Child Development in Babywise and GKGW

BabyDoh3Critics who have evaluated Growing Kids God's Way, Childwise, Babywise, Reflections of Moral Innocence (the Ezzos' sex ed curriculum) and other Ezzo books and curricula have shared several concerns about the expectations of child behavior these books promote.

Summary of Concerns

  • Lack of age appropriateness. Requirements of child behavior do not consider age appropriateness or basic principles of child development.

  • May support parental failings and selfishness. Warnings against being "child-centered" are insufficiently balanced by acknowledgment of the extent to which parenthood involves self-giving and self-sacrifice.

  • Lack of proportion. Big issues and small are treated as equally urgent matters over which parents must have control. Insisting on tight control over all matters can lead to power struggles.

  • Limited interpretation of behavior. Behavior is viewed through the lens of obedience/disobedience without adequate consideration of factors such as teething, illness, developmental stages, and emotions such as fear, loneliness, etc, that might cause or influence the behavior.

  • Undermines the developing relationship between parent and child. The level of control required by the program tends to create an adversarial relationship between parents and child, which may interfere with attachment.  Experts regard attachment as the foundation of mental health and say it develops as parents respond to the baby's cues, rather than in the context of parental control.

Essential Reading:

"An Evaluation of the Ezzo Parenting Programs"
by Dr. Kent McClain, Christian school educator

"A Critique of Growing Families International"
by Dr. Barbara Francis, Christian psychologist

"Designed for Relationship: Infants' Brain Structure and Chemistry Responds to Nurture and Stress"
by Nancy Williams, MA, MFT, CCE, IBCLC

"What's Wrong with Growing Kids God's Way?"
by Ken McDuff, Group Magazine

"Growing Kids the Ezzo Way"
by Dr. Philip Ryken, 10th Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia

"Reflections of Moral Innocence: A Review"
by Ed Coates, Ed.D.

"The Anti-Spock: Confronting the Horrors Wrought by 'Child-Centered' Parenting"
by Polly Morrice, writer, this review of Childwise is published by beliefnet

"A Critique of Childwise"
by Laurie Moody, educator and mother of 4

For Further Information:

More Critiques, Reviews and Analyses