Attachment Only By Day? – Part 2

Note from Hermana Linda:   This is the continuation of a conversation in the comments of Steph’s article on Attachment Theory.  Read Part 1 here.   This exchange starts here.

Hi Steph, thank you for your kind reply. I totally see your point. I didn’t mention the details on how my child responds when separated. She ofcourse resists a bit but goes back to normal play within a minute or two. Getting back together is a happy time for both of us but she doesn’t need extra attention but she is loving as always. I can only speak from my own experience and I am trying to find the truth without any bias. When you say brain damage, I can’t understand that because my daughter met all her developmental milestones 6 months ahead of her peers and she is nearly 4 now and has even started reading. I often see how totally she trusts me to keep my word and to take care of her if she is in any kind of danger.
I understand God doesn’t want us to cry as it makes him sad as well. But I do see in so many peoples lives that God allows some painful experiences so that they will shine even more brightly for His glory. When we did sleep training, we did make sure that she is completely safe, fed, changed and comfortable and we watched her through the video monitor to make sure her safety. Sure it was hard for us and hard for her. And I wouldn’t do it for a minute if it was not beneficial for her. That training has just done her so much good that she became more fresh and attentive during her wake times and happier.


Thank you for taking the time to better explain. How long did she cry when you “trained” her? Did she scream or just fuss for 10 minutes? Cry-it-out, as I said, bathes the brain with stress hormones which does cause damage–even if it is mild as I suspect it is with your daughter. The problem with harsh parenting is that the damage done is unseen. You can’t see her heart rate go up at night as she prepares to be on her own. You can’t see her learned helplessness of night time. You can’t see how she really feels. Like with spanking/hitting, all the damage, except for extreme cases, is internal. After all, by “sleep training” her, you told her that you don’t always care when she’s distraught. I’m not trying to be accusatory or make you feel bad. I am simply trying to explain why she’s fine most of the time, but that cry-it-out is harmful all the time. The research is not biased. It’s fact as over 50 years of research proves that cry-it-out is harmful.

Let me clear, to cry-it-out means to ignore the infant’s cries totally. Sometimes people need their child to sleep alone, but they help the infant fall asleep by rocking, patting, and softly talking to the infant as the infant fusses during the transition of sleep. Infants do cry before sleeping sometimes, but a consistent, attentive caregiver follows a routine but doesn’t just shut the door on the child and ignore his/her cries. Even if you’re watching them CIO, it is still dangerous not to respond at all. And once the child is asleep, if he/she wakes in the night, a consistent, attentive caregiver gives quiet comfort and care to that baby. To ignore crying teaches infants and young children that we will not consistently comfort or respond to them. Not a good message. And what if something is wrong? You can’t always see that on a monitor!

God never inflicts pain on us. Yes, He often uses pain that occurs in our lives for good. He did that with me as I was left to cry and hit as a child. From the outside, I appear great. I’m getting my book published, in which this article will appear plus more,and finishing my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Ed. But what people don’t see is my struggle with anxiety. And I tend to be hard on myself. So, I’m sorry but being left to CIO is not beneficial to anyone! I list many books and articles in the reference section of this article. Please check them out. The research is very clear on this.

Also, the Golden Rule applies to children too. Do you want people to ignore you when you cry or are upset?

Thank you for reading. May God bless you & your family!

About Steph, M.S.Ed
I have my Master's Degree in Early Childhood Ed. My book, Gentle Firmness, is available everywhere!! Glory to God!!! My specialty is infants and toddlers. I have worked with many infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. I teach parents, college students, and professionals about the Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) Approach. The RIE Approach is a very respectful, sensitive, responsive way of caring for infants and toddlers. I also love Dr. Sears' Attachment Parenting. I teach parents about how harmful spanking is, even when done "lovingly", and that God does not want us to spank (hit) children. I'm very passionate about God's Word and respect for children. I've been a Christ-follower since 1996. I'm married to a wonderful man who supports me in this 100%. He raised his son without spanking and his son is now a wonderful man. Thank you for reading my work! God bless!

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