Recently, a friend mentioned that a certain book “On Becoming Babywise” had really helped her get a handle on her now 15 week old daughter’s sleeping. Since our son has a lot of trouble napping during the day, we immediately ran to get the book. The book presents a philosophy that is diametrically opposed to the attachement parenting style of parenting that is recommended by the vast majority of doctors and health-care professionals.
The philosophy is called parent-directed feeding, and preaches a blend of scheduling and responding to hunger cues.
After reading the slim volume, my wife and I had many questions about the program, and how to start, since the book recommends starting almost immediately after birth. A quick Google Search for “Babywise” immediately reveals a number of things.
It turns out that Babywise is at the center of a serious controversy. It is published by a conservative Christian group Growing Families International, that has a mixed reputation at best, even among conservative Christians. Babywise is marketed to a secular population, while another edition is sold to church groups. This “religious” edition reveals that the original justification for this program of child rearing is biblical. Not scientific or research based. Biblical. It also turns out that Gary Ezzo, is at the center of a number of controversies that arise from conflicts of interest. A number of websites are dedicated to making people aware of the problems with the book’s philosophy.
Salon.com’s Mothers Who Think archive has a great article detailing more of the failings of the book, and how the method can pose a serious risk to infants.
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This Week’s Playlist

February 24, 2006

You might not know it, but tons of great music is available for free online. Each week I will try to take a look at new music that has been released – and that is worth listening to.

This week:
Antony and The Johnsons – You Are My Sister
These guys are brilliant. I can’t say anything else.

Destroyer – Painter in Your Pocket

K’naan – Soobax
This Somali-born rapper is the future of Canadian hip-hop. His flow and lyrics are beyond compare. He has no equal.

Man About The House

February 24, 2006

From The Observer-Guardian (Nov. 2003)
Thirty years ago, men spent an average of 15 minutes a day with their children. Today, it’s three hours. And new research shows it’s the amount of ‘father time’ which is driving down juvenile crime and pushing up levels of literacy. Mark Honigsbaum meets the family men who are aspiring to be better dads than their fathers were to them.

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With the birth of my son Lucca, I quickly realized that the way I thought about the world and the way I thought about myself would have a serious impact on the way I behaved as a parent. This is in turn obviously will influence the way my son grows up. I figured it was time to take a serious look at being a modern working father. The concept for this blog is strongly influenced by the now-defunct Mothers Who Think section at Salon.com. I am not looking to write apologetics, or be an emasculated pseudo-new age man. I believe that a man can be masculine and caring and that there is an important role for manliness in a relationship, and in parenting.

Let me be clear about how I see manliness. This is not Maxim. Sex and sexuality are an important part of being a man – but the frat-boy attitude of what passes for men’s magazines is not what I’m talking about.

The books that have influenced my views on parenting are:
Iron John by Robert Bly
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Childby John Gottman