough to end a child’s life, what of the common modern-culture saying that “if you hold a baby too much you will spoil them”? What of our modern-culture habit of isolating our babies in a nursery away from everyone else all alone? All of that sounds too close to the wrong end of the scale. Sounds to me like holding your baby “too much” might make them healthier all around and might just save their life…
Suggested searches:
Touch deprivation
Somatosensory deprivation
Newborn brain development cortisol effects
The book quoted above has a sample of that entire chapter here:

Read Full Post »

“Self-Soothing” and God

If you feel sad…who are you…Biblically…supposed to “cry out” to? To God. And, what will He do? He’ll be there, right?

What are you NOT supposed to do when you’re sad? Do the “new age” thing of “looking inside yourself”…right? You’re not to look to yourSELF for comfort, right? Nor, are you to look to “material” things…or to say a “bottle” of beer, true?

What about when you’re scared? Biblically? What are you to do? Who are you to cry out to and what will He do? Will He hear you? Will He care? Will He respond? If you’re afraid, what are you NOT supposed to look to for strength and help?

How about when you’re just feeling lonely? Biblically…who are you to look to? Who are you to “cry out” to? And, what will He do in response?

What about if you need “strength”? What about if you feel “uncomfortable” with your life? What about if you have “pain”? What if you just feel like you need love? WHO are you to cry out to? WHO are you to look to? Biblically…to God, right?

Biblically, are you ever supposed to look to “yourself” for comfort when you’re sad…scared…lonely…weak…uncomfortable or in pain? NO! Looking to ourSELVES is what gets us into…what? TROUBLE. Right.

THEN WHY WHY WHY WHY??? WHY??? DO “Christian” parents…who are instructed to “train up their children IN THE WAY THEY SHOULD GO”…WHY…do they fall for the evil “doctrine” of “self-soothing”…WHY…do we not see that leaving our babies alone to “cry-it-out” only only only teaches them after they realize that they are ALONE…to look “within”…to look “to themselves”…for comfort? Why do we not see how really wrong that whole old-wives-tale we Western Cultures people have been sucked into is?

Christian parents…you need to treat your children like small PEOPLE…people who look to you for guidance in how they should go when they are old…WILL YOUR CHILDREN look outside themselves believing that their comfort will come from an all loving Parent…or do they “self-soothe”…have they been trained that no matter how hard they cry or how long…that no one is coming…that they are…ALONE…and that they must look within themselves for their comfort? That their strength…their comfort…their relief of pain or fear…comes from within…and from whatever material thing they have control over (blanket, pillow, bottle)…

They are not “just babies” they are small people who WILL NOT FORGET the lessons they learn in their cribs…

Science has learned that the human brain is a “relational” organ that prospers in healthy relation with others…and it withers and dies in solitude…Romans 1 says that everything that’s made reveals to us how God is…The whole concept of “self-soothing” is Biblically wrong…and biologically hazardous…please…please…if you are a new or future parent…think about this…and follow your God-given instincts and biology and respond to that little person when they cry out to you…and someday after they have full confidence in your presence…you can pass that “baton” on to God…and they will fully trust Him because you trained them up in that way that they should go…

Read Full Post »

Growing Kids “God’s Way?”

If I knew that looking out into my future that every time “it was dark” and I was “at my most vulnerable and defenseless”…that…I would be “on my own”…that God would leave me to handle whatever came my way on my own…that if I was uncomfortable, in pain, scared, or just craving His presence, that if I cried out to Him that He would NOT come…to “teach me how to handle things w/out Him”…I’d not even want to go into my future I’d want to die because it would be terrifying. I’d never want to take any chances…all I’d want to do “is sleep”…

To think that I might cry out to Him for whatever reason and He’d ignore me? Isn’t that what manna was all about to teach us to never think we can do it on our own? How do we teach that to our kids before they can speak? How do we teach our kids even from day one to NEVER lean on their own understanding…never to depend on themselves to always look outside themselves and specifically to God…And, how do we show them that no matter what that God IS there?

I believe our current culture of “independent” people who do not look to God testifies to what this popular teaching in the last 50 years has done to our entire culture. That to leave our children to cry and not attend to “teach them to be independent” does just that. It them leads them to look “inside themselves” as the only source of constancy and safety…the only one they can truly trust…which is one of the biggest things that’s led people away from God in the USA…the foundation of “New Age Thinking”…

FAR from “Growing Kids God’s Way”…this is “Growing Kids Away From God”…

Read Full Post »

Reactive Attachment Disorder

What is “RAD” and how do your kids get it?

Attachment Disorder Symptoms

• Superficially engaging & charming
• Lack of eye contact on parents terms
• Indiscriminately affectionate with strangers
• Not affectionate on Parents’ terms (not cuddly)
• Destructive to self, others and material things (accident prone)
• Cruelty to animals
• Lying about the obvious (crazy lying)
• Stealing
• No impulse controls (frequently acts hyperactive)
• Pacing
• Learning Lags
• Lack of cause and effect thinking
• Lack of conscience
• Abnormal eating patterns
• Poor peer relationships
• Preoccupation with fire
• Preoccupation with blood & gore
• Persistent nonsense questions & chatter
• Inappropriately demanding & clingy
• Abnormal speech patterns
• Triangulation of adults
• False allegations of abuse
• Presumptive entitlement issues
• Parents appear hostile and angry

Causes of RAD
Any of the following conditions occurring to a child during the first 36 months of life puts them at risk:

• Unwanted pregnancy
• Pre-birth exposure to trauma, drugs or alcohol
• Abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
• Neglect (not answering the baby’s cries for help)
• Separation from primary caregiver
• On-going pain such as colic, hernia or many ear infections
• Changing day cares or using providers who don’t do bonding
• Moms with chronic depression
• Several moves or placements (foster care, failed adoptions)
• Caring for baby on a timed schedule or other self-centered parenting

Read Full Post »